Best and Worst Roadside Assistance and Service Plans

You can get roadside assistance coverage from auto insurers, motor clubs, and more. Allstate, Farmers, and GEICO offer some of the best coverage options.

Jamie Johnson
Written byJamie Johnson
Jamie Johnson
Jamie Johnson
  • 6 years experience in personal finance writing

  • Featured on Credit Karma and Insider

Jamie is a meticulous researcher who has published 2,000+ personal finance articles. Her expertise is trusted by major brands like Bankrate and Rocket Mortgage.

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Katie Powers
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Katie PowersAuto and Life Insurance Editor
  • Licensed auto and home insurance agent

  • 3+ years experience in insurance and personal finance editing

Katie uses her knowledge and expertise as a licensed property and casualty agent in Massachusetts to help readers understand the complexities of insurance shopping.

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Updated May 27, 2024

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Even if your car breaks down in a low-risk location like your home or work parking lot, it’s inconvenient and time-consuming. Depending on conditions like the weather and your location, experiencing car trouble while on the road exposes you to potential safety hazards.

Many drivers choose to purchase roadside assistance coverage for added security in the event of any vehicle issues. Roadside assistance providers send immediate help if your car battery dies, you run out of gas, or another problem with your car leaves you stranded.

Most insurance providers offer roadside assistance as an add-on policy, but some plans provide better coverage than others. Allstate, Farmers, and GEICO offer some of the best add-on options for roadside assistance.

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*Quotes generated for Insurify users within the last 10 days. Last updated on May 27, 2024

Rates shown are real-time Insurify user quotes from 100+ insurance companies and Quadrant Information Services data. Insurify’s algorithm excludes anomalous quotes and anonymizes personal details, then displays refined quotes by price, date, and insurer popularity up to 10 days ago from May 27, 2024. Actual quotes may vary based on the policy buyer’s unique driver profile.

What is roadside assistance?

Roadside assistance helps you return to the road if your vehicle breaks down. It covers minor and major vehicle problems. This plan could be included in your current car insurance policy, but most companies offer it as an add-on service.

You may need to access roadside assistance in many different scenarios, including if your car breaks down or needs to be towed to an auto repair shop.

Who needs roadside assistance?

Though roadside assistance coverage isn’t mandatory for drivers, it’s a good idea to purchase it anyway. This coverage provides you with professional help for a flat tire, dead battery, emergency roadside services, and more. Most companies offer relatively inexpensive plans.

“Roadside assistance is often one of the best things you can include with your auto insurance,” says Nick Schrader, an insurance agent with Texas General Insurance. “It’s often a very affordable optional coverage, if not automatically included in your auto coverage.”

Good to know

Most drivers can benefit from roadside assistance, but it’s especially important for drivers of older vehicles that are more likely to break down. You should also consider roadside assistance if you live in a remote area or commute a long way to work.

What is covered by roadside assistance?

Roadside assistance typically covers the following services:

  • Fuel delivery: If you run out of gas, your roadside assistance provider can send someone to deliver enough fuel to get you to the nearest gas station.

  • Battery replacement: Roadside assistance coverage includes service to replace your battery or jump-start your vehicle.

  • Towing services: If your car breaks down, a tow truck will tow your vehicle to the nearest mechanic. You may have to pay extra if the trip exceeds a certain distance limit.[1]

  • Tire changes: If you get a flat tire, roadside assistance will replace it with your spare.

  • Locksmith: For vehicle lockouts, your roadside assistance provider will send a locksmith or other professional to help you get into your car. Schrader says, “The only thing you will end up having to cover is if the keys need replacement.”

  • Trip interruption: This service will cover the cost of meals, lodging, and transportation if your car breaks down a long way from home.

See Also: What Is Mechanical Breakdown Coverage and Do You Need It?

Where can you buy roadside assistance?

If you want to purchase roadside assistance, plenty of companies offer coverage and can assist you. Car insurance companies, motor clubs, and even credit card and cell phone companies offer roadside assistance plans.

Where you purchase roadside assistance will vary depending on your needs and your current car insurance provider. Here are some options to consider if you don’t know where to start looking for roadside assistance coverage.

Car insurance companies

Most major car insurance companies provide roadside assistance services as an optional add-on coverage.[2] To begin, reach out to your car insurance provider to find out what’s available.

