Nobody knows what tomorrow may bring. Since the future is unknown and we are completely unaware of the events that may occur in the coming time, it is important that we keep ourselves prepared for possible emergencies. Things like a car accident or car failure can happen at any time. Since you don’t know when that time will be, it is imperative that you are always ready to fix any car-related problem, especially if you’re on the road and away from your local mechanic.
What is Roadside Assistance?
Roadside assistance is the help you get on spot when your car malfunctions for any reason. Companies offering roadside assistance will provide all kinds of services, from towing your car to a mechanic, to on-spot repair, when possible. If you’re constantly on the road because you like to travel or even for personal or business purposes, you should opt for roadside assistance services as they can provide you with peace of mind whenever you travel in your car. But how can you get these services? To get roadside assistance services, you will need to choose the company that you think is suitable for you and sign up yourself.
Usually, signing up here means purchasing a plan. You’ll need to buy one of the different plans available on the market, that contains a variety of services to assist you in getting through various impediments that you may encounter on the road. These services may include locksmith services, fuel delivery, towing, and battery jump-start. You can get tons of vehicle-related services depending on the company you’re dealing with.
How to Choose a Roadside Assistance Service
You should thoroughly read the entire plan offered by the company that you’re selecting as there might be fine print in the corners of the scheme that can easily go unnoticed. You should be aware of all the information that the deal includes hidden costs to facilities provided in order to avoid any possible misunderstandings. Here are some of the points that should be considered before signing up for a plan.
Check Out This Article on The Price of Car Insurance
Type of Plan
Your plan will also determine the time period of the benefits you’re getting. Most roadside assistance plans come with a one-year membership. Some companies even ask for additional membership charges separately, but this is relatively rare.
If you’re going to buy a standard plan, you’ll get only basic services. However, if that’s what you want to pick, then make sure you’re getting tire changes, jump-starting a dead battery, towing, and lockout service. If you’re opting for a premium plan, then you can get many benefits such as reimbursement for legal fees on violations related to driving and discount on car rentals. If you travel a lot throughout the year, a premium package is suitable for you. However, a premium plan will be much more expensive than a standard one, and for good reason.
Normally, towing is added to all plans, whether standard or premium, but it’s imperative to know the limit of free miles. You should find out when you will be charged extra for towing. Moreover, the coverage of towing varies from company to company. Some of them cover towing per mile, while others cover it to a particular dollar amount.
The sum of money and distance a company covers entirely depends on the plan you select. This concerns you because you might end up signing for a plan with a small monthly or yearly fee, but with a price per mile for towing of $25 or even more, if you’re not careful enough. If your plan has free towing included, check out the number of free miles you get, because there are companies offering free towing in the contract but for one tow only, or on a very short distance. Nevertheless, the coverage per mile is visibly more beneficial than a one-time towing fee if you’re not using your car all that often. You should consider this thoroughly and pick the most suitable option.
Check Out The Cost of Towing a Car, Outside of a Roadside Assistance Plan
The most important factor that you should consider before getting the services of a roadside assistance company is customer support. The company you’re choosing should have a quick and friendly support system that can provide you with the services whenever you need. Also, ensure that whether you will get access to the support team twenty-four hours a day or not if you travel the whole day.
- If you’re only using your car once or twice a year while going on trips, you should opt for a shorter plan, that only covers the period you plan to travel, rather than paying for a full year.
- If you are using road assistance services too often, then it should be a good idea to fix your car. Check out this article for a general idea on a tune-up price for your car.
- If you spend most of your time in your car, commuting or traveling, then think about signing with a company for a longer period of time, which usually entitles you to a considerable discount
- Don’t sign up blindly, do your due diligence and when you found the right company for you, remember to ask for discounts, coupons or any additional services
- The contract you sign should be tailored according to your needs. For example, don’t pay for tasks you could take care of yourself. If you know how to change your tire or have the necessary tools and knowledge for jump-starting your car battery, be sure these services are taken out of the contract and you don’t pay for them
- Even if you have signed a road assistance plan, if you’re going on a longer trip, get your car checked and fix any immediate problems. No matter how professional the road assistance company is, repairing your car would surely take time and delay your trip
How Much Does the Service Cost?
The roadside assistance service cost can range from $30 to $110 a year, depending on the plan you pick and the company you choose. Many well-known roadside assistance companies provide basic plans at $50 and premium at $100, whereas a few small companies can allow you to have cheaper alternatives. However, they may or may not cover all basic services. Even if you get a premium plan, ask about any additional fees, especially for towing your car.
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Should the average working Joe pay for roadside assistance services?
If you use your car on a daily basis or to travel on long distances, then it’s a great idea to sign a roadside assistance plan, even if you have a rather new vehicle or just got it completely repaired. There are a lot of unpredictable situations and it’s always a great idea to be prepared. If you’re used to traveling by night or when car shops are closed, then a roadside assistance company could be the only possible help in case of an emergency. Towing your car to the closest shop or getting it repaired on spot, outside of such a plan can be way more expensive and could take more time. If you have the money for such a plan, then you should get it. It will probably save you a lot of money and hassle in the long run.