In 2015, 32 million people experienced common car ailments dead battery, flat tire, and the like.
These inconveniences eventually happen to anyone that drives. So who do you call when it happens?
If you said Ghostbusters, that’s not quite right! Roadside assistance would be the answer.
But what is roadside assistance, and why is it essential for all drivers? In this article, we will explore the ins and outs of roadside assistance and show its necessity.
Roadside assistance is a service that comes to your aid when you experience a car malfunction and leaves you stranded. For example, if you’re driving and your car battery suddenly dies, this is where you would call roadside assistance.
Simply speaking, roadside assistance comes to your rescue if you end up being stranded due to a problem with your vehicle.
When you find yourself stranded, call the number of your roadside assistance company and tell them your issue. They will send a mechanic out to assist you and inspect your vehicle.
All providers vary in the services they provide, but generally speaking, there are a few services that are common.
Towing: If your vehicle left you stranded, you’d need to get it to the mechanic. Towing is an option that’s usually included in most policies. Even though towing companies will tow your car to the closest mechanic, keep in mind, there may be limitations on miles, and they could charge extra for driving to a preferred location.
Flat Tire: In the US, there are 220 million flat tires per year. A flat tire poses a threat to other drivers on the road, so you’ll want this fixed as soon as possible. Roadside assistance will send a mechanic to change your flat to a spare.
Battery-Jump Start: Battery problem? Most roadside assistance plans help with dead batteries by jump-starting your battery.
Locksmith or Lockout: The unthinkable locking your keys in your car, or the door will not open. While both services deal with locked doors, there’s a slight difference.
Lockout services refer to when the drive cannot gain entrance to their vehicle and calls roadside assistance. The mechanic usually has tools to help the drive reenter their car.
Locksmith services are when the auto professional cannot open the vehicle and needs to call a locksmith. Each plan differs from locksmith coverage.
Gas: It happens: you think there’s more gas in your car than in reality, and you find yourself stranded with the gas gage arrow pointing to E.
Roadside assistance will come with enough gas to get you to a gas station. Some plans charge extra for the gas itself.
Many insurance companies will offer roadside protection in addition to your insurance policy. Other companies such as AAA are companies that strictly offer the service, and are usually more expensive.
Some cell phone companies like AT&T and Verizon provide roadside assistance also, so check with your provider. A few car companies (not all) offer roadside assistance when you purchase the vehicle, so you could have it and not know. Credit card companies have jumped on the opportunity to serve motorist with roadside assistance as well, some for free like American Express.
Each company has different plans, so be sure to examine the plan before purchasing, and ask questions. Not all providers grant the same services, and there could be restrictions. Typically the plans are all processed as a flat rate no matter your driving history.
Before deciding on a provider, shop around until you find the best rate for the services you think are worth it. Start with your insurance company first and branch out from there.
The answer to this question is, it varies.
Some instances where roadside assistance would be necessary is if you drive a significant amount of time or your car is more than a few years old.
Older cars tend to break down more often, so roadside assistance could be a worthy investment.
If you drive a great deal, for work or other reasons, having roadside assistance may help, especially if you’re in an unfamiliar place.
While roadside assistance is a personal decision, you cannot overlook the convenience. The frustration that comes with unexpected car problems could be diffused slightly by knowing roadside assistance is a phone call away. Also, most plans are not expensive, so for a few extra dollars per month, it’s a potential stress reliever.
Only use roadside in an emergency. If you purchase roadside assistance from your insurance provider and call multiple times a year, this shows you as a risky customer. Be cautious and wise about when and how to use roadside assistance.
However, if you have roadside through your insurance, and use it considerably, this does not indicate that your rates will increase.
It’s also important to note that roadside assistance pertains to the owner of the vehicle only. In other words, if you’re driving with your friend, and they get a flat tire, roadside assistance would not cover them simply because you’re present.
When one of these 20 common car problems arise, roadside assistance could be there to give you the support you need. Hopefully, this has answered the question, “What is roadside assistance?” and provided some insight. Are going to consider roadside assistance today?
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