Buying roadside assistance as an add-on policy from your current insurance provider is usually the cheapest option. However, many insurance providers offer roadside assistance as a stand-alone policy for anyone to purchase.

See Also: Cheap Car Insurance

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Motor clubs

For an annual fee, you can join a motor club and receive a variety of benefits. For instance, your motor club may offer roadside assistance, including towing and labor services; discounts on hotels and rental cars; and other reduced rates.

One of the best-known motor club examples, AAA serves 61 million members with a variety of vehicle assistance, insurance, and financial services through 32 affiliated motor clubs and more than 1,000 North American branch offices.[3] 

Keep in Mind

You typically need to purchase a membership to the motor club to receive roadside assistance services. This option works well for people who want to take advantage of the additional perks that come with that membership.

Roadside assistance companies

Specialty companies, like OnStar, also provide roadside assistance services to customers. You may receive more comprehensive coverage with a roadside assistance company, but your plan will likely cost more than what you’d pay for an add-on policy from an auto insurer.

Cell phone and credit card companies

Some cell phone and credit card companies provide roadside assistance as a benefit to their customers. For example, Chase provides roadside assistance to customers traveling anywhere in the U.S. and Canada. For a flat fee, you can access services related to towing, jump starts, or lockouts.

And AT&T offers roadside assistance to its customers for an additional $2.99 per month. However, the services provided as perks of these companies may be more limited than coverage from your insurance company or a motor club.

What are the best car insurance companies for roadside assistance?

If you want to buy roadside assistance from a car insurance company, consider these five insurers.

Allstate

Current Allstate customers can add roadside assistance to their existing plan for just $25 per year, per car. The program covers the following services:

  • Towing

  • Lockout services

  • Fuel delivery

  • Jump starts

  • Tire changes for a flat

You can access these services through the Allstate app or by calling the company to submit a request for assistance.

Farmers

Roadside assistance services from Farmers include emergency towing services, dead batteries, lockout services, and flat tire changes. If you need to use another company’s services for some reason, you can submit your receipts to Farmers for reimbursement.

Filing a claim only takes a few minutes. You just need to log into your Farmers account, file your claim, and upload your receipt to begin the reimbursement process.

GEICO

GEICO provides emergency roadside assistance through its mobile app. The app comes with a GPS locator that makes it easier for the company to find you and a service tracker that allows you to see the location of the technician. The following services are covered:

  • Towing

  • Jump starts

  • Tire changes for a flat

  • Lockout services up to $100

  • Winching a stuck vehicle

  • Fuel delivery

Roadside assistance plans with GEICO start at just $14 per year, per vehicle. To request assistance, you can use the mobile app or call the company directly.

Progressive

You can add a roadside assistance policy to your existing coverage with Progressive. Provided by Agero, the policy includes towing, jump starts, fuel delivery, and lockout services.

Progressive also offers roadside assistance for motorcycles, RVs, and boats. You can call the company directly or visit its website to request assistance.

State Farm

State Farm’s emergency roadside assistance covers services like towing, lockouts, and fuel delivery. However, you may need to pay for delivered items like a new battery or gas. You can submit a request for assistance online or by calling the company directly.

See More: 10 Best Car Insurance Companies

What are the best motor clubs for roadside assistance?

If you’re considering purchasing roadside assistance from a motor club, find information about the best available options below.

AAA

Roadside assistance from AAA includes towing services, battery replacement, and minor repairs by a mechanic. Your AAA membership covers you whether you’re driving your own car or are the passenger in someone else’s vehicle.[4]

Every AAA cardholder receives four roadside assistance calls per year. After the allotted four calls, you’ll have to pay an additional $90 for each service call. You can request roadside assistance by calling AAA or using the company’s mobile app.

Good Sam

Good Sam offers three different roadside assistance plans, with the cheapest plan starting at $49.95 per year. The service covers flat tires, lost keys, and battery replacement. Coverage extends to your spouse and any children under the age of 25. You can call Good Sam directly to request assistance or submit a request online.

Better World Club

A 100% carbon-neutral roadside assistance club for cars and bicycles, Better World Club provides 24/7 roadside assistance. The basic plan starts at $61.95 per year, and the company will give you a 10% discount if you drive an electric or hybrid vehicle.

The plan covers towing, flat tire changes, and trip interruption services. You can call the company directly to request emergency assistance.

