One of the UK's largest motoring organisations, the RAC is best known for its breakdown and insurance services. Consumers can access traffic and travel planning information free via its online Route Planner service. Options include detailed route plans, traffic news and a mileage calculator. View these online and then print, email or share the information on social networks. RAC mobile apps are also available.
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The RAC Route Planner gives you detailed directions for journeys through the UK and Europe. You can enter your starting location and destination, and then receive up to three suggested routes. These are listed in steps and are also shown on maps. The plan includes timings and miles between each step and the total time and miles the journey will take. You can set criteria to show or hide alternative routes, view return journeys and avoid or use motorways and toll roads.
The basic Route Planner doesn't take into account any current traffic problems. If you select the Traffic News option on the site, you can plan a route and see if there are any hold-ups along the way. This works the same way as the Route Planner and delivers the same results. However, each step also includes information on recent, current or anticipated traffic problems. You can tailor the information based on delays, incidents, closures and roadworks. This can be extended to add up-to-date news on rail, air, underground and ferry services.
Mileage and fuel costs
You can also set the RAC planner to calculate fuel and mileage costs. If you enter your consumption, base fuel cost and mileage rate, your results will show how much you will spend on fuel and your mileage allowance per trip. The system also uses this data to estimate your carbon dioxide emissions.
You can view routes on maps on the screen next to the detailed lists. There are two options to choose from: map and satellite. The map option also shows terrain definitions and the satellite mode can display labels for towns and road numbers. Both can be set up to show icons for traffic delays, closures, roadworks, incidents and hotels.
The RAC also offers two mobile apps for route planning. RAC Traffic is free and has a range of services including up-to-date traffic information and a GPS lock. This works on iPhone, Android, Windows Phone and Symbian 3 operating systems. RAC Traffic Plus is a paid app and adds route planning, optimisation and itinerary services to the core traffic data. This is available for iPhone and Android users.
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