A lot of people buy roadside assistance programs, just in case they ever have a flat or run out of gas. Chances are you won't even use it, but it does offer great peace of mind when you are traveling, to know you can get help if you need it. Some car dealers offer a limited roadside assistance program with the car they sell, but it is limited to that car and is only good for a set amount of time. There are several standalone companies that offer this service, and these are often the best ones to get because of the level of service you get for the money. The best three out there are AAA, Good Sam, and Allstate Motor Club.
Are there limits to how many times service can be used?
Most companies do have a limit, and you might have to pay for more usage. Allstate Motor Club is the least expensive, but you only get three uses per year. Good Sam is the most expensive, but there is no limit to how many tows you can have. AAA offers four for the individual plan and up to six for families on the upper tier plan.
What about getting a plan through your cell phone?
The positive is, the plan follows the phone, so is good whether you are a passenger or the driver. They usually have a limit of three or four calls a year, and they only pay a set amount for each call.
Is the person or the car covered with these plans?
The best plans cover the person, meaning assistance is available regardless of the vehicle you are in, and even if you are a passenger. They also cover all the vehicles your family owns. Some have different rates for individuals and families.
What are the pros and cons of a plan through your car dealership?
These come with the new car you buy but are for a limited time. You may extend the coverage if you buy an extended warranty. The drawback is that it usually is only good at the dealership, so you would not be covered if you were out of town.
What makes AAA a good choice?
AAA is by far the largest roadside assistance company and is recognized everywhere. It offers the longest towing mileage of any company and has a wide array of benefits. It also has a trip interruption package that will pay for hotels and rental cars if you have an accident away from home. You do have to join AAA to buy the roadside assistance.
What makes Allstate a good choice?
Allstate Motor Club offers one of the cheapest programs on the market. You do not have to have Allstate insurance, but you can get a discount by bundling it with your insurance. You may also add teen drivers to your assistance package at a very low cost. It also gives you $100 per call to take care of the problem and is the only one to do this instead of paying the provider. You do have to do the paperwork and wait for the reimbursement.
What makes Good Sam an option?
Good Sam offers unlimited service calls and is one of the few that do this. It is one of the most expensive plans, it is hard to beat the no limit on service calls. It is great if you travel a lot in rural areas since there is no towing limit. It also covers hotels and lodging if you are more than 100 miles from home. The coverage tows you to the nearest facility, and if you want to go further you have to pay the difference.
Why not just get a package with your car insurance?
For short-term coverage, this might be a good idea. They pay only a part of the cost, the first $50 for example, and you have to pay the rest. Insurance companies may treat this as an insurance claim and it could cause your rates to go up.