AARP

You could save 20% on roadside assistance services from Allstate Roadside as a current AARP member. Plans start at just $66 per year.

Members receive 24-hour emergency roadside service as well as travel, car care, and auto club benefits. You can request assistance by calling Allstate Roadside at 1 (800) 555-1121.

What are the best roadside assistance companies?

Here’s some information about two solid roadside assistance companies.

OnStar

Roadside assistance plans from OnStar start at $39.99 per month and include emergency services, remote vehicle access, and access to the OnStar Guardian app.

To request assistance, you simply press the blue OnStar button in your vehicle. You can call the company directly if you don’t have access to your vehicle.

CARCHEX

CARCHEX provides 24/7 roadside assistance that covers towing, rental cars, gas delivery, and trip interruption. The cost ultimately depends on how many vehicles you need to be covered, as well as the extent of your coverage. To request assistance, you can call the company or log into the mobile app.

Methodology

The companies included in the lists of best auto insurance companies and motor clubs for roadside assistance were compiled following thorough research of numerous insurers and motor clubs who provide this coverage. Special attention was paid to coverage specifics, customer service, cost, mobile access, reliability, coverage exclusions, discounts, and more.

How to choose a good roadside assistance program

You have various options when it comes to buying roadside assistance, so it can be hard to know how to get started. Some factors to consider when selecting a good roadside assistance program include available coverage, company response time, and plan limitations.

Coverage

Before buying roadside assistance, you should understand what the policy covers. For instance, does the plan include basic services like towing, jump starts, and changing tires?

It’s also a good idea to make sure the plan provides coverage in any areas you frequently travel to because some remote or rural locations may not receive coverage.

Response time

When shopping around for coverage from different providers, see if you can find information about average response times. You can also read online reviews to see what kind of experiences other customers have had if the company doesn’t provide this information.

You should also consider how accessible the company is to contact. For instance, does the company provide numerous ways to contact them? Is there a mobile app that shows how long service calls will take?

Plan limitations

Finally, think about any limitations that come with the coverage plan you’re considering. Potential limitations include the number of service calls you can make per year, limited towing distance, or other restrictions that would prevent you from accessing the service.

Roadside assistance FAQs

Here are answers to some additional questions you may have about roadside assistance plans.

  • What is the best roadside service to buy?

    Based on factors like cost, coverage, and additional services provided, GEICO, AAA, and OnStar offer some of the best roadside assistance services available. Many auto insurers offer roadside assistance as an add-on policy, but motor clubs, credit card and cell phone companies, and specialty companies also sell this coverage.

  • What can you use instead of AAA?

    Other motor clubs you can try instead of AAA include Good Sam, Better World Club, and AARP. You can also consider purchasing roadside assistance from a car insurance company or a stand-alone service.

  • Is it worth getting roadside assistance?

    Most drivers can benefit from purchasing roadside assistance. This coverage is especially important for anyone who spends a lot of time traveling for work, parents with young children, or drivers of older vehicles.

  • Is Good Sam the same as AAA?

    Good Sam and AAA are both motor clubs offering roadside assistance, but AAA offers additional services like trip planning and discounts on hotels and attractions. AAA also offers international coverage, while Good Sam provides only domestic coverage.

Sources

  1. J.D. Power. "How Much Does It Cost To Tow A Car?."
  2. Massachusetts Division of Insurance. "Basics of Auto Insurance."
  3. AAA. "About AAA."
  4. J.D. Power. "How To Join AAA And Make Sure You Have Roadside Assistance Coverage?."
Jamie Johnson
Jamie Johnson

Jamie Johnson is a Kansas City-based personal finance writer whose work has been featured on several of the top finance and business sites in the country, including Insider, Credit Karma, Bankrate, Rocket Mortgage, Fox Business, Quicken Loans, and The Balance. For the past six years, she's dedicated more than 10,000 hours of research and writing to more than 2,000 articles about personal finance topics.

Katie Powers
Edited byKatie PowersAuto and Life Insurance Editor
Photo of an Insurify author
Katie PowersAuto and Life Insurance Editor
  • Licensed auto and home insurance agent

  • 3+ years experience in insurance and personal finance editing

Katie uses her knowledge and expertise as a licensed property and casualty agent in Massachusetts to help readers understand the complexities of insurance shopping.

Featured in

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