Compare the AA vs RAC

Should I choose the AA or RAC?

Find the best breakdown cover provider for you

When deciding on breakdown cover, it’s important to do your research to work out the right provider and level of cover for you.

The AA is the biggest direct breakdown cover provider in the UK1, followed by RAC. Below, we compare the breakdown cover options provided by the AA and RAC to help you decide which one is right for you. 


The AA vs RAC – at a glance

When you compare breakdown cover providers, it's worth considering the price and flexibility of cover, as well as reviews and recommendations. 

For example, the AA is the only major breakdown cover provider to be Which? recommended in 2021 and for 4 years in a row.2

The table below provides a quick summary of some of the key differences between the AA and RAC.

Key points The AA RAC
Lowest rolling monthly price available

£6 – Rolling monthly

£9.50 – 12 month plan

Unlimited call-outs at all levels of cover3

Yes

✓ Yes
Number of Patrols4

2,550 – And all of our Patrols have received training in electric vehicles (EVs)

1,600

Which? recommended breakdown services provider 2021

Yes – Which? recommended in 2021, 2020, 2019 and 2018

No

Breakdown assistance at home at all levels of cover

No – We give you the freedom to choose whether you'd like to add cover within a 1/4 mile of home to your package, so we don't automatically include it in our starting level of cover

Yes

Trustpilot score

4.2

4.1


The prices shown above are based on what's available to new customers (these prices don't take into account any sales, offers or promotions).

Both the AA and RAC offer customers the option to upgrade their cover with different add-ons allowing you to access more services and benefits. 

Get more details on how our breakdown products compare to RAC's below. 

In this article


What's included in AA breakdown cover compared to RAC? 

AA Patrol looking under hood of car

When comparing our cover to the RAC, it’s useful to know what each provider includes in their starting levels of cover.

Our starting level of cover is called Roadside Assistance. The RAC calls theirs Standard. The main differences between them are:

  • We offer a lower price with small replacement parts and free advice on garage or repair bills included.
  • The RAC has a higher price which includes cover at home.
  • We don’t include cover at home in our starting level of cover, giving you the freedom to choose whether you want to be covered at home. With us, you can easily add At Home cover, for a lower total monthly rolling price than the RAC's starting level of cover.
  • The RAC doesn’t have free small replacement parts or advice on garage or repair bills included. 

AA Roadside Assistance vs RAC Standard

Use the table below to compare AA Roadside assistance vs RAC Standard (prices shown are available to new customers and don't take into account sales, offers or promotions). 

Features The AA RAC
Lowest monthly rolling price

£6 – Rolling monthly 

£9.50 – 12 month plan
Breakdown assistance at the roadside

Yes

Yes
Unlimited call-outs Yes

✓ Yes

Cover for any age of vehicle Yes Yes
Tow to a nearby garage Yes Yes
Breakdown assistance at home

No – We give you the freedom to choose whether you want covered at home with our At Home add-on

Yes
Free small replacement parts

Yes – Up to £5 of replacement parts

No
Free fuel top up

Yes – If you’ve run out of fuel, we’ll give you enough to get going again

No
Member discounts

Yes – Discounts on restaurants, car care, days out and travel

Yes – Discounts on car care, days out and travel

Accident assistance

Yes – Recovery of your car, and support through the insurance claim, including a hire car. Learn more about our Accident Assist service.

Yes – Recovery of your car, and support through the insurance claim, including a hire car

Free advice on garage or repair bills Yes No

Get 24/7 cover from the UK's largest fleet of Patrols.

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How much does the AA cost compared to the RAC? 

AA Patrol replacing car tyre

We know that price can be an important factor when you’re choosing your breakdown cover. That’s why we’ll always offer the most flexible and best value for money option we can. Just our standard, reliable Roadside Assistance. 

