How to Choose the Best Roadside Assistance and Towing Service When You Break Down
You can never know when you’re going to need roadside assistance for flat tires, dead batteries or other issues, but if you’re a member of a roadside assistance and towing service program, you’ll be covered should it happen. The hard part is deciding which program best fits your needs. These programs are often offered with new or certified car purchase by stand-alone companies, or as an add-on via your insurance, credit card or phone company.
If you’re buying a new or certified car that is still under warranty, you could have free coverage for a limited time or mileage. Each sets its own limits on the length of time the free service will last. Covered services vary via manufacturer or dealer and may need the vehicle to be towed to the closest dealership, which can result in high repair prices.
Many people buy extended warranties on older used cars via the dealership or through a third-party service. Roadside assistance and towing are included in the warranty, but can be limited to certain dealerships. Though you should never buy a warranty for the sole purpose of getting roadside assistance, if you are planning to buy a warranty, you may have coverage already.
Both of these options only apply to the specific vehicle in question, but you might need another type of coverage for other vehicles. Also, you are not covered if you’re in someone else’s car or a rental.
When deciding which plan is right for you, consider who needs to be covered and what they drive. Compare different companies’ response times, whether memberships cover everything or you’ll need to seek reimbursement, whether calls will cover accidents, or just mechanical failure.
These programs aren’t “one fits all size,” but people do benefit by having a plan. Even if you have new cars that are still under warranty, you may need to sign up for coverage for your children’s safety if they are with friends. Once you’ve decided on a plan, make sure each person has the number in their phone or in their wallet.