AA or RAC? How to choose your breakdown cover provider?

Compare breakdown cover from the AA vs RAC

Which is best, AA or RAC?

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.

We've got more expert patrols in more places, and we've also been rated the best breakdown service against all other major breakdown providers by UK drivers5 – so you can be confident you're getting reliable service when you choose us.

AA vs RAC breakdown cover

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

For example, the AA is the only major breakdown cover provider to be Which? Recommended in 2023 and for 6 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
Unlimited call-outs at all levels of cover3



Number of patrols4

2,700 – And all of our patrols receive EV training every 5 years


Which? Recommended Breakdown Services Provider 2023

Yes – Which? Recommended in 2023, 2022, 2021, 2020, 2019 and 2018


Trustpilot score





Both the AA and RAC offer customers the option to upgrade their cover with different options 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

AA Roadside Assistance vs RAC

Use the table below to compare AA Roadside assistance vs RAC. 

Features The AA RAC
Breakdown assistance at the roadside


Unlimited call-outs Yes

No – Only with Complete cover

Cover for any age of vehicle Yes Yes
Tow to a nearby garage Yes Yes
Free small replacement parts

Yes – Up to £5 of replacement parts

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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What types of breakdown cover does the AA offer? 

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 breakdown cover options. Different providers might give their additional options 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.

  • Generally, there are two types of breakdown cover available, personal cover and vehicle. Vehicle cover is the cheapest option, as it covers just one vehicle, no matter who's driving it. Personal cover, on the other hand, covers just you, but the cover applies to any vehicle you're travelling in (whether you're the driver or passenger).

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

    Which? Recommended Breakdown Services Provider, 6 years running

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    Which is best AA or RAC?

    There are a few reasons we can call ourselves the best breakdown service provider in the UK:

    • We have more members than any other provider

    We have more customers than any other UK breakdown cover provider, including both customers who joined online and customers who called us to become a member.

    • We have more dedicated patrols than any other UK provider

    With more expert and dedicated patrols than our biggest competitor, we can cover more ground, attending and repairing more breakdowns than any other breakdown cover provider.

    • Our Patrols are experts in their field

    All of our new patrols must complete a robust induction programme, with technical skill and customer service at its core. But it doesn’t end there, we continually ensure that our patrols receive training to keep up with the latest developments in the automotive industry, along with ongoing competence and technical assessments. In a nutshell, they’re really good at what they do!

    • We’re the UK’s most trusted breakdown cover brand

    Compared to other breakdown cover providers, we’re consistently rated as the best service by UK drivers. This is backed up by the consumer experts at Which?, who’ve given us the accolade of being a Which? recommended breakdown service provider in 2023. This is the 6th year running that we’ve received the accolade.

    For more information on the claims above, visit theaa.com/best.


    AA vs RAC response times for UK breakdown cover

    We’re no slouches when it comes to breakdown repairs

    Our expert patrols will usually get to you in less than an hour and get you back on the road within 30 minutes once they’ve arrived. We fix 4 out of 5 cars at the roadside, and we’re always at hand to help, come rain, hail or shine.


    How much should you pay for breakdown cover?

    We’re not here to tell you how much to pay for your breakdown cover, but we do offer different levels of cover to suit different circumstances. So, if you only have one vehicle, and it’s only you that drives it, our vehicle cover may be the best-value choice for you.

    If you have more than one vehicle or you want to cover members of your family or household in other vehicles, our personal breakdown cover packages might be better for you – but they do cost more.

    We don’t lump in any optional extras to our breakdown cover packages, unless you want them. Adding them in will raise the price, but give you more cover in more scenarios, so you’re in total control of how much you’ll pay.


    What additional benefits do I get with an AA membership?

    Once you become an AA member, you can enjoy the perks of our Smart Benefits, which include:

    • Up to 15% off at over 1,000 UK pubs and restaurants
    • Discounts on days out and family activities
    • Further discounts on car hire, van hire, and vehicle checks
    • The chance to win back the cost of your car insurance
    • Member rates on MOTs, and much more


    AA vs RAC European breakdown cover

    Find a quick guide of what we offer for European breakdown cover compared to RAC below:

    Key points The AA RAC
    No. of repairers



    24/7 English speaking helpline?



    5-star rated by Defaqto?



    Discount on European breakdown cover for current AA/RAC members?

    Yes (10%)


     Recovery of your vehicle back to the UK?  Yes  Yes
     Alternative accommodation and travel arrangements?  Yes  Yes*
     Money towards legal costs?  Yes  Yes

    *RAC customers can only use both if they have "Extra" cover. With standard cover, RAC members can only choose one of the two.

    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?

    Wondering why you should choose The AA? Here’s why we’re the best breakdown cover provider:

    • We’re a six-time Which? Recommended breakdown service provider, meaning we’ve been independently judged to be the best
    • We’ve got more dedicated patrols than our biggest competitor
    • We’ll give you unlimited call-outs for your vehicle, as long as it’s not a repeat call-out for the same fault within 28 days
    • We like to be speedy! Our patrols will usually get to you in less than an hour and get you back on the road in around 30 minutes of arrival

    Verify the above at theAA.com/Best.

    We're the UK's biggest breakdown cover provider, with more expert patrols than anyone else

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

    We've been consistently rated the best major breakdown service provider by UK drivers – against all other major breakdown providers – according to the Brand and Market Tracker study5 from September 2021 to September 2023. Plus, 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.

    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 any other major breakdown provider1

    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 2023

    We're the only major breakdown cover provider to be a Which? Recommended Provider in 2023 and for 6 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.


    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.

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    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

    *10% of new AA customers paid £7.50 for monthly vehicle breakdown cover. Source: survey of new business sales from theAA.com, 2 November 2023 to 31 January 2024.

    Biggest direct breakdown service provider

    More consumer/personal members choose us than any other major UK breakdown service. Source: AA Intermediate Co Limited Interim Report 2023 (3.3m paid personal members) and RAC Bidco Limited Interim Report HY 2023 (2.7m consumer members). Verify at theAA.com/Best

    Which? Recommended

    We're also the only major breakdown service to be Which? Recommended in 2023 and for 6 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 expert patrols than any other major UK breakdown service. And they’ve all received training in electric vehicles. The AA is the largest UK breakdown provider, with 2,700 patrols compared to around 1,750 patrols for the second largest provider in the UK.

    Sources: AA Annual Report 2023 (2,700 patrols) and RAC Class A Prospectus 2023 (1,750 patrols).

    Best major breakdown service provider

    We’ve been consistently rated as the best breakdown service against all other major breakdown providers by UK drivers for the last 2 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, who identify themselves as UK-based drivers, which is rolled up to 6,000 annually.

    6 Most recommended and most trusted brand

    The latest independent Mintel Vehicle Recovery report (September 2023) 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 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.

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

    Which? rated our patrols' knowledge and courtesy as 5 stars in their 2023 Best Car Breakdown Providers (October 2023). 

    9 Defaqto 5-star rating

    Source: Defaqto 2023, 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/Best for details on sources 1 to 2 and 4 to 8.