If you want more cover, you can always choose from our add-ons. Different providers might give their add-ons slightly different names, but ours include:

  • At Home – Cover if your vehicle breaks down on your driveway or close to home.
  • National Recovery – You and your vehicle will be take to any mainland UK destination if your vehicle can’t be fixed.
  • Onward Travel – Help with the cost of carrying on your journey if your vehicle can’t be fixed straightaway. It could be money towards public transport, a hire car or a hotel for the night.

  • Learn more about different types of cover in our breakdown cover guide.

    The tables below show price comparisons for the AA and RAC breakdown products (all prices are based on what's available to new customers and don't take into account any sales, offers or promotions). 

    Compare cover for 1 vehicle

    These policies cover 1 vehicle, whoever’s driving it.

    You're looking for: The AA (rolling monthly) RAC (12 month plan)
    Vehicle Cover: Roadside £6 £9.50* 
    Vehicle: Roadside + At Home £12 £9.50
    Vehicle: Roadside + National Recovery £12 £14.00
    Vehicle: Roadside + Onward Travel £12 £18

    Compare cover for 1 person

    These policies cover you as a driver or passenger in any vehicle.

    You're looking for The AA (rolling monthly) RAC (12 month plan)
    Personal Cover: Roadside £8 £11.50*
    Personal: Roadside + At Home £14 £11.50
    Personal: Roadside + National Recovery £14 £16.00
    Personal: Roadside + Onward Travel £14 £20

    *RAC doesn't offer customers the option to take out breakdown cover without cover at home included. 

    Which? recommended breakdown services provider, 4 years running

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    Our Trustpilot rating

    What our Members say

    Reported breakdown on the app, was given an estimate of 45 minutes but the guy turned up within 15 minutes, diagnosed the fault and followed me to the nearest repair location. Excellent service all round!

    Terry Faulkner

    Read reviews

    Why choose the AA?

    We're the UK's best breakdown cover provider

    When you choose us, you’ll be joining millions of other customers who trust us in an emergency on the roadside. 

    We've been rated the best major breakdown service provider for 3 years according to the Brand and Market Tracker study5 and a recent report showed consumers rated the AA as the most trusted and recommended brand out of the ones included in the survey.6

    On Trustpilot, 70% of our customers gave us an “Excellent” rating after we helped them with a breakdown.

    More Members and expert Patrols than anyone else

    The AA is the biggest direct breakdown service provider in the UK. That means more customers directly choose us as their breakdown cover provider than anyone else1

    We also have more expert Patrols than any other UK breakdown provider, and they've all received training in EVs.4 So whether you drive a petrol, diesel, hybrid or electric, we can help if you break down. 

    Plus, our Patrols will typically get to you in less than an hour and can usually get you back on the road within 30 minutes of arrival.7

    Which? recommended breakdown services provider 2021

    We're the only major breakdown cover provider to be Which? recommended in 2021 and for 4 years in a row. Which? also rated our expert Patrols' knowledge and courtesy as 5-stars.8

    You’ll also be choosing a provider with a Defaqto 5 star rating.9

    Learn how Green Flag breakdown cover compares to the AA.

     

    What additional benefits do I get with an AA membership?

    If you choose breakdown cover with us, you’ll get access to great discounts through our Member benefits. Our benefits include discounts and deals on:


    Can I use the AA online or on my mobile?

    Yes - you can access your account online or through an app on your phone. With our app, you can:

    • Use tap and track to send us your exact location and request a mechanic when you break down.
    • See a map of nearby petrol stations, garages and parking.
    • Get reminders about your tax, service and MOT.

    You can also report a breakdown online to send us your exact location and track your mechanic’s progress.

    Back to top

    Our breakdown cover

    We provide 24/7 roadside assistance and will try and fix your car on the spot. You can even track the mechanic right to your side. Just tap our free app and help's on the way.
    • Call us out as many times as you need to, as long as it's not a recurring problem with your vehicle.2
    • We cover vehicles of any age including cars, electric vehicles, vans, motorcycles, campervans and caravans.10
    • Get up to 20% off at over 1,500 restaurants and pubs with the app.
    • If you have an accident, we're here to support you with our Accident Assist service.
    Build your cover with these options

    Buy AA breakdown cover

    We have more dedicated Patrols than any other UK breakdown service.

