The Independent’s journalism is supported by our readers. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn commission. Why trust us?

RAC car insurance review

Want cheap car insurance? Compare quotes from over 160 providers
In partnership with

Best known for its bright orange breakdown services, RAC (or the Royal Automobile Club) was founded all the way back in 1897. 

Alongside breakdown cover, it offers a number of car insurance policies, as well as other motor services, including RAC approved MOTs and dealerships.   

RAC acts as an insurance intermediary, meaning that your policy will be underwritten by a different provider from the company’s panel of insurers.

Read on for our RAC car insurance review, including what cover it offers, whether you get breakdown cover as standard, and how it compares to its competitors.

Compare Car Insurance Quotes
Compare quotes from over 160 providers to find the best deal
GET A QUOTE
In partnership with MoneySuperMarket

What car insurance cover is offered by RAC?

RAC offers four main levels of cover: Third party only, Third party, fire and theft, Comprehensive, and Comprehensive Plus. 

Third party only

With RAC’s third party car insurance, you’ll be covered for the following:

  • Injuries to other people: if you hurt someone in a car accident, RAC’s third party policy will help cover the costs
  • Damage to another person’s property: if you damage someone’s property, including their car, in an accident, RAC will help with the costs
  • Driving other cars: if you’re eligible, you can drive other cars with third party only cover
  • Driving abroad: you can drive in the European Union (EU) for up to 60 days under the level of cover you’ve taken out

Third party, fire and theft

RAC’s Third party, fire and theft insurance includes everything found in the Third party policy, as well as:

  • Fire damage: you can make a claim for any damage to your car caused by a fire
  • Theft: you can make a claim if your car is stolen, or damaged in an attempted theft
  • New car replacement: if your new car is stolen, and is less than a year old, you may be able to get a like-for-like replacement following an insured event
  • Manufacturer-fitted sound and sat-nav equipment: you can make an unlimited claim for any sound or sat-nav equipment fitted when your car was made that has been stolen or damaged in a fire
  • Aftermarket sound and sat-nav equipment: you can claim up to £500 for an sound and sat-nav equipment fitted after your car was made that has been stolen or damaged in a fire
  • Repairs guarantee: any repairs made at an approved garage will be guaranteed for three years

Standard RAC Car Insurance

RAC’s standard comprehensive car insurance includes everything from Third party and Third party, fire and theft, as well as:

  • Accidental damage to your car: you can make a claim for costs if your car is damaged in a motor accident
  • Manufacturer-fitted sound and sat-nav equipment: you can make an unlimited claim for manufacturer-fitted sound and sat-nav equipment in the event of a fire, theft or accident
  • Aftermarket sound and sat-nav equipment:you can claim up to £500 for aftermarket sound and sat-nav equipment in the event of a fire, theft or accident
  • Courtesy car cover: you’ll get a small temporary replacement vehicle if you’re in an accident and take your car to an approved repairer
  • Medical expenses: if you are in a car accident, you can claim up to £100 in medical expenses per injured person 
  • Personal accident cover: you’ll have up to £5,000 in personal accident cover with RAC’s standard comprehensive car insurance
  • Personal belongings: you can claim up to £150 for personal belongings that are lost or damaged in an insured event
  • Windscreen cover: you can claim for your windscreens and window glass to be replaced or repaired
  • Replacement locks: if your keys are lost or stolen, you’ll be able to claim for the associated costs
  • Cover for accessories: you’ll be able to claim for other car accessories 
  • Emergency treatment: you can claim for any payments made under the Road Traffic Acts for emergency medical treatment 

RAC Car Insurance Plus

Finally, RAC’s Car Insurance Plus policy includes everything mentioned above, as well as:

  • Aftermarket sound and sat-nav equipment: you can claim up to £1,000 for any sound and sat-nav equipment that was fitted after your car was made that’s lost or damaged in an insured event
  • Medical expenses: your medical expenses limit is increased to £250 per injured person
  • Personal accident cover: your personal accident cover is increased to £10,000
  • Personal belongings: your personal belongings cover is increased to £250
  • Child car seat cover: following a car accident, you can claim up to £100 to buy a replacement child car seat, even if it doesn’t appear to be damaged
  • Onward travel: if you are unable to get home due to an insured event, RAC will get you home. If you have to stay overnight, you can claim up to £200 for hotel expenses
  • Uninsured driver promise: if you are in an accident with an uninsured driver, and it wasn’t your fault, you won’t have to pay your excess and your no-claims bonus won’t be affected
  • Vandalism promise: if you make a claim due to vandalism, your no-claims bonus won’t be affected (usually, as long as you supply a crime reference number)

Other RAC car insurance policies

On top of its basic policies, RAC also offers the following specialist cover:

