Roadside assistance, whether you get it for free or cheap, is a great plan to have for drivers especially for those with older used cars or vehicle more prone to breaking down, but even new cars can get flat tires or run into other issues.
Whether you get a flat tire or just break down, getting stuck at the side of the road is just no fun, not to mention it is a road safety hazard. Having roadside assistance can not only make situations like getting a flat tire a lot less stressful, but it can save you money if you choose an affordable plan.
The best roadside assistance plans are from companies such as Nationwide, Progressive and Allstate, but they aren’t the only ones.
There are cheap roadside assistance plans out there and, in some cases, you may be able to get it for free.
Services offered will vary depending on the plan you have. Generally, it includes things like:
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- Fuel delivery
- Changing flat tires or airing your tires for free
- Locksmith services
- Battery jump-start
- So, this involves pulling a car with a chain or a rope if it’s stuck in snow, ice, or mud, for example.
You tend to pay a monthly or annual fee for coverage. When you need help, you can get services, like those above, at no additional charge or at a discount. If you don’t want to pay for coverage monthly, then you can pay per incident for roadside assistance. So, rather than having to pay each month whether you use the service or not, you can just pay if and when you need help.
Here are some places where you can get cheap or free roadside assistance:
Affordable Roadside Assistance Plans from Auto Insurance Providers
Some auto insurance providers offer roadside assistance as a benefit to their customers. This tends to be available on comprehensive and collision auto insurance plans.
Have a read of your benefits package to see if assistance comes along with your auto policy. If not, give your provider a call and you may be able to add these services to your coverage for a small fee. Of course, your location, and the type of vehicle you drive can affect how much you’ll need to pay.
Here are some examples of auto insurance companies that are known to offer roadside assistance:
Allstate is one of my favorite car insurance companies. Not only it has great deals on insurance, but it also has other programs, such as Good Driver discounts as well as a very cheap roadside assistance plan.
It can cost as little as $25 per car, per year to add basic roadside assistance to your auto insurance policy. Pay per use coverage is also available.
You can get roadside assistance with some plans through Progressive Insurance. You can get access to things like fuel delivery and towing. Lots of these services are free too. For example, with fuel delivery, you only pay for the fuel. The delivery and service are free.
You can get assistance from Geico 24/7, and there’s even a mobile app you can use to get roadside assistance too.
Some credit cards also offer roadside assistance as a benefit to customers. If you are considering getting a credit card anyway, then you might want to consider getting one that comes with some sort of roadside coverage.
Or, if you already have a credit card, check to see if it offers this benefit.
Here are some examples of credit cards that offer roadside assistance:
The Chase Sapphire Reserve Card offers customers access to a variety of roadside assistance services while traveling in the U.S. and Canada. It offers coverage for on the road breakdowns with things available like:
- A flat tire service
- Fuel delivery
It’s available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and all you have to do is call 1-866-860-7978.
The coverage amount is up to $50 per service event, with a maximum of four service events per year.
Lots of Capital One Credit cards offer roadside assistance. You can get Capital One’s roadside assistance network benefits from Visa and MasterCard. Some of Capital One’s most popular cards like the Venture, Savor, and Quicksilver card come with roadside assistance. You can use it whenever you need it, and no pre-enrollment is necessary.
The price for these roadside assistance network benefits depends on your card. You may only need to pay a flat fee for each roadside service that you need, but there may be additional fees in some situations, such as if your car needs to be towed more than 5 miles or if it needs to be winched out of a ditch.
The services covered will also vary from card to card. Typically, the following are included in your Capital One credit card’s roadside assistance network benefit:
- Towing and winching
- Fuel delivery
- Tire changes
- Lockout service
All you need to do is call to get access to benefits. Just check your card’s benefit guide to see which number to call if you require roadside assistance.
All Visa cards come along with roadside assistance. Just call 1-800-847-2869, 24 hours a day/7 days a week and Roadside Dispatch will assist you. You pay a set rate per service call and no membership is required, and you don’t need to enroll either. There’s no limit on usage. For a set price per service call, you get:
- Standard Towing
- Tire Changing
- Jump Starting
- Lockout Service
- Fuel Delivery
- Standard Winching
For more details, make sure you visit the website linked above, and that you read the full terms and conditions or check with your card issuer for a copy of your Guide to Benefits.
