Two Options for Roadside Assistance

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If you’ve driven for any length of time, then you will be well aware that cars can go wrong. Your car might be new, it might just have passed its MOT test and you may have checked your oil and water, but there will come a time when you need roadside assistance. No matter how careful a driver you are, or how well you take care of your vehicle, things go wrong, and of course young drivers with older, second-hand cars are more likely to be affected. RAC, AA membership or something similar is generally a good idea; if you haven’t decided between the two yet, here are some pointers.


The AA or Automobile Association is just one of the various options for roadside assistance. Many people will join the AA as members because it can save them money on other services. For breakdown cover you will pay an annual fee; starting level cover for one vehicle is £28 a year.

While the premium does not cover breakdowns outside of the UK, the AA will send someone out even if you are only a quarter of a mile from home when you break down. On occasions when they can’t fix the problem at the roadside, then they will tow you to the nearest garage. The basic membership fee may be fine if you have a newish car or you don’t drive long distances, as you only get two 24/7 call outs a year.

The more comprehensive cover is £35 with unlimited 24/7 call outs for roadside breakdown assistance. Again, if they can’t fix the vehicle in situ, they will tow you to the nearest garage. If you have AA membership alongside your breakdown cover, then you can get 20% discount by showing your card. The £35 cover allows you unlimited call outs and free petrol top-up if needed, and up to £5 off the cost of roadside repairs. You can extend this premium for an additional charge to include national coverage and onward travel.


The RAC started over 100 years ago as the Automobile Club, later becoming the Royal Automobile Club. The RAC offers several types of breakdown cover to both members and non-members. Cover starts at £27.99, and for this the RAC offers roadside rescue service, and if needed a tow for up to ten miles. It does not include extras such as home recovery if
you can’t get your car started; this is extra, as is onward travel.

The RAC offers a number of different options and prices. If you require breakdown cover with onward travel, for example, then it can be quite expensive. While it doesn’t seem to offer cover as cheap as the AA, some of their packages include home starts, onward travel, and roadside rescue when you are abroad.

If you do choose the RAC then you can get packages for more than one vehicle, useful if more people in the family are drivers. The AA and the RAC are the main roadside rescue providers, and the most well known, so they are often the first choices for many drivers who need roadside assistance.