  • Temporary car insurance: RAC offers temporary car insurance lasting from as little as one hour, up to 30 days
  • Temporary business car insurance: if you need to temporary use your car for business purposes, such as visiting clients or driving to a conference, you can take out short-term cover through RAC
  • Black box insurance: also known as telematics insurance, this form of cover sees a ‘black box’ device installed in your car, to track your driving habits. It can be a way for new and younger drivers to reduce the cost of their car insurance premium
  • Electric car insurance: you can choose between RAC’s Comprehensive and Comprehensive Plus, when driving an electric car. As well as all the standard features those policies offer, your battery will also be covered against accidental damage, fire and theft, even if you are leasing it 
  • Classic car insurance: if you have a car old enough to be classed as classic, you can get specific RAC classic car insurance. This can be cheaper than insuring your vintage vehicle with standard motor cover
  • Learner driver insurance: with RAC learner driver insurance, you can get cover that lasts from one day to five months, without impacting the no-claims bonus of the car’s owner
  • Multi-car insurance: you can get a 10 per cent discount if you insure more than one vehicle from the same household through RAC multi-car insurance

RAC car insurance policies at a glance

Third party Third party, fire and theft Standard Car Insurance Car Insurance Plus
Age range All All All All
Level of cover Third party Third party, fire and theft Comprehensive Comprehensive
Injuries to other people Yes Yes Yes Yes
Damage to other people’s property Yes Yes Yes Yes
Theft No Yes Yes Yes
Fire damage No Yes Yes Yes
Repairs to your own car following accident No No Yes Yes
Motor legal protection Optional Optional Optional Optional
Your medical expenses No No Up to £100 per injured person; up to £5,000 personal accident cover Up to £250 per injured person; up to £10,000 personal accident cover
Driving other cars Yes (if eligible) Yes (if eligible, third party only) Yes (if eligible, third party only) Yes (if eligible, third party only)
Breakdown cover Optional Optional Optional Optional
Courtesy car cover No No Yes Yes
Hire car cover Optional Optional Optional Optional
Windscreen replacement No No Yes Yes
Personal belongings No No Up to £150 Up to £250
Replacement locks and keys Optional Optional Yes Yes
Protected no-claims bonus Optional Optional Optional Optional
Cancellation fee £25 arrangement fee (within 14-day cooling-off period); £55 (after 14 days) £25 arrangement fee (within 14-day cooling-off period); £55 (after 14 days) £25 arrangement fee (within 14-day cooling-off period); £55 (after 14 days) £25 arrangement fee (within 14-day cooling-off period); £55 (after 14 days)

RAC car insurance optional extras

Depending on what is already included with you cover, you can add the following optional extras to your RAC car insurance policy:

  • RAC breakdown cover: from £24.99 a year, you can add RAC’s flagship breakdown cover
  • Motor legal protection: for £31.49 a year, you can get motor legal protection for up to £100,000 in legal costs and expenses if you need to pursue another driver for losses following an accident that wasn’t your fault
  • Keycare cover: for £19.99 a year, you can add key cover to replace any lost or stolen ignition devices, up to £1,000
  • Guaranteed replacement car: for £14.99 a year, you can get a guaranteed replacement vehicle in the event your car is having repairs following an accident, vandalism, or fire and flood damage, as well as if it has been written-off or stolen
  • Protected no-claims discount: if you have a no-claims bonus lasting four or more years, you’re eligible for a protected no-claims discount that’ll allow you to make up to two fault claims within a three year period without it affecting your bonus

How to claim with RAC car insurance

If you need to make a car insurance claim through RAC, you should take the following steps:

  • Check everyone is okay: first, you should make sure that everyone involved in the incident, included yourself, your passengers, and any third parties, are safe and secure
  • Exchange details: if a another person was involved in the incident, you’ll need to exchange your details, including your names, addresses, registration numbers and insurance policy numbers
  • Make notes and take photos: you should also make a note of relevant details, such as the weather conditions, the location of the incident and the time of day, and take photos of any damage
  • Contact RAC: you should then contact RAC as soon as possible, even if you don’t intend to make a claim. You can call 0330 159 1062 to make a claim
  • Wait for RAC to inform you of the next steps: once RAC has taken all your details, it will inform you of what happens next. This could be sending out a repairer, or arranging a trip to an approved garage

How to cancel RAC car insurance

If you want to cancel your RAC car insurance, you will need to contact the provider.

When cancelling, as long as you haven’t make a claim, you will get a refund for the time left on the policy, minus the following fees:

Cancellation period Fee
Within 14 days of your policy start date £25 arrangement fee
After 14 days, or if RAC needs to cancel your policy £55

How to contact RAC car insurance

If you need to contact RAC about your car insurance, and it isn’t related to a claim, you can phone: 0330 159 1031. The line is open 8am to 7pm Monday to Friday, and 9am to 4pm on weekends and bank holidays.

You can also amend your policy details 24/7 using your online account.

RAC car insurance customer reviews

RAC has a ‘Great’ Trustpilot rating of 3.9 out of five, based on more than 108,900 reviews.

However, it is important to note that this score is based on reviews of RAC as a whole, and not just its car insurance products. This is especially true for RAC, where most reviews are focused on its breakdown services.

