Vehicle recovery

If we can't fix you, we'll tow you

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Car and vehicle recovery service

Here at the RAC, we’re proud to fix 4 out of 5 vehicles on the spot. But if we can't fix you, we'll offer a vehicle recovery service (or a ‘tow’). Exactly how far we can tow your car depends on the level of cover you have. Here’s what’s included with our ‘Standard’ and 'Unlimited' cover levels:

Standard cover includes:

If we can’t fix you, you’ll get local recovery up to 10 miles – either to a local garage or somewhere else.

This applies whether you break down at home or at the roadside.


Unlimited cover includes:


You’re covered for National Recovery – which means we’ll recover you to any garage or destination in the UK.

This applies whether you break down at home or at the roadside.


What is vehicle recovery? 

Vehicle recovery is a towing service. It’s what happens when your vehicle breaks down and can’t be fixed on the spot. This is usually because it needs further mechanical repair at a garage.

With us, you’ll get a 10-mile tow as standard. This could be to the nearest garage or somewhere else within 10 miles. Alternatively, if you choose ‘Unlimited’ cover, this includes National Recovery. This means we’ll tow you and your family to a destination of your choice anywhere in the UK. We’ll also take you and your passengers with us, with both levels of cover. 

However, you should be aware that in some cases, depending on the circumstances, specialist equipment may be required to recover your vehicle. If this happens, there will be additional charges to pay.


Do I need nationwide vehicle recovery?

The right option for you depends on your driving habits. 

For example, if you often drive far from home, it might be worth having National Recovery (included within our 'Unlimited' cover level). This means that wherever you break down, you’ll have the option to be towed to any destination on the UK mainland. This could be to your preferred garage, back home or to your final destination.  

With our Standard cover, you’re entitled to local recovery up to 10 miles from where you break down. We’ll usually tow you to a local garage, but we can tow you somewhere else within a 10-mile radius if you prefer.

Broken down and need recovery?

RAC Members

If you are an RAC member and your vehicle breaks down, contact us and we'll send one of our dedicated patrols out to you. Just follow these steps:

  • Stop in a safe place
  • Exit the vehicle from the passenger side
  • Find a safe and secure spot for passengers outside of the vehicle
  • Keep pets inside the vehicle
  • The quickest and easiest way to get help today is online. Report your breakdown here.
  • If you would prefer to speak to a member of the team, please call us on 0333 2000 999. Lines open 24/7.

If our patrol can’t fix your vehicle at the side of the road, we’ll recover your vehicle. Remember – how far we can tow you depends on the level of cover you have. For example, if you have our ‘Standard’ level of cover, you’ll get a 10 mile tow to a local garage. If you have ‘Unlimited’, you’ll get National Recovery to any destination in the UK.

Check your policy schedule and terms and conditions for more details.

If you're not an RAC member:

Give us a call on 0330 159 8743

The RAC can still help you with vehicle recovery, even if you don’t have breakdown cover with us. Just call us and we’ll talk you through your options.

Can I continue my journey if my vehicle can't be fixed?

If your vehicle needs repair at a garage, we can help you keep moving with Onward Travel. This is available as an add-on to ‘Unlimited’ cover.

Onward Travel covers you for a hire car for up to 3 days (age and licence restrictions apply). Or if you prefer, we can arrange overnight accommodation or costs towards public transport instead.

How else can we help?

Find all the information you need to have a better understanding of the different levels of cover that the RAC have on offer


Many vehicle breakdowns happen at home - but with RAC At Home Cover you can get on with your day quickly again.


If your vehicle breaks down miles away from home, National Recovery cover from the RAC could prove invaluable - find out more here


If your vehicle can't be fixed in the same day after a breakdown, RAC's onward travel product helps you to make alternative travel plans to continue your journey.


Vehicle Breakdown Cover can be a great value option if you’re looking for cheap breakdown cover - this guide from the RAC looks at the benefits of it.


Family breakdown cover provides vehicle cover for several members of your family within a joint policy.


Multi-car breakdown cover enables you to get breakdown cover for several vehicles under one policy.


Find out more about our offering for electric and hybrid vehicles here.

We also cover…

Our breakdown patrol will know you're a blue badge holder before they reach you.


Keep your business moving with tailored breakdown assistance for 1 to 100+ vehicles.


The Camping and Caravanning Club's breakdown and recovery scheme provided by RAC.


RAC European Breakdown Cover provides you with peace of mind and comprehensive single-trip or annual cover you can rely on during your holidays.


Punctures, battery problems, non-starts and cut-outs are all covered. We'll even come out if you run out of fuel.


Put the wrong fuel in your car? Don't panic. Call us now for our Fuel Drain Service.

Driving hints & tips

Before buying breakdown cover, it’s useful to read reviews. Check out the RAC’s score on Trustpilot.


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