In the UK
, the Royal Automobile Club
. These days it is predominately known as a vehicle breakdown
organisation, second most used in the country after the AA
. However the RAC is a lot more than just this.
The Royal Automobile Club was founded in 1889, just three years after the invention of the internal combustion engine, as an organisation to promote and encourage the use of automobiles, as well as a campaigning organisation committed to the abolition of the Red Flag Law, which decreed that no motor vehicle was allowed on the public highway unless it was following a man walking carrying a red flag.
The Red Flag Law was abolished in the early years of the 20th Century but the RAC lived on. A gentleman's club, the RAC Club was established in the prestigious St. James's area of London, with membership confined to those few members of society wealthy and brave enough to own a motor vehicle.
As car ownership became more popular and affordable in the decades following the end of World War II, more and more people requested membership of the RAC. Seeing the growth of the Automobile Association (AA). the RAC decided they too would become an organisation dedicated to recovering broken-down vehicles.
As well as this, their core business, the RAC are also the governing body for motor sport in the UK, and therefore are affiliated to the FIA. Today the RAC remains one of the world's leading motor organisations, still providing breakdown recovery service, but also advising world governments at the highest level on issues crucial to motorists.