You’re stuck on the side of the road. What now?
With the costs of car insurance, gasoline, and vehicle maintenance, the last thing you want to do is add another recurring expense for your car. But if you’re stranded on the side of the road and need a tow, tire change, or battery jump start, you’ll be glad you invested in roadside assistance. And the good news is that with most companies, you can get away with paying less than $10 a month for this service. Learn more with our roadside assistance guide.
Roadside assistance is a service that will help you if you or your car needs emergency assistance due to a vehicle breakdown. Different plans cover different issues, but here’s what you can expect in general.
Roadside assistance will cover these costs:
You need roadside assistance because, without it, you’ll have to pay out of pocket for expensive services such as towing and lockouts. These services could cost you hundreds of dollars, versus the roughly $100 you’d spend on a roadside assistance program yearly, if not less.
Take the cost of towing, for example, which varies based on distance.
It’s better to pay $100 a year for roadside assistance than to risk having to pay $600 if you need a tow a long way from home (not to mention the cost to stay in hotels, for which some roadside assistance programs reimburse you).
J.D. Power also looked at the costs of car locksmiths, which don’t come cheap either.
Those expenses could be covered if you had roadside assistance.
Roadside assistance is also a necessity for teen drivers or anyone who lacks driving experience. It will give you peace of mind to know that when your loved ones are on the road, they can easily get the help they may need with just one phone call and little expense.
On average, roadside assistance costs between $5 and $9 a month. More expensive plans from companies like GEICO cost $14 a month, but keep in mind that these plans tend to cover more vehicles and people.
|Company||Minimum cost per month||Maximum cost per month|
|Better World Club||$5||$8|
|Motorcycle Towing Services||$3||$15|
Senior drivers can take advantage of a 20 percent discount on Allstate Roadside.2
While you’re exploring roadside assistance options, pricing isn’t the only factor you should consider. Also take into account the following aspects of the program:
As of February 2023, roadside assistance plans from Good Sam are 50 percent off both for RVs and regular passenger vehicles.3
While roadside assistance plans are certainly helpful when you have a flat tire, they shouldn’t be your go-to for all situations. For example, if you caused an accident with extensive injuries or property damage, you should call 911 first, not your roadside assistance provider.
Roadside assistance isn’t available for all situations, so you may end up paying out of pocket for emergency services in times like these:
Roadside assistance and car insurance are not the same. However, many auto insurance companies offer roadside assistance as an add-on to their insurance policies. Sometimes, these programs are included for free; other times, they cost an additional small monthly fee.
Check your car insurance policy or ask your auto insurance agent about your coverage. The following companies provide roadside assistance as add-ons to their car insurance policies:
Typically, it’s cheaper to buy roadside assistance with your car insurance provider than to buy a separate policy, so ask your agent about your options before you search the marketplace.
Another thing to note is that some credit card companies (like Visa, Mastercard, and Chase) provide roadside assistance coverage, including free towing; help with dead batteries, flat tires, and vehicle brakes; and trip interruption reimbursement. Before you sign up for another program, make sure you don’t already have this coverage through your credit card.
Want more roadside assistance options? Check out our list of the best roadside assistance programs you’ve never heard of. Or, keep reading our frequently asked questions below to learn even more about roadside assistance.
These are the main differences between the AAA Basic and Plus plans:
Some competitors of AAA include these companies:
The AAA roadside assistance number is 1-800-222-4357.
How Much Does It Cost To Tow A Car? J.D. Power. (2021, Mar 8).
ALLSTATE ROADSIDE. AARP. (2023).
Roadside Assistance. Good Sam. (2023).