    Good to know

    1 Biggest direct breakdown service provider

    More customers directly choose us as their breakdown provider than anyone else. These are people who select the AA either online or call us up to become members, or speak to an AA member of staff directly. We know this because of the Brand and Market Tracker study conducted by an independent research provider (last updated July 2021). 

    2 Which? recommended

    We're also the only major breakdown service to be Which? recommended in 2021 and for 4 years in a row. 

    3 Unlimited call-outs

    Repeat call-outs for the same fault, within 28 days, will not be covered. Your call-out levels may affect future renewals.

    4 More Patrols than anyone else

    The AA uses a fleet of dedicated vehicles – which means we own and manage them, and they are driven by our own patrols. These include breakdown vans, recovery trucks and other specialist vehicles to support a wide range of breakdown situations our members find themselves in.

    Sometimes we may use garages to reduce wait times, but only when necessary. We’ll always let you know in advance.

    We have more highly skilled Patrols than anyone else. And they’ve all received training in electric vehicles. The AA is the largest UK breakdown provider, with over 2,500 patrols compared to around 1,600 patrols for the second largest provider in the UK.

    Source: AA Staff List (2,550, October 2021) and RAC website (1,600, October 2021).

    Best major breakdown service provider for 3 years

    We’ve been rated as the best breakdown service against all other major breakdown providers by UK drivers for the last three years according to the Brand and Market Tracker study. 

    The Brand and Market Tracker is a study conducted on behalf of the AA by an independent research provider (Old Street Data Science – trading name HGSR Ltd.) and the results are based on responses by participants who self-identify which provider they are with.

    Interviews are held with 1,500 respondents every quarter, which is rolled up to 6,000 annually. For the purpose of this research, “Direct Cover” is breakdown cover that the customer purchased directly from the company, including through their website, or over the phone, or from a field salesperson or from a patrol at the roadside.

    It does not include cover which the customer might have purchased through an affiliate, as an insurance add-on, manufacturer cover offered upon purchase of a vehicle, or cover received as part of a value added bank account. Nor does it include cover which was purchased by someone else, another family member, by an employer on behalf of the respondent or received as part of a vehicle lease package, from a trade union or other organisation.

    For direct market: the AA has market share of 40%. As the UK's number one provider, the AA has more members than the second and third providers, RAC (24%) and Green Flag (19%).

    6 Most recommended and most trusted brand

    The latest independent Mintel Vehicle Recovery report (September 2021) which showed that the consumers surveyed rated the AA as being the most trusted, most recommended, and the favourite brand of the brands covered in Mintel's survey. 

    Brands included in Mintel’s Vehicle Recovery report are the AA, Green Flag, RAC, Direct Line, AXA, LV=/Britannia Rescue, Start Rescue and Allianz Assistance.

    7 Our Patrols will usually get to you in less than an hour and back on the road within 30 minutes of arrival

    This has been proven through our breakdown data about breakdowns that AA Patrols respond to, as well as an independent reliability study from What Car?

    8 Our expert Patrols’ knowledge and courtesy are rated 5-stars*

    Which? rated our Patrols' knowledge and courtesy as 5 stars in their 2021 Best Car Breakdown Providers (September 2021). 

    9 Defaqto 5 star rating

    Source: Defaqto 2021, UK Motor Breakdown Cover

    10 What vehicles do we cover?

    Our breakdown cover includes most cars of any age (including classic cars), vans, motorbikes, caravans, and campervans. Your vehicle must be under 3.5 tonnes and 8ft 3in (2.55m) wide.

    See theaa.com/proof for details on sources 1 to 2 and 4 to 8.