The Royal Automobile Club was founded in 1897 by Frederick Richard Simms with the primary purpose of promoting the motor car and its place in society. The Club introduced the 1000 Mile Trial in 1900 and, following the success of this, the Tourist Trophy was first held by the Club in 1905, which remains the oldest continuous competitive motor sports event. In 1907, King Edward VII awarded the Club our royal title, which we hold to this day, sealing the Club’s status as Britain’s longest-standing and most influential motoring organisation.
The Club promoted the first pre-war British Grand Prix at Brooklands in 1926. After the war, it was staged at Silverstone in 1948. The Club continued to campaign for the rights of the motorist, including introducing the first driving licences.
In 1999 the Club demerged the motoring services and established an independent body, the Motor Sports Association (MSA), to govern motor sport in the UK.
Motoring remains at the heart of the Royal Automobile Club. We continue to develop and support motor sports through our promotion of motoring events and the Club’s representation on the Motor Sports Association (MSA), the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) and the RAC Foundation.
Today, the Royal Automobile Club is one of the foremost private members’ clubs in the world with a diverse membership, an extensive events programme, and two beautiful and unique clubhouses, alongside first-class accommodation, dining and sports facilities.