RAC temporary car insurance review

We've analysed the RAC's temporary car insurance. Will it give you the promised flexible and cost-effective protection? Here's what you need to know.

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RAC car insurance

The temporary car insurance through the RAC gives the highest level of cover (comprehensive) as standard, and you can get it for 1 day – or even 1 hour – up to 30 days. Plus, the RAC says that an extra discount could apply for temporarily insuring a car that is already annually insured, and any claims made under a temporary policy won’t affect the annual no-claims discount.

Who is the RAC?

RAC stands for the Royal Automobile Club. The UK-based company was set up in 1897 to provide a breakdown recovery service. Over the years, it has branched out to provide other services, such as car insurance, home insurance and travel insurance.

The RAC says it aims to provide customers with affordable, quality car insurance and offers both personal and business short-term car, van and motorhome cover. RAC temporary insurance is arranged and administered by DayInsure.com Ltd.

RAC will accept almost anyone with a valid and full UK driver’s licence and can also cover customers who hold a full EU, EEA, Australian, New Zealand and South African driving licence and have done so for at least six months (or three months if aged over 25).

RAC policy features

  • Flexible insurance. You can choose cover from just 1 hour up to 30 days.
  • Comprehensive cover. The highest level of cover comes as standard. If you are responsible for causing an accident, you’ll be protected for damage to other people’s vehicles or property and for your own vehicle against accidental damage and vandalism. You’ll also have protection against any fire damage or theft of your car.
  • Instant cover. Get instant cover from the moment you purchase with the process taking around 15 minutes.

What does the RAC’s temp cover include?

Here are some of the benefits of the RAC’s temporary car insurance:

  • Legal liability
  • Loss or damage by fire, theft or vandalism
  • Accidental damage
  • New car replacement
  • Accident recovery and approved repair service
  • RAC short-term UK breakdown cover (optional)
  • Full EU cover (optional)
  • RAC short-term European breakdown cover (optional)

Can anyone take out RAC temporary car insurance?

Unfortunately not. To get short-term car cover, both you and the car must meet the RAC’s eligibility criteria.

You must:

  • Be aged 18-75
  • Hold a UK, EU, EEA, South African, Swiss, Australian or New Zealand driver’s licence and have had it for at least three months (or six months if you’re aged under 25)
  • Have had no more than two fault claims in the previous three years
  • Have had no more than 9 penalty points and no disqualifications in the previous 18 months
  • Have had no motoring offence relating to specified offences (in the previous three years or six months depending on the offence)
  • Have not been convicted of any criminal offence in the previous five years

The car must:

  • Be registered in Great Britain, Northern Ireland or the Isle of Man
  • Have a market value of less than £75,000
  • Have no more than eight seats including the driver’s seat
  • Not have had any cosmetic or performance-related modifications (some other modification exceptions apply)
  • Not have been imported
  • Not be used to carry goods or passengers for hire or reward
  • Not be used to carry hazardous goods
  • Not be driven at any hazardous location

What is my excess?

Your car insurance excess is the amount of money you will need to pay towards a claim. Your insurer won’t pay out for a claim that costs less than this amount. A compulsory excess amount might vary depending on the age of your car and your driving experience.

A voluntary excess is on top and is normally set by you when taking out a policy. You’ll have the option of adding a voluntary excess or increasing it – which should lower your premium.

You’ll find details about any compulsory or voluntary excesses in your policy document.

What is the claims process for the RAC?

You should call the DayInsure claims line on 08000 156 166 to make a claim. This 24-hour claims line is open 7 days a week.

You will need to provide the following information:

  • Your own insurance policy details
  • Details about the incident
  • Names and contact details of everyone involved in the incident such as third parties, passengers and witnesses
  • Details about the damage or injuries sustained

It’s vital that you let your insurer know about an incident straight away, even if it’s not your fault. Failure to do this could result in a rejected claim later on.

Pros and cons for RAC temporary car insurance


  • Comprehensive cover as standard
  • The cover can begin instantly
  • Extra discount for temporarily insuring a car that’s already annually insured


  • Limited third party EU cover as standard
  • Cover for a maximum of 30 days only
  • RAC temporary car insurance cannot be used by learner drivers

Our verdict

If you’re looking for temporary car insurance, RAC offers comprehensive cover as standard but if you need protection for more than 30 days, you’ll have to look elsewhere.

Remember to shop around for short term insurance and compare other temporary car insurance policies that match your needs.

Frequently asked questions

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*Based on data provided by Consumer Intelligence Ltd, www.consumerintelligence.com (Mar ’24). 51% of car insurance customers could save £539.54

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