Although roadside assistance is usually optional, if you’ve ever been left on the sidelines of the road with no help, you might find it essential. Considering that the average cost of getting your car towed is between $75 to $125, a single tow could offset the cost of roadside assistance for a year or more.
It is important to know which company offers the best roadside service coverage, and what does it cost. This guide will help you understand it all.
What is roadside assistance?
Roadside assistance is a service that assists drivers financially and physically when their vehicle breaks down. This membership or service is usually available for a yearly charge.
There are two main advantages to it:
In the event of a vehicle breaking down, policyholders are entitled to emergency roadside assistance. If the problem cannot be resolved immediately, services might include fuel delivery and changing a flat tire.
Roadside assistance is second to help reduce the costs of an unplanned breakdown. Roadside assistance policyholders are charged a premium to the service provider, similar to car insurance. The driver won’t have to pay for emergency services if their policy limits are met. It is possible for your vehicle to break down, and you will need to have it tow to a shop. You may be eligible to have your vehicle tow free of charge if your roadside insurance plan includes towing.
What is roadside assistance?
The following coverages are possible when you choose roadside assistance:
- Transport assistance for stranded drivers and passengers
- Start a battery jump
- Gas delivery
- Lockout service
- Tire change
- Pulling a stuck car out of the ditch is a winching task
What is the difference between roadside assistance and other coverage?
Roadside assistance differs from any other coverage you may get through a car insurance policy. Basic car insurance typically covers the repair of damage caused by accidents. Emergency response is not covered. Warranty covers the repair or replacement of malfunctioning parts in your vehicle. However, with the exceptions of rare cases, you are not covered for flat tires or empty gas tanks.
You can often buy a roadside assistance package from your insurer or manufacturer to supplement the current service. Bundling roadside assistance with other services from the same provider will provide convenience and cost savings. Just make sure to shop around before you settle on a plan to see if you are getting the best price and service.
What is the importance of roadside assistance?
Imagine the following: You are driving at night in unfamiliar terrain when suddenly you hear the sound of your tire blowing flat. You would be stuck trying to change your tire by yourself in the dark if you didn’t have roadside assistance. If you have roadside assistance, it is only a phone call away. To rescue you and your vehicle, a professional will immediately be dispatched to you.
Dead batteries, flat tires, and lockouts are the most common reasons for calling roadside assistance. Some providers also offer fuel delivery services if you run low on gas. A roadside assistance program covers all or part of the cost of towing your vehicle to the nearest service center if your car isn’t driveable. This cost could easily run into the hundreds if you don’t have roadside assistance.
Roadside assistance should be considered by everyone. But it is even more essential for the following:
- Young drivers and new licensees
- Parents of infants and small children
- Anybody with a physical handicap
- Older vehicles (with 12 or more years of age) drivers
- Remote residents
- Commuters who commute more than 20 miles per day
- People who travel long distances frequently
Where can I find roadside assistance?
Roadside assistance can be purchased as an optional option. Roadside assistance can be obtained in many ways. These are the places that provide coverage:
- Auto insurance companies: Your car insurance company is the easiest way to obtain roadside assistance. You can add it to your monthly premiums. Some insurance companies may offer roadside assistance as part their full-coverage package.
- Members organizations: These are organizations such as AAA or Good Sam that specialize in roadside assistance. AAA alone has 61 million members. Other perks include travel and DMV service.
- Manufacturers of cars: You may be eligible for complimentary roadside assistance if you purchase a new or certified used vehicle. Honda’s roadside assistance lasts three years or 36,000 miles. Kia’s is 60 months to 60,000 miles.
- Credit card companies: Premium credit cards offer 24/7 roadside assistance. Visa offers roadside coverage for a flat fee of $69.95 per service. Mastercard’s RoadAssist provides services at a pre-negotiated price.
How do you choose the right roadside assistance program?
There are many options for roadside assistance, so you may be confused about which one you should choose. While cost is important, it should not be your only consideration. There are many roadside assistance programs that offer different levels of coverage, and some have additional features that are worth looking into.
Although it is more costly, standalone roadside coverage plans from providers like AAA and AARP offer many perks that may be worth the extra cost. AAA members can get travel discounts, registration assistance, vehicle inspections, identity theft monitoring and vehicle inspections. AARP offers discounts on travel, as well as emergency bonds for those who are injured or arrested while driving.
Many car insurance companies offer roadside assistance. It is simple to add emergency roadside assistance to an existing policy, or to purchase it when you are shopping for a new one. The benefits and costs are often low, but they are generally very affordable. This should be taken into account when you are shopping for car insurance. Make sure you ask about limits on roadside assistance.
The ones included in your credit card will usually have the cheapest roadside assistance programs. You should check to see if any cards you have already qualify you for free roadside assistance in the event you require it. This is not the only way to get emergency roadside assistance. These plans have limits that are well-known. You could still be responsible for paying the majority of your bill.
Accidents and exceptions
It is a great idea to have roadside assistance coverage in case of non life-threatening emergency that leaves you stranded at the side of the road. This coverage is not meant to replace car insurance. It does not cover more serious emergency situations. Call 911 immediately if you are involved in an accident.
It is important to understand the limits of your roadside assistance benefits. Your emergency roadside benefits may cover towing costs if your car is damaged or needs to be tow. However, you will be responsible for any additional expenses. You will be responsible for any major repairs required to get your vehicle running again. It’s a smart idea to save money each month for an emergency car repair fund, regardless of whether you have roadside assistance.
Questions frequently asked
Which is the best roadside assistance service?
There are many roadside assistance companies on the market. You will need to consider your needs, and determine which company and plan is best suited for you.
Where can I find roadside assistance?
You can purchase roadside assistance through AAA or AARP. However, it is also possible to buy it through certain auto insurance companies as an addition to a standard policy.
What are the best times to use roadside assistance
Most roadside assistance plans provide coverage 24 hours a day, 365 days a calendar. Your roadside assistance can be used regardless of your driving habits. You may need to wait longer if there are fewer towing and repair services in your area.
What about other vehicles?
Roadside assistance plans typically cover only the person and not the vehicle. You should be able use your roadside assistance plan regardless of whether you’re in your car. It is worth checking with your provider to ensure you have access when you need it.