Broken Down?

RAC can help^

Call 0330 159 8743   

^Emergency cover entitles you to assistance at the roadside or at home and if we are unable to fix your vehicle you will receive up to a 50 mile tow.

Car Broken Down?

Being involved in a vehicle breakdown can be an upsetting experience - especially if you don’t have breakdown cover in place. If your car has broken down or your car won’t start, but you’re not an RAC member, don’t worry - we can still help you.

How? This guide will detail exactly what you need to do if your vehicle breaks down and you need help - including clear, step-by-step instructions to help us get to you as soon as we can.

We’ll also detail the benefits of RAC membership, and the level of breakdown cover you can expect from us.

Broken Down without any Breakdown Cover?

If you have already broken down and need breakdown cover, DO NOT purchase cover online, please call us instead. If you purchase cover online after breaking down, we will not attend as the RAC cannot provide roadside assistance if your breakdown has occurred prior to the purchase of your policy.  No need to panic, stay calm and follow these four steps:

  1. Call 0330 159 8743
  2. Tell us where you are
  3. We'll help if you've broken down or your vehicle won't start
  4. Not only will we send help to you today but we will also give you a Pay As You Go membership for 12 months meaning if you do need us again you just pay a fixed fee for us to attend.

Staying safe when your vehicle has broken down

After calling us for instant breakdown cover, it’s important you stay safe until support arrives. While waiting for help, your priority is looking after yourself and any passengers in the vehicle.

Tips for staying safe when your car has broken down include:

For further reading, look at our guides on motorway breakdown advice and staying safe in a breakdown.

Not broken down but want Breakdown Cover?

If you aren't in a breakdown situation and would like to join RAC

 Get an Online Quote  

Already a member?

Call 0333 2000 999 for breakdown assistance - roadside assistance anywhere in the UK is provided 24/7 and 365 days a year.

Why choose RAC for your emergency cover?

  • If you are not a member and you have already broken down, don’t worry, we can still help.
  • If you are broken down you can’t buy cover online, ring us now and we will provide instant cover and attend your breakdown. Call us on 0330 159 8743.
  • FREE 12 months Pay As You Go* membership is included with the price of your recovery.
  • You will also qualify for a 50 mile tow.
  • Pay As You Go is your entry to the RAC and gives you access to our full range of products and services.

Your PAYG membership gives you: 

  • 24/7 access to our network of patrols for any future breakdowns
  • Fixed fee for future breakdowns
  • Accident Care
  • Member Benefits
  • Tiering discounts
  • Monthly prize draw entry
  • Legal helpline advice

Why choose the RAC for your breakdown today:

  • As Britain’s most experienced provider, we've been championing motorists for over 120 years.
  • 4 out of 5 breakdowns are fixed at the roadside by our RAC branded patrols who have (on average) 10 years of experience
  • Every RAC van contains more than 500 parts, including a large selection of the most common batteries and our universal spare wheel.
  • It's no wonder 92% of customers would recommend us.

To speak to our RAC Customer Services team, please call us on:

Find out more

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.


Get outstanding roadside cover with a wealth of additional extras with the RAC. We fix four out of five vehicles at the side of the road.


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 cannot be fixed at the side of the road, our vehicle recovery service will transport it to either a garage or back to your home address


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.


Personal Breakdown Cover can give you peace of mind in whatever vehicle you’re driving or travelling in as a passenger, as this guide from the RAC explains.

Compare breakdown cover

Compare breakdown cover from the RAC and other providers to help you understand the differences in service, coverage, optional extras and reliability.


This guide compares the RAC, one of the UK’s major breakdown cover companies, with AA, to see how it compares for level of cover, pricing and customer reviews.


This guide compares the RAC, one of the UK’s major breakdown cover companies, with AXA, to see how it compares for level of cover and pricing.

If you’re searching for the best breakdown cover deal, using a comparison service can really help - here are some useful tips to consider before you start your search.


How does the RAC compare with Direct Line, when it comes to providing breakdown cover services? This guide takes a look at prices, level of cover and customer reviews.


This guide compares the RAC, one of the UK’s major breakdown cover companies, with Emergency Assist, to see how it compares for level of cover and pricing.


