Three Ways To Get Roadside Assistance
Many drivers will experience a need for roadside assistance in their driving careers. There are three main ways to get roadside assistance. Here, we compare them for their strengths and weaknesses.
One-Time or On-Demand Roadside Assistance
Certain companies allow you to pay a flat fee for one-time roadside assistance. The service would include things like towing, jumping a battery, and fuel delivery. If you aren't signed up for a subscription roadside assistance program, it's a good idea to at least have the number of a local on-demand roadside assistance program. Their rates are generally lower than a towing company, and their services are more comprehensive.
Where this service falls short in relation to other options is in its one-time nature. The rates for one-time service are near the price of a yearly subscription service that would allow you a set number of service calls; in some programs, you can have unlimited service calls. If your car is in excellent shape and you're a casual driver, these programs can work for you. If your car has some impending maintenance needs or you tend to drive long intervals, definitely consider a subscription service of some sort.
Roadside Assistance Programs
The first type of assistance program that's subscription based is one that goes through an auto club. These are independent companies that operate outside of your insurance. It's a great thing to be able to call for help and not have that information reported to your auto insurance company, who may only raise your rates as a result of your service calls. These programs generally have different levels of packages that allow you to choose which types of service you want access to.
Auto Insurance Roadside Assistance
You might also be able to get roadside service added to your auto insurance premium. These can be some of the cheapest roadside assistance plans, often operating with a 100 mile towing radius. The services available to you might not be as comprehensive as those offered by a private auto club, but the starting rates for roadside assistance with your insurance company can be very attractive. The only problem is that this service shouldn't be used if you expect your vehicle to break down often; each call for help goes on your CLUE report so that any subsequent rate quotes will be influenced by roadside assistance. However, all of these programs offer you the peace of mind in knowing you won't be stranded on the road, so they're all winners in the end.