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Should you subscribe to a roadside assistance service?

Young man looks at his phone outside next to his car

May 1, 2019. Roadside assistance is a useful service to have access to when your car breaks down. They will send help as soon as possible to get you back on the road or tow your car to a shop for repairs.

Common services provided by roadside assistance

There are many reasons for vehicle breakdowns and roadside assistance calls. Some of the most common ones include:

  • Towing

If your car needs more than a simple repair it will be towed to a body shop. Towing can be very expensive if you do not have roadside assistance, especially if your car breaks down far from home or from a repair shop or you are traveling in a rural area. Having the right roadside assistance plan can save you a lot of money in an emergency.

  • Flat tire repair

Roadside assistance will change a tire for you if you get a flat. It is easier and safer to call for help than to try to do it yourself on a busy road.

  • Getting locked out

Locking your keys in your car is an easy and extremely frustrating mistake to make. Luckily, help can be only a phone call away.

  • Jump starting a dead battery

Your car can fail to start for several reasons and a dead battery is a very common one with an easy fix. Roadside assistance can jump start your vehicle so you can drive home or to a repair shop.

  • Fuel delivery

Running out of gas seems like something that can easily be avoided with planning but is a common roadside assistance call none the less.

  • Winching

Cars getting stuck, especially in the snow, is a very common problem and having roadside assistance might be worth it for this alone.

  • Minor repairs

Sometimes all your car needs is a minor repair to get back on the road. Even if you are good at fixing your car, it is safer to leave it to the professionals when you are stuck on the side of the highway.

Is roadside assistance worth it?

Roadside assistance is not expensive but there are some factors you can consider to see if it is worth the cost for you.

  • Your daily commute and travel habits

If you normally only travel short distances in a familiar area, such as to and from work, you might be ok getting assistance from a local car repair shop. But if you like to go on road trips often you should probably invest in roadside assistance. It could be worth it for towing alone, which can add up very quickly if you are out of town.

  • Age of your vehicle

New cars are less likely to break down and often come with roadside assistance from the vehicle’s manufacturer. Even if your car does not, you might be better off paying for one-off problems, such as locking your keys in the car, as they come up.

  • Do you prefer convenience over saving a little bit of money per year?

Calling your roadside assistance service provider is much easier than trying to find someone to fix the problem yourself. It can take several phone calls to different businesses and finding help after hours, on holidays, and in adverse weather conditions can be a challenge. Roadside assistance services have their own networks and will likely be able to get you help more quickly than you would be able to yourself. You might feel safer knowing you can call one number at any time to address any type of vehicle breakdown.

Where can you get roadside assistance?

You can subscribe to roadside assistance in a number of ways:

  • Stand-alone services

One of the most common ways of subscribing to a roadside assistance service is through a company dedicated to providing that type of service.

  • Through your car insurance

Roadside assistance may be an add-on you can purchase for your car insurance. Make sure to find out if making a call will impact your insurance rate.

  • Through your car manufacturer

Roadside assistance provided by your vehicle manufacturer is commonly available for several years through the warranty on a new car.

  • Through retail stores

Several retail stores offer roadside assistance plans.