Comparing Roadside Assistance Plans

Man stranded on side of roadThere is no shortage of options when it comes to finding and selecting the best roadside assistance plans for all the drivers in your family. But before you make that determination, you need to assess a number of factors, from where you’ll get your plan to the features you want, as well as what you desire to pay for this emergency coverage.

Roadside assistance plans are there to help in the rare case of an emergency, ranging from flat tires and vehicle breakdowns to accidents, so it’s critical that you take into account all your needs when choosing a plan that, with proper vehicle maintenance and a little luck, you’ll never have to use.

Where to Find Roadside Assistance Plans

It used to be that roadside assistance plans were only available from motor clubs, such as AAA. The market has changed dramatically. Today drivers can find plans offered by affinity groups such as AARP, car insurance companies including Allstate, wireless providers like Verizon Wireless, and even car manufacturers, which often partner with another provider to make the service available. Plus, concierge automotive services such as OnStar provide high-tech, real-time roadside assistance.

It’s easy to see why it can be overwhelming to select a provider. In fact, many times drivers may already have multiple plans through different providers but may lack detailed knowledge about which plans offer which features, and how to access them during an emergency. That’s why it’s critical to choose a provider that offers clearly stated benefits and easy instructions for requesting emergency roadside services in the case of an accident or breakdown.

Roadside Assistance Plan Benefits

Some drivers are looking for very specific features, such as 24-hour towing or large coverage areas when vetting roadside assistance plans. Others simply want a comprehensive package of service that they think they may one day need.

Either way, it’s important to learn about all the options available. Towing, tire service, gas delivery, and other services may be limited by mileage. Overall coverage areas may be limited to the United States or in some case, exclude some states. Be sure to get a detailed breakdown of what’s available at different membership price points. Also, consider any added benefits you may take advantage of, such as discounts on hotels, retail, and restaurants or travel planning assistance.

Breaking Down Costs

When it comes to pricing out roadside assistance plans, be sure to ask a lot of questions and read the fine print. What are the standard vs. premium services, the latter of which comes with an extra cost? What is the cost to add additional family members? Will you get a discount by bundling roadside assistance with your car’s extended warranty, auto insurance or wireless plan?

These are just a few of the questions to consider asking when pricing out roadside emergency service plans.

Selecting the Right Roadside Assistance Plan for You

Don’t forget to do your own homework. Research potential providers online and ask around. Gauging a company’s customer service, response time and other qualities is tough to do by simply poring over their marketing materials.

It’s OK to be tough on roadside assistance plan companies in order to make sure you land a provider who offers you peace of mind today – and down the road when you really need it.

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