A guide to ‘home start’ breakdown cover

What is breakdown cover at home?

Breakdown cover at home (also known as ‘home rescue’ or ‘home start’) means we’ll come to your rescue if you break down on your doorstep. For example, with a flat battery or a cold engine. The RAC will always try to fix your vehicle there and then. Or if we can’t, we’ll tow you to a garage for repair.

Because breakdowns at home are so common, the RAC now includes home rescue as standard – for new members buying breakdown cover online. Just bear in mind that other providers only cover you ¼ mile from home as standard, and cover at home is an add-on. 

How does home start breakdown cover work?

With the RAC, you’ll be covered at home whether you choose Standard and Unlimited cover. Once you’ve bought your cover, you can call us 24/7 and we’ll send a patrol to your home address. 

When we arrive, we’ll try to fix you on the spot to save you a trip to the garage. But if that’s not possible, we’ll offer you a tow to a garage to get a repair.

How far we can tow you depends on whether you have Standard or Unlimited cover. 

Standard vs Unlimited

  • If you choose Standard: If we can’t fix you at home, we’ll recover you to a garage within 10 miles (or somewhere else within 10 miles). If you break down away from home, you’ll also be entitled to 10-mile tow.
  • If you choose Unlimited: As this includes National Recovery, we’ll tow you an unlimited distance if you break down at home or at the roadside. This could be to any garage or any other destination in the UK.

If you break down away from home, you’ll also be entitled to an unlimited tow. Just let us know where you want to go.

Need to add cover at home to your policy?

If you’re already a member, but cover at home isn’t included in your policy, it’s easy to add at home cover. Just give us a call on 0330 159 8454 and we’ll be happy to help. 

What to do if you break down at home 

If you’ve already broken down, here’s what you should do next depending on whether you're already a member or not.

I’m already a member:  I’m not a member:
  • If you bought your cover directly from the RAC, the quickest and easiest way to get help today is online. Report your breakdown here.
  • If your cover came with your car, bank account or insurance, you’ll need to speak to a member of the team on 0333 2000 999. Lines open 24/7.
  • If at home cover is included in your policy, we’ll send a patrol to you 
  • They’ll try to get you moving again or arrange a tow to a garage
  • If you’ve already broken down at home, do not buy breakdown cover online 
  • Call us on 0330 159 8743 to arrange instant cover

How the RAC’s cover at home compares to AA and Green Flag  

The RAC, AA and Green Flag all offer breakdown cover at home. But there are a few differences that you should be aware of before you buy. 

Here’s a quick comparison to help you out. 

RAC "At Home" AA "At Home" Green Flag "Cover at Home"
  • Included as standard* for new members 
  • 10 mile recovery or National Recovery

    depending on whether you have Standard or Unlimited

  • Not included as standard – only as an add-on
  • 10-mile recovery only (even if you have national recovery)
  • Not included as standard – you need to upgrade to Rescue Plus 
  • 10-mile recovery only (even if you have national recovery)