The idea of roadside assistance is that drivers will have help available to them if their vehicle is to break down.
Most insurance policies have this option available to their customers.
Typically, the closest roadside assistance service provider in the insurance company’s network will be sent to you.
These are usually third party providers.
Roadside assistance includes towing, emergency battery servicing, replacing flat tires, a fuel delivery, service for when you are locked out of your vehicle, and extrication (if you are in a ditch).
What is included in the service?
Roadside Assistance is a service that comes to you if you are having trouble with your vehicle on the road.
It tries to help you get your vehicle moving again (safely).
Because there are a million things that could go wrong with your car, many believe this is definitely a helpful service to have added to your policy.
If the service provider is not able to get your car safely up and running again then they can provide towing.
A towing service is there if a service provider can’t get your vehicle up and running again.
If this is the case, they will take your vehicle to a shop or mechanic within a specified number of miles away.
If the shop is further away than the specified miles in your policy, you will be charged extra.
Emergency battery service
Another service offered is a battery jump-start service. A provider will come out and try to start your vehicle by jump-starting the battery.
However, if you have an electric car, you will have to consult your manual because there are only a certain number of professionals qualified to work on an electric car.
In most cases, electric cars do not need a jump start.
Flat tire replacements
A flat tire can be stressful, but with roadside assistance, a service professional will come out and change the flat for you
They’ll replace it with the spare that you have or a tire from one of the local tire service centers.
Note that roadside assistance usually doesn’t offer a flat-tire service for two or three-wheeled vehicles (like a motorcycle).
Car lockout services
Lockout services and locksmith services are two different services, but both deal with you being locked out of your car.
A service member will come to you if you have locked yourself out and try to use a special tool to unlock your car.
If they can’t get it then they will have to call a locksmith service. Some roadside assistance services will cover all or part of a locksmith service, but some won’t cover any of it.
Fuel delivery on call
If you run out of gas, then a fuel delivery service can be provided to you.
Generally, a service member will meet you where you are and provide you with enough gas to get to the closest gas station.
Usually, the cost of this is based on the price of gas locally if they end up charging you for the gas.
If your vehicle is stuck then you can take advantage of an extrication or winching service.
Just keep in mind that if it takes more than one vehicle to get you out then you might be charged an extra fee.
Is roadside assistance coverage for me?
You will need to look at your vehicle’s age, the distance you travel, convenience, costs, and whether or not you can get free roadside assistance when you are deciding whether roadside assistance is right for you.
Consider the age of your car
If you have a vehicle that is newer, you probably don’t want to worry about getting the roadside assistance.
Many manufacturers have complimentary emergency roadside assistance with new vehicles and things like being locked out of your car that you can pay for at the time.
If you have an older vehicle, then it would make more sense to get roadside assistance added to your policy.
How far do you drive to work, events, or school?
Another thing you will want to consider when deciding if roadside assistance is right for you is what your daily commute is like.
If you don’t really go far from town then you should always be within close range of a mechanic that you can call for assistance when needed.
If you go out of town a lot then you might want to consider having a network within your reach that you can utilize if the need comes up.
Is it convenient for you?
If you are a person who is big on convenience then you will probably want to look into some type of roadside assistance.
Is road assistance worth the cost?
The last thing you might want to consider is the cost of roadside assistance.
If you are charged $75 every time someone has to come out to you to help you with something related to your vehicle (towing, flat tire, etc.) then it will add up quickly.
Instead, you could pay a small premium to your insurance company and you would cover the cost of those incidents without having to pay an arm and a leg