Of those five-star reviews that do explicitly mention car insurance, RAC is praised for the quality of its call centre service. The more negative reviews, meanwhile, complain about a sharp spike in renewal quotes – a familiar gripe about most insurance providers in the last 12 months.

icons8-review-96

“I have car insurance with the RAC and owing to a family issue needed to discuss my policy with them. I called the service centre and [I] have to say the service I was given by the operator was exceptional, offering me far more than I thought. Quick, simple and friendly service was brilliant. I couldn’t fault it so it’s definitely five stars from me.”

 

“I have just spoken to RAC Car Insurance and what an excellent service. The lovely lady I spoke to was completely understanding and explained everything in a clear and concise way! I was a bit blown over to be honest as I have never had such amazing customer service. They were offering to renew at a higher cost but now that I have spoken to them they offered a great renewal price and I am very happy to stay with them. I would definitely recommend RAC Car Insurance.”

 

“The cost was [three times] what I have paid with you before [and I] couldn’t get close to any other comparisons. I didn’t want to leave RAC as I’ve always been happy. I would have been happy to pay more just to stay with you but not [three times] more. Was very disappointed being a loyal customer for car insurance [and] joint RAC cover.”

What Defaqto rating does RAC car insurance have?

Alongside a ‘Great’ Trustpilot score, RAC has the following star ratings from Defaqto:

  • Third party, fire and theft: ★★★
  • Comprehensive: ★★★
  • Comprehensive Plus: ★★★★★

How does RAC compare to its competitors?

Provider name Trustpilot score Defaqto score
RAC 3.9 stars 5 stars (3 stars for third party, fire and theft, and standard comprehensive cover)
Direct Line 3.7 stars 5 stars (3 stars for Third party, fire and theft and Essentials)
People’s Choice 1.4 stars 5 stars (4 stars for third party, fire and theft)
Hastings Direct 4.1 stars 5 stars (4 stars for Third party, fire and theft, 3 stars for Telematics, 2 stars for Essential)
Admiral Insurance 4.4 stars 5 stars (4 stars for Telematics, 3 stars for Essential)
Aviva 4.0 stars 5 stars (3 stars for Third party, fire and theft)
Axa 4.3 stars 4 stars (5 stars for Plus)
LV 4.5 stars 5 stars (3 stars for Third party, fire and theft)
esure 3.1 stars 5 stars (4 stars for Third party, fire and theft)
Ageas 4.1 stars 5 stars (3 stars for Essentials, and Telematics)
NFU Mutual 4.4 stars 5 stars

Conclusion

Aside from its five-star Defaqto-rated Car Insurance Plus cover, many of RAC’s car insurance policies appear a bit stingy. This is especially true of its standard comprehensive car insurance policy when compared to the Plus tier – a fact reflected in Defaqto only giving the former three stars.

However, it does have a wide range of optional extras to boost your overall cover, including its flagship breakdown services.

And there are also a number of specialist policies, such as black box insurance, temporary car insurance, and classic car insurance, that may be preferable to – and cheaper than – a standard motor insurance policy if you have the right driving profile.

Frequently asked questions about RAC car insurance

There is no set discount on car insurance if you are an existing RAC member. However, your membership status may be considered by one of RAC’s panel of insurers when you get a quote.

RAC car insurance does not come with breakdown cover as standard. However, you can add it on as an optional extra, starting at £24.99 a year.

Connor Campbell

Finance Writer

Connor Campbell is an experienced personal and business finance writer who has been producing online content for almost a decade. 

Connor is the personal finance expert for Independent Advisor, guiding readers through everything they need to know about car insurance and home insurance. From how much it costs to the best insurance providers in the UK, he’s here to help you find the right policy for your needs. 

In his capacity as writer and spokesperson at NerdWallet, Connor explored a number of topics close to his heart, such as the impact of our increasingly cashless society, and the hardships and heroics of British entrepreneurs. His commentary was featured in sites such as The Mirror, the Daily Express and Business Insider

At financial trading firm Spreadex, meanwhile, his market commentary was featured in outlets such as The Guardian, BBC, Reuters and the Evening Standard

Connor is a voracious reader with an MA in English, and is dedicated to making life’s financial decisions a little bit easier by doing away with jargon and needless complexity.

Amy Reeves

Editor

Amy is a seasoned writer and editor with a special interest in home design, sustainable technology and green building methods.

She has interviewed hundreds of self-builders, extenders and renovators about their journeys towards individual, well-considered homes, as well as architects and industry experts during her five years working as Assistant Editor at Homebuilding & Renovating, part of Future plc.

Amy’s work covers topics ranging from home, interior and garden design to DIY step-by-steps, planning permission and build costs, and has been published in Period Living, Real Homes, and 25 Beautiful Homes, Homes and Gardens.

Now an Editor at the Independent Advisor, Amy manages homes-related content for the site, including solar panels, combi boilers, and windows.

Her passion for saving tired and inefficient homes also extends to her own life; Amy completed a renovation of a mid-century house in 2022 and is about to embark on an energy-efficient overhaul of a 1800s cottage in Somerset.