roadside assistance

Roadside Assistance 101

How many times have you gotten stuck on the road? Whether a flat tire, something flew into the windshield ( just happened to me last year!), or your car dies, these emergencies always come at the worst time. You will need help eventually. Roadside assistance is the best answer. Surprisingly enough there are more programs for roadside assistance than just AAA. Almost all insurance companies have their own programs, plus most credit card companies and phone companies. With so many options, how does one choose? I have AAA and am not satisfied. I have waited hours for them to come help on busy highways. Plus they always managed to add extra hidden fees making the trip expensive.  With that being said, maybe you have had a great experience with AAA so don’t let my opinion sway yours!

Top Roadside Assistance Programs

When you search for “roadside assistance” in Google, your head probably blows up. There is so much information on this topic, it is nearly impossible to read through it all. Which is why I narrowed your search down in this article. I used a couple of different websites for this research. The best one I found is from toptenreviews.com. I also used MoneySavingPro and Consumer Reports. I will compare membership fees, adding a family member fees, service call limit, 24/7 coverage, towing, lockouts, and much more. Plus, did you know you can contact your credit card company and phone service provider (like ATT and Verizon) for roadside assistance? Most are backed by big brands like Allstate, and will charge you based off of what was needed.

If you have roadside assistance and are happy with your current program, that’s great! You might learn some more information here, but I would stick with your company if they make you happy. If you are unhappy with your current program, or are interested in signing up for a new one, then keep reading.

Pricing, Family Members, Service Call Limit

Allstate:

  • standard membership- $52.00
  • premium membership- $186.00
  • adding family members- no extra cost
  • service call limit- 4

Good Sam:

  • standard membership- $79.95
  • premium membership- $159.95
  • adding family members- no extra cost
  • service call limit- 5

BP Motor Club:

  • standard membership- $78.00
  • premium membership- $119.88
  • adding family members- no extra cost
  • service call limit- 4

BetterWorld Club:

  • standard membership- $57.95
  • premium membership- $89.95
  • adding family members- extra cost
  • service call limit- 4

AARP:

  • standard membership- $49.00
  • premium membership- $74.00
  • adding family members- extra cost
  • service call limit- 4

Auto Vantage:

  • standard membership- $69.99
  • premium membership- NA
  • adding family members- no extra cost
  • service call limit- 5

GM Motor Club:

  • standard membership- $94.00
  • premium membership- NA
  • adding family members- extra cost
  • service call limit- unlimited

AAA:

  • standard membership- $57.00
  • premium membership- $119.00
  • adding family members- extra cost
  • service call limit- 4

The list above shows the top eight roadside assistance programs I found using Google. There are a couple takeaway points. First, AARP has the cheapest standard and premium membership fee. However, adding a family member is extra. Allstate has the second lowest standard membership fee, but the highest premium membership fee. They do not charge extra to add a member. The last thing to consider is GM Motor Club. They have one membership fee of $94.00 and unlimited service calls. But adding a member is extra. Next, we will look at the bonuses included in your membership.

All The Extras Included

Below I have stated each company and what they offer. I am not going into full detail because they all include similar things. For example. Each company has 24/7 coverage. This means they are available any day and time of the week. They all will charge your dead battery for free. They all will bring you fuel if you are out of gas, and they all will put your spare tire on if you have a flat. Here are some more bonuses I found that are either included in your membership or charged extra.

Allstate: There is a $100 towing fee. If you are locked out of your car, they will get you back in for free. They offer retail discounts at numerous stores. They guarantee an on-time arrival, and they have a mobile app.

Good Sam: Towing is unlimited. Meaning they will tow you where you need to be towed at no extra cost. They include lockout services and retail discounts. They also have a mobile app but do not guarantee on-time arrival.

BP Motor Club: They will tow you for free but within 5 miles. They include lockout services and retail discounts. They do not have a mobile app nor guarantee on-time arrival.

BetterWorld Club: They will tow you for free but within 5 miles. They include lockout services and retail discounts. They do not have a mobile app nor guarantee on-time arrival.

AARP: They will tow you for free but within 5 miles ( I think we might have a pattern here). They will charge you a lockout fee. They have retail discounts and a mobile app. Do not guarantee on-time arrival.

Auto Vantage: They will tow you for free, within 150 miles. They include lockout services. They do not provide retail discounts nor have a mobile app. They do not guarantee on-time arrival.

GM Motor Club: They have unlimited towing. They include lockout services and retail discounts. They do not have a mobile app nor guarantee on-time arrival.

AAA: They will tow you for free but within 5 miles. They include lockout services, retail discounts, and they have a mobile app. They do not guarantee on-time arrival (which I definitely witnessed!)

Phew, what a list! I think the biggest takeaway here is that Allstate is the only company that will guarantee an on-time arrival. GM Motor Club and Good Sam are the only programs offering unlimited towing.

Similar to car insurance, roadside assistance should be available to you when you need it. I have heard so many stories from people who got stranded on the road and waited three plus hours until they received help. If you have ever been in that situation, it is probably best to switch programs. Road emergencies can sometimes be the difference between life and death. What would happen if you had a flat tire, pulled over in a decent area but not the best, and waited hours for roadside help? You could get crushed by another driver not paying attention! Or something could fly into you from the side of the road. If you ever have to pull over, make sure to keep your seat belt on and doors locked, just in case. I am not trying to scare you, but as you can see, getting help ASAP when you need it is important.

You might have other considerations, though. I’m not promoting Allstate or any of these companies, I am just stating facts from online. Like I’ve said before, I have AAA but would like to switch, which lead me to write this article. There are so many companies to choose from. Maybe you don’t like any of the programs I have listed. Which is fine! I would love to hear opinions and options for different programs. Who do you use for roadside assistance? Are you happy with them, or has this chart helped you to find a new program? Let me know. I love feedback:)

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