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In an ideal world, you’re having road trips and exploring new places in a nice car with your favorite people. But the bubble pops when you hear squeaky sounds, and you end up with a stranded car in the middle of nowhere. The reality check is this can happen to any vehicle at any time. However, in such an unfortunate scenario, roadside assistance comes to the rescue and saves the day.

A subscription fee must be paid for roadside assistance, either monthly or annually. The roadside assistance programs an insurance company provides will have coverage of $10-$20 per year. Purchasing a roadside assistance plan exclusively will cost you between $50 to $165. Some auto club membership organizations cost between $50-$360. A regular credit card company will also provide services for $60 per call for assistance. Cell phone companies give free roadside assistance for the first month, and the typical costs are between $3 to $5 for the following months. You can contact them in case of flat tires, towing, jump-starting a car, provision of fuel, on-set repair, etc.

That was a brief overview of the average road assistance cost. Now, let’s look deeper into the subject, starting with what exactly roadside assistance is. Keep on scrolling!

What is Roadside Assistance?

A roadside assistance service is any service provided individually to enable you to buy fuel or get help for a flat tire or lockout that causes the car to be towed. You’ll contact the service provider through the helpline number on the insurance or membership cards. They will first try to resolve the issue by guiding you over the phone. However, if that doesn’t work, they send a mechanic or a truck to tow your vehicle to the nearest repair shop.

There are different auto clubs, such as AAA, Progressive, USAA, Geico, etc., that provide roadside assistance service and fix almost all car malfunctions.

When Should You Consider Purchasing Roadside Assistance Service

Roadside assistance may seem necessary for every vehicle on the road, but that isn’t always the case. It can be inconvenient for a few people due to the expenses involved. That said, roadside assistance saves you from worrying about the car failing abruptly without any definite help in sight. It prioritizes the driver’s safety.

To answer the question directly, you must consider purchasing a roadside assistance plan if:

  • You have an old car
  • You don’t know how to jump-start a battery
  • You aren’t familiar with basic mechanic techniques
  • You have to take long road trips regularly
  • There are chances of occurrence of a dead battery (aka aged battery)
  • You have a long commute to work

What Does Roadside Assistance Cover

Most people think that the idea of road assistance is just getting your car towed by a big truck. However, there’s much more to it. The service covers any major or minor vehicle failures that leave you unable to move. The driver may or may not be able to recognize the fault at the emergency site.

Let’s have a look at some instances when you can call assistance. 

Fuel delivery: No matter how prepared you are, there can be times when your car runs out of fuel, and you notice it too late. The worst-case scenario? There’s no petrol pump nearby! But your vehicle’s fluid is just a call away, courtesy of roadside assistance. You’ll get fuel dispatched instantly with their 24/7 fuel delivery.

Flat tire Change: Another common recurring thing is a flat tire. Any sharp objects like glass pieces, screws, or potholes can leave your car tire disfigured. Here, roadside assistance will again lend a hand as they pump air, pluck or replace the tire entirely.

Towing: If your car faces a failure that is beyond the control of a regular mechanic, then you have to get the vehicle towed to a mechanic shop. When your wheels get stuck in puddles, holes, or snow, towing is the only solution. 

The professional technicians from your service provider will arrive when you contact them and take over. You may have to go home via rental car while your car is being repaired, another service provided by some roadside assistance companies. Note that towing is one of the most costly services.

Dead battery: If your battery dies and you are confused between the terminals, it’s better to play safe and ask for assistance rather than take the chance that it can cause a hazardous explosion. Roadside assistance can guide you over the call, or they may have to send a technician to jump-start your dead vehicle using a charger or jump starter.

Locked car: The roadside assistance companies cover this issue as well. Contact them if you’ve forgotten the car keys inside with no spare keys on the spot or if your car doors got jammed. You can request a locksmith who can put right any locked car. Some plans like that of AAA Roadside Assistance provide this service.

