How much is Roadside Assistance?

Getting a flat tire or experiencing a dead battery can be a major inconvenience, especially if you find yourself without assistance. That’s where roadside assistance comes in. While it’s not provided for free, investing in a roadside assistance plan can be a wise decision considering the unexpected nature of car breakdowns. Not only does it offer cost-effective solutions, but it also ensures safety and convenience for both new and experienced car owners. However, many people are unsure regarding how much is roadside assistance and what it covers.

How much is Roadside Assistance?

The cost of roadside assistance can vary depending on the provider and the services included in the plan. Different companies offer different levels of coverage, ranging from basic to comprehensive options. The price you pay will typically be based on the extent of services you require. To provide you with a comprehensive understanding, we have reviewed a variety of roadside assistance plans and listed costs for over a dozen providers in this article.

Key Takeaways:

Roadside assistance plans can range from $20 to $150 or more per year.
Insurance companies often offer more affordable roadside assistance plans compared to auto clubs like AAA.
Without a roadside assistance plan, a single tow truck or jump-start can cost you $50 to $200 or even more.

What is Roadside Assistance?

Roadside assistance is a valuable service that provides immediate solutions when your car breaks down or when you encounter an accident. It is especially useful for drivers who may not have the necessary skills or tools to handle common car issues such as changing a flat tire or jumpstarting a battery. By availing a roadside assistance plan, you ensure that help is just a phone call away in case of an unfortunate situation.

Similar to insurance, roadside assistance offers coverage that can be purchased on a monthly or annual basis. It provides peace of mind knowing that you have reliable support whenever you encounter car problems. Roadside assistance plans are available through various channels, including your existing auto insurance company or third-party service providers. Some unexpected sources, such as phone companies, now even include roadside assistance in their programs, recognizing the increasing number of car owners who require such services.

What Does Roadside Assistance Cover?

Roadside assistance plans typically offer a range of services to address car-related issues. While the specific coverage and cost may vary depending on the provider, most plans include the following common services:

Changing a Flat Tire: Roadside assistance providers can dispatch a professional to help you replace a flat tire with your spare tire.

Car Lockout: If you accidentally lock yourself out of your vehicle, roadside assistance can send a locksmith to assist you in gaining access to your car.

Jump Starting a Battery: If your car battery dies, roadside assistance can provide a jump start to get your vehicle running again.

Car Battery Replacement: In the event of a completely failed battery, roadside assistance can provide a new battery and install it for you.

Fuel Delivery: If you run out of fuel while on the road, roadside assistance can deliver enough fuel to get you to the nearest gas station.

Towing: If your car cannot be fixed on the spot, roadside assistance can arrange for your vehicle to be towed to a nearby repair shop or a location of your choice.

It’s important to note that the services covered by roadside assistance can be customized based on the specific plan you choose. Different providers may offer additional services or have different limits on the number of service calls or miles covered. To gain a better understanding of the coverage offered by a particular roadside assistance plan, it’s advisable to review the plan details or consult the provider directly.

How Much Does Roadside Assistance Cost?

The cost of standalone roadside assistance plans generally falls on the higher end. Basic coverage typically starts at around $60 per year, while plans with additional perks and extended coverage can cost $150 or more annually.

Auto clubs such as AAA, Good Sam, and Better World Club offer multiple roadside assistance plans with varying costs. These plans cover essential services such as towing, battery jump-starts, spare tire installation, lockout assistance, and fuel delivery. Some plans also include extras like trip interruption reimbursement, extended towing allowances, and rental car reimbursement.

Insurance add-ons for roadside assistance are generally more affordable compared to standalone plans. Many major auto insurance companies, including Allstate, Geico, Liberty Mutual, Nationwide, Progressive, State Farm, and USAA, offer roadside assistance as an add-on option. These plans usually cover the basic services mentioned earlier but may not include additional perks. It’s worth noting that some insurance companies may consider roadside service calls as auto claims, potentially affecting future rates.

How to Get Roadside Assistance?

There are several avenues through which you can obtain roadside assistance coverage. Car insurance companies and auto clubs are the most popular options. Additionally, car manufacturers often include roadside assistance during the factory warranty period, and extended warranties may also offer roadside assistance as part of their coverage. Some credit card companies and telecom providers even offer roadside assistance services.

What Would You Pay Without Roadside Assistance?

If you don’t have a roadside assistance plan, you can still seek help from local tow trucks or roadside assistance providers. However, these services can be costly. Towing expenses can range from $75 to $200 or more depending on the distance. Locksmith services, such as unlocking your car or rekeying a lock, can cost anywhere from $50 to $150. Mechanical labor for services like battery jump-starts, spare tire assistance, and minor repairs may cost you $50 to $100.

Conclusion: Is Roadside Assistance Worth It?

Having a roadside assistance plan is often worth it, even if you only require towing or locksmith services once a year. The peace of mind and convenience it provides can be invaluable. Adding roadside assistance to your car insurance policy is typically the easiest and most cost-effective way to obtain coverage. To make an informed decision, we recommend comparing car insurance rates and considering the best option for your specific needs. Remember, the cost of roadside assistance is relatively small compared to the benefits and assistance it offers during unexpected car breakdowns.

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