Cheap Roadside Assistance Programs by Cell Phone Providers
Some cell phone contracts actually come along with roadside assistance, and it’s usually cheap. There’s sometimes an extra cost, but it doesn’t usually add up to that much. You can just pay a small fee to the cell phone provider and get access to roadside assistance.
You can check the fine print of your cell phone contract to see what benefits are available.
Here are some cell phone companies that offer roadside assistance to customers:
Verizon offers a Roadside Assistance service that offers everything from towing to battery boosts. You’re covered anywhere in the U.S., Puerto Rico, and Canada. And, you’re covered in your own vehicle, rental vehicles, or in a friend’s vehicle. You can also lend your mobile device to a friend or family member, and they will be covered too. Your mobile device just needs to be at the location where service is provided.
Roadside Assistance costs just $4.99 a month for each enrolled line on your account. So, this is a pretty affordable option. If you are not enrolled in the program, you can still use Verizon Roadside Assistance, but there is a charge of $89.95 for each time you use the service.
With it, you can get:
- Towing (Up to 10 miles free of charge)
- Fuel delivery (Get up to three free gallons of gas or diesel)
- Battery jump
- Tire service
- Lockout service
Another mobile carrier that offers roadside assistance is T-Mobile. You can use its SyncUP Drive App to get access to roadside assistance. You will get access to a 24/7, toll-free hotline for roadside assistance in the case of emergencies or breakdowns.
Sprint also provides coverage through Sprint Drive. Sprint Drive is a device that you plug into the OBD-II port of a vehicle, and it has a corresponding mobile application.
It helps to provide real-time vehicle tracking and diagnostics. With it, you can get 24/7 emergency roadside assistance. You can get assistance with issues like getting locked out of your car, a dead battery, spare tire change, out of fuel, and emergency towing.
AT&T offers roadside assistance for just $2.99 per month. So, that’s pretty cheap. You can get 24/7 nationwide service that’s registered to your wireless number. This means that whether you are the driver or the passenger, you can get assistance when you need it.
You get access to services like:
- Battery service
- Flat tire assistance
- Fuel delivery
- Lockout assistance
- Key replacement
Free Roadside Assistance by Manufacture
If you have bought a new car or are planning to buy one, then you may be able to get roadside assistance for free.
This is because all new vehicles that are sold in the United States come with at least two auto warranties, and many include roadside assistance.
Most manufacturers will offer a roadside assistance service that will help you out if your car leaves you stranded, if you lock yourself out of the vehicle, if you get a flat tire, or if you run out of gas.
You can check the owner’s manual for details or ask your dealer.
Here are some car manufacturers that offer roadside assistance:
Acura offers roadside assistance for 4 years or 50,000 miles.
12. Alfa Romeo
Alfa Romeo provides roadside assistance for 4 years/unlimited miles.
Audi offers roadside assistance for 4 years/unlimited miles.
BMW provides roadside assistance for 4 years/unlimited miles.
Buick offers assistance for 6 years/70,000 miles.
Cadillac provides roadside coverage for 6 years/70,000 miles.
Get coverage for 5 years or 60,000 miles with Chevrolet.
Get coverage from Chrysler for 5 years/100,000 miles.
Dodge offers coverage for 5 years/100,000 miles.
Fiat provides roadside coverage for 4 years and unlimited miles.
Get roadside assistance from Ford for 5 years/60,000 miles.
With Genesis, you can get roadside coverage for 5 years/unlimited miles.
GMC offers coverage for 5 years/60,000 miles.
Honda provides coverage for 3 years/36,000 miles.
Hyundai provides coverage for 5 years/unlimited miles.
Infiniti will provide roadside assistance for 4 years/unlimited miles.
Get coverage from Jaguar for 5 years/60,000 miles.
Jeep offers coverage for 5 years/60,000 miles.
Get roadside assistance from Kia for 5 years/60,000 miles.
30. Land Rover
Get coverage from Land Rover for 4 years/50,000 miles.
Lexus offers road assistance for 4 years/unlimited miles.
Lincoln offers unlimited roadside assistance.