This guide compares the RAC, one of the UK’s major breakdown cover companies, with Green Flag, to see how it compares for level of cover, pricing and customer reviews.


The RAC is one of the UK’s leading providers of breakdown cover and vehicle recovery, but how does it compare to StartRescue?


The RAC and Rescuemycar are both UK car breakdown providers, but how do their levels of cover, prices and customer reviews compare?

Additional 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.


Car rescue insurance from the RAC starting from £4.50 a month. Our patrols fix 4 out of 5 cars at the roadside in just 30 minutes on average.


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


Family Breakdown Cover and Multi-car Breakdown Cover policies can provide peace of mind and breakdown cover for every member of your household.


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 and tips

Not sure what that light on your dashboard means? View our guide and easily identify what that warning light means


The RAC are proud to boast a higher Trustpilot score than their main competitors - read live reviews and feedback on their 5 Star Defaqto rated cover.


The RAC attend more breakdowns in the winter as many car parts are vulnerable to the cold weather. Read our expert advice in our Winter Breakdown infographic.


More and more new cars are being built without space for a spare wheel. Find out how we have used innovation to overcome this problem


Modern cars are now equipped with a sophisticated electronic management system, find out how we overcome this to detect a fault with your car


Frequently Asked Questions

Q. I was involved in an accident - should I still contact you?
Yes. Accident Care is included as a member benefit at no additional charge. If you’ve been involved in a road traffic collision, in the UK, the RAC may be able to help with post-accident assistance. Call us on 0333 2000 999 from the scene and we can offer advice on whether you can drive the vehicle, arranging recovery, whether you need to make a claim in your car insurance, and a replacement vehicle, if necessary.
Q. Will you come out if I’ve run out of fuel?
Yes. If you run out fuel, the RAC can come to help. We also provide Mis-Fuel Rescue as an optional service on your breakdown cover. If you put the wrong kind of fuel into your vehicle, we’ll help to drain and clean out the fuel system. We’ll also add a quantity of the right fuel to get you moving again, and safely dispose of the unwanted fuel.
Q. My car won’t start. Can you help?

If your car won’t start, we can help. If you’re at the roadside and your car cannot start, we’ll try to get your car going again and get you moving. If there’s a fault with your car’s starter battery and we can’t recharge it, we can fit a new battery.

If you’ve broken down at home and need help, contact us to tell us the problem and we can discuss your options.

Q. Should I call the police?
If there is nowhere secure for you and any passengers to wait, or you feel unsafe at all, then you should call the police to inform them that you have broken down.
Q. Is it free to call the emergency number?
Yes, the emergency services telephones positioned along motorways are free to call. They connect directly to the police, or the Highways Agency.
Q. Is there a call out charge?
Yes. When you join the RAC and get instant breakdown cover, you will get a year’s membership and we’ll also add an emergency call out charge. The charge will cover you for assistance at the roadside or at home.
Q. Should I attempt to fix the problem myself?
Some basic faults can be fixed. You may have changed a flat tyre before and, with a spare wheel on board, can carry out such a repair. If you feel confident in fixing the problem then you can try - but you must be in a safe position first. If you are in any doubt or don’t feel safe, call the RAC for help.
Q. Do you give priority to vulnerable people?
We aim to get to all members as quickly as possible, though do consider circumstances when responding to breakdowns.

*RAC Pay As You Go is a non-insurance product which does not come with callout entitlement included. If you breakdown and require assistance, you can call us directly upon which an agreed amount of £85 if you’re at the roadside or £110 if you’re at home, will be charged.

Breakdown cover arranged and administered by RAC Financial Services Limited (Registered No 05171817) and provided by RAC Motoring Services (Registered No 01424399) and/or RAC Insurance Ltd (Registered No 2355834). Registered in England; Registered Offices: RAC House, Brockhurst Crescent, Walsall WS5 4AW. RAC Motoring Services and RAC Financial Services Limited are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority in respect of insurance mediation activities. RAC Insurance Ltd is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority.

© 2019 RAC Motoring Services. All rights reserved.