Auto theft: Unfortunately, to this day auto theft still remains a problem. It can range from your car being stolen or some parts being robbed. In any such case, your roadside assistance providers can carry out an investigation to lead to the suspects. Not all programs include this service, but comprehensive insurance programs will cover theft and vandalism too.

Entrapment: You may find your tires stuck in mud puddles, snow, or water. Roadside assistance may help you get your wheels back running in no time.

Map services: Interestingly, many roadside assistance services provide a map for trip planning. Simply reach out to them a few weeks before your trip and tell them your location; they will customize a whole map so you don’t have to rely on the internet to access Google Maps.

How to Get Roadside Assistance?

Many people are confused about roadside assistance programs and don’t know how they differ from each other or how to get the best one for themselves.

If that’s the case, take a look at multiple roadside assistance options you can get hold of:

  1. Buy an auto club membership that has roadside coverage as a part of it, for example, an AAA membership.
  2. Contact insurance companies and add it to your auto insurance policy.
  3. You can receive the service as an incentive from a company, for example, a credit card company.
  4. Pay on the spot once the emergency takes place.
  5. Some car manufacturers also offer roadside assistance facilities.
  6. Rental car companies also have their roadside assistance plans.

You can sign up for a roadside assistance plan via any of the above-mentioned ways.

Who offers Roadside Assistance?

Different emergency roadside assistance providers exist, such as Road Speed Solutions, AAA, Better World Club, USSA, and Progressive.

AAA: The AAA roadside assistance plan covers all essential services. The average cost is $38-$164. They have high ratings and commendable reviews. You can avail of any of the three AAA membership policies: classic, plus, and premium. They also have their own authorized repair shops. However, AAA roadside assistance has limitations like the number of service calls and will only offer tow to the nearest gas station.

Better World Club: Their average cost ranges from $54 to $98, and it covers all the fundamental mechanical issues. They offer certain incentives to their members, such as rental cars and hotel discounts, thus attracting a large customer base.

The best thing about them is their 100% carbon-neutral services. But they offer only 4 calls per year, and the basic service policy includes a towing limit of 5 miles only. However, with the premium plan, you can avail of a towing limit of up to 100 miles.

Progress: They charge $30-$60 annually, providing all the regular services. The maximum towing distance is greater comparatively, allowing 15 miles. There are no specific limitations, allowing flexibility and convenient service for the customers.

USSA: USSA’s roadside assistance program is the cheapest, costing only $14 per year while providing all the essential mechanic services like towing, jump start, provision of a locksmith, identity theft protection, etc. However, there might be some additional fees in case of severe car damage. Their plan includes a towing limit to the nearest repair shop only.

Each brand has various features to offer, with some limitations. However, you always have the option of making a final decision and picking the best assistance programs according to your budget.

What is the Cost of Roadside Assistance?

The average roadside assistance costs vary from one program to another. It partly depends on the policy you choose. The premium plans come with more perks as compared to the basic ones.

The estimated typical cost of average roadside assistance lies between $50-$100. It can be more or less according to how far the car had a breakdown and the intensity of the malfunction. There’s an option of paying an annual fee or monthly installments.

An emergency roadside assistance plan may be cost-efficient if you avail them through a card warranty, credit card company, and auto insurance policy.

Insurance companies or roadside services have a limit on the number of service calls. Once that number is covered, you may have to pay additional charges.

Check Out AAA Roadside Assistance / Some Facts You Need to Know:

Are there any Additional Benefits of Roadside Assistance?

Along with the usual roadside service, there are a few additional benefits that you can utilize.

  • Arrest bond: This will post bond if you get arrested for traffic violations. Remember that this roadside assistance coverage is only up to certain limits.
  • Legal defense reimbursement: If you are charged for violating a traffic rule and need an attorney to fight your case, this may reimburse your legal cost.

Please note that roadside assistance covers these costs only if you have signed up for comprehensive coverage. Moreover, you need the membership card to prove your identity and avail of the offer.

Does Emergency Roadside Assistance Cover the Cost of the Tow?

If your car is stuck and it doesn’t look impossible to get it out, you may ask your roadside assistance service to send a truck. The truck will tow your car to the nearest shop to fix it.