Mazda offers roadside coverage for 5 years/unlimited miles.
Mercedes provides roadside coverage for 4 years or 50,000 miles.
Mini offers coverage for 4 years/unlimited miles.
Mitsubishi provides coverage for 5 years/unlimited miles.
Get roadside assistance from Nissan for 3 years/36,000 miles.
Porsche offers coverage for 4 years/50,000 miles.
Ram provides coverage for 5 years/100,000 miles.
Smart offers coverage for 4 years/50,000 miles.
Subaru provide coverage for 3 years/36,000 miles.
Tesla offers coverage for 4 years/50,000 miles.
Toyota provides roadside assistance for 2 years/25,000 miles.
Volkswagen offers roadside assistance for 3 years/36,000 miles.
Volvo offers roadside coverage for 4 years/unlimited miles.
Best Roadside Assistance Memberships, Clubs & Organizations
Some memberships, clubs, and organizations offer cheap or free roadside assistance to their members.
Here are some examples:
Urgently is a Roadside Assistance Membership that you pay for annually. It costs $70 annually. And, you get access to lots of roadside assistance services, like:
- Tow: 10 miles
- Jump Start
- Tire change
- Fuel delivery
You can also get additional benefits like key replacement.
AAA is probably the best-known provider of roadside services. As we covered in our AAA member benfits post, as a member you can get roadside assistance near you and everywhere you go. It offers a 24/7 nationwide service, and you can get in touch for assistance whether you are the passenger or the driver anywhere in the United States or Canada.
It offers a variety of services, like:
- Jump start
- Tire change
- Fuel delivery
- Minor auto repairs
Costs varries based on your locatiuon and needs but starting at aroudn $30-$40 a year, I can say, AAA is worth it.
The National General Motor Club is another organization that provides roadside assistance. It has three different membership types:
- Elite: $89 Single, $99 Couple, or $119 Family
- Standard: $79 Single, $94 Couple, or $15 for each dependent with the Family option.
- Basic: $59 Single or $69 Couple.
Depending on which membership program you choose, you can get access to a variety of roadside services, such as:
- Jump start
- Flat tire change
- Fuel delivery
- Lockout service
AARP offers roadside assistance 24 hours a day.
This assistance is from Allstate. Prices start at $62 a year. You get 24/7 services up to 100 miles. Services include towing, tire changes, fuel delivery, lockout services, and dead batteries. Allstate offers 24-hour emergency roadside services across the United States, Puerto Rico, and Canada.
Honk isn’t a membership or a club, but rather an app that gives you roadside assistance. Basically, you can use the app to request help with things like:
- Flat tires
- Dead battery
- No gas
- Stuck car (like in sand, ditches, snow, mud etc.)
You only pay for roadside assistance when you need it.
Here’s where you can get the app:
Roadside Assistance Plans FAQ
Before you sign up for a roadside assistance plan, make sure that you ask these questions:
Does the plan cover the driver or the car?
If your spouse or teenage child wants to drive your car too, you will want them to covered under the roadside assistance plan as well. So, in that case, you may want to go with a plan that covers them too.
The easiest way to do this is to make sure the car is covered no matter who is driving. If only you need coverage, then this won’t be an issue, as you’ll be covered even if the plan covers just the driver, rather than a car.
Does my plan cover other vehicles?
Similarly, if you plan to drive multiple vehicles, like a rental, for example, then you want to know if you are covered for that too.
Some plans, including those mentioned above, do offer roadside assistance on cars that aren’t your own, like a rental vehicle.
Do I get multiple tows?
Consider the number of tows offered by the plan. If you only get one tow, for example, you may be just better off paying for that service outright, rather than paying membership fees for the coverage. Check what the plan has to offer and then weigh up the cost compared to the benefits on offer.
Are there any sign-up fees?
Check to see if there are any sign-up fees, and again just compare the cost of that with what the membership has to offer.
Just knowing that you have assistance when you need it can be very comforting especially if you do a lot of driving. It’s awful when you break down or a tire blows and you’re left stranded, so having that roadside coverage can be so helpful. And, it doesn’t need to be expensive either.
There are so many ways to get it for free or for cheap. So give these free/cheap roadside assistance options a try!