Generally, the cost of roadside assistance for towing depends on the following:

  • The car’s location – the farther it is, the more the cost.
  • How urgently do you need the service – the earlier you do, the more you have to pay.
  • How far the vehicle has to be towed – the more the distance, the more it will cost.

The cost for towing without any plans or car insurance is $109. Your auto insurance policy may cover this cost for you. Some credit card companies also extend free, low-priced towing services.

However, if you have already signed up, the emergency roadside assistance service will be the hero of the hour. The insurance providers offering to pay the towing cost was the add-on to your policy. However, the maximum distance of towing allowed is specified on the policy of the roadside plan you opt for. Some services offer 5 miles, 10 miles, or at most 15 miles in the basic plan.

How Much Does Roadside Assistance Cost Without Insurance?

The insurance providers offer some roadside insurance coverage. However, without insurance, the average roadside assistance cost is $50-$100. It may be a lot more for a service like towing or jump-starting.

Exploring other options like an offer by a car manufacturer, auto club, or standalone roadside assistance company will save you some cash.

What Is The Cost Of Roadside Assistance For a Flat Tire?

The coverage for a flat tire is usually part of a roadside plan service. While they will replace a flat tire with a new one, know that they won’t pay for it but only if your car is under warranty.

Some estimated costs related to flat tires are mentioned below:

  • If your tire needs to be pumped with air, it may be free or around $14-$16.
  • A plug would cost around $30.
  • The whole tire replacement will cost $60.

Can Roadside Assistance Be Used For Another Vehicle?

A roadside assistance program bought from insurance companies can’t be utilized for any recreational vehicle. So if you are driving a friend’s or a rental car, you can’t avail of the service since the vehicle isn’t listed in the record.

However, AAA roadside assistance auto insurance provides membership cards, so you can use the service even if you’re driving someone else’s vehicle and encounter some emergency. This is known as optional coverage.

Your family members can also use AAA roadside assistance if their names are added as users. The family members will receive their associate membership card.

Is the Roadside Assistance Plan Worth it?

Investment in a roadside assistance program is always a safer option that acts as a barrier to protect you from potential dangers. You may not need their services often, but when you are in a mechanical crisis, you’ll thank yourself for having such a subscription.

With less than a $50 annual fee, you can enjoy your traveling ventures without fearing a dead battery, identity theft protection, legal defense reimbursement, or any electrical breakdown. Emergency roadside assistance is just a call away. Even if you don’t drive too often, you can rest easy knowing your family members and the car is safe and sound.

It’s always better to explore all your options and choose the plan that best suits your need and is cost-effective.


Do You Have to Pay for Roadside Assistance?

The answer is yes; you have to pay for roadside assistance. Roadside assistance is generally expensive, costing around $50-$100. It is advisablåe to be part of an auto club or auto insurance or reach out to cell phone companies as they can provide great value for your money.

Do I Need Roadside Assistance While Under Warranty?

If you purchase a new car, the car manufacturers will promise to repair or pay for any significant defect until a certain period. This is known as an automobile warranty. So no, you don’t need to purchase a roadside assistance program while your car is under warranty. You can access roadside assistance for the duration of the car’s warranty through the car manufacturers.

Can I Get Roadside Assistance Without Insurance?

There are many roadside assistance providers other than insurance companies. Thus, you can sign up for any other programs that provide better services. 
However, your car’s odometer must be below 16,000 mi for a standalone roadside assistance plan.

Final Considerations

If you’ve made it here, you know everything about a roadside assistance service. Traveling can be unpredictable, rendering the service more of a necessity than a luxury. 

So, choose the best system according to your budget and requirements and return to your ideal world of long drives and hikes without mishap.

Agustin is part of the team at Road Speed Solutions, a reliable and efficient roadside assistance business with over a decade of experience in New Jersey.

What sets Road Speed Solution apart is the team's commitment to giving back to the community, regularly donating to local charities and supporting small businesses. Choose Roadside Speed Solutions for prompt, trustworthy roadside assistance services.