Roadside assistance services provide assistance for vehicle immobility situations, such as a lockout, flat tire, running out of gasoline or mechanical failure. These services could be part of an auto-insurance policy, coverage plan offered by car manufacturers or auto club.

In the case of some new cars, enrolling in roadside assistance services offered by auto clubs might not be necessary since the vehicle is covered for most breakdowns for a period of two to three years. However, as the car gets older, it might be worthwhile to explore roadside assistance services that charge an annual fee for a slew of benefits. There are plenty of options in roadside assistance, so it’s important to do thorough research before choosing one.

Top 10 Best Rated Roadside Assistance Services

Blink Roadside offers nationwide roadside assistance through its roadside assistance app. The award-winning company protects over 75 million drivers and responds to over eight million roadside assistance requests annually.
Founded in 1984, Good Sam Roadside Assistance offers roadside assistance plans for RVs and autos. The company has a network of over 40,000 service and repair providers and has handled around two million roadside breakdowns.
Founded in 1902, American Automobile Association offers 24/7 emergency roadside assistance to customers nationwide. Customers can choose from three coverage plans offering benefits such as towing and emergency fuel delivery.
OnStar, a subsidiary of General Motors, provides roadside assistance through its vehicle service plans. Customers can use the OnStar RemoteLink app to request roadside assistance from their nearest service provider.

Lauren Fix is an automotive expert who earned the title of The Car Coach, and is recognized throughout all forms of media as a woman with in-depth knowledge on vehicles, technology, automotive finance, repair and trends. Founder of Automotive Aspects, Inc., her understanding of automobiles has made her the “go to” person on TV, radio, print and the internet. She writes a column for multiple outlets including Parade Magazine, NewsMax and Car Coach Reports. She is a regular guest on all the major news and morning shows discussing the latest updates on cars that will help drivers of all ages learn to about cars and make smart decisions.

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What features matter most?

Fee

This is the cost incurred for enrolling in a roadside assistance plan. Most roadside assistance companies bill annually, although there are certain providers that bill monthly or even per incident. Reading the fine print is important.

  • Surcharges or discounts: Some roadside assistance plans levy surcharges the first time you enroll while others offer discounts to first-time users.
  • Refund: Certain providers let car owners opt out of a plan within a stipulated time-frame with a full money-back guarantee, though some companies give a pro-rated refund even after the first month of the plan has lapsed.
  • Extra cost for more drivers: Some plans ask vehicle owners to pay extra if they want to add more family members to the plan or add more vehicles.

Coverage

Coverage of a plan can vary in terms of availability (such as 24/7 assistance), the number of vehicles or drivers covered and the kind of vehicles covered. When comparing coverage between plans, there are several other factors that need to be considered as well.

  • Number of service calls: Check the number of free service calls included in the plan. Consumers might have to incur expenses when they have reached their limit. Some providers even bar people from premium plans the following year in case service calls are exceeded.
  • Lockout: A roadside assistance plan that covers lockout incidents saves time and expenses that would have to be spent on a locksmith or a tow.
  • Number of services covered: Common services in roadside assistance plans include fuel delivery, flat tire repairs and towing (typically with a tow truck).

Towing

Most roadside assistance plans come with a towing service. However, terms and conditions differ according to pricing and provider.

  • Mileage limit: Having a car towed further than the allowed limit in a plan attracts charges, which are billed per mile. It may also limit your options of repair facilities, as there may be a deal with a certain auto repair shop. It's important to know the facts on mileage and additional costs.
  • Choice of destination: There are some plans that limit towing to the nearest authorized dealership or repair shop only.
  • Calamity coverage: Towing assistance in roadside assistance plans also differs depending on whether the plan covers calamities such as fire and flood.
  • Type of tow vehicle: A tow truck may be ok for most vehicles, but all-wheel drive vehicles and sports cars require a flat-bed truck. This could be an extra cost.

Availability of service

Roadside assistance providers often contract local tow truck operators and repair shops. Usually, the wider the network of local service providers, the better the response time. Availability of service between plans also differs by:

  • Overseas availability: Certain roadside assistance companies have a network of providers outside the U.S.
  • Areas covered: Some states in the U.S. only allow contracted service providers to offer roadside assistance on certain highways. Roadside assistance plans typically have limited liabilities in such cases, where consumers are refunded for costs incurred up to a predefined limit.
  • 24/7 assistance: Not all plans come with 24/7 assistance. However, if a vehicle owner makes a lot of trips at odd hours, a plan with 24/7 roadside assistance might be a top priority.

Frills

A lot of roadside assistance companies offer extra benefits to consumers, apart from basic services like towing, flat tire repair and fuel delivery.

  • Discounts: Service providers have partnerships with lodges, car rentals, amusement parks, travel discounts and repair shops where plan holders are entitled to discounts.
  • Trip interruption insurance: This typically covers any expenses incurred on lodging, food and transport in case of an accident or vehicle problem. Usually, there is a limit to the reimbursement amount.
  • Repair warranties: If a car is serviced or repaired at an authorized repair shop, the plan holder gets a limited-time warranty on the repairs.
  • Trip planning tools: A lot of roadside assistance annual plans come with handy trip planning tools that give consumers an estimate of gas consumption, construction zones and the most economical route to take and other helpful advice.

Reputation

Other people's experiences matter when choosing roadside assistance services. They are needed in emergency situations, which mean response time is critical. Other factors affect the reputation of a service provider too.

  • Paperwork involved: Check if the roadside assistance company offers free services upfront or if reimbursement claims have to be made later.
  • Customer service: A good roadside assistance provider will be swift addressing customer complaints.

What are different types of roadside assistance services?

Full-service offerings

These are typically annual plans that cover more than one driver or more than one vehicle. They may even cover a car not owned by you, such as a friend’s vehicle you are borrowing.

Basic plans

These cover basic roadside assistance, such as towing and fuel delivery. They usually have very limited free towing miles.

Premium plans

Some roadside assistance services include additional benefits such as discounts on lodgings, travel and coverage for vehicles like RVs and motorcycles.

Limited service calls

Roadside assistance services also differ according to number of service calls consumers can make in a year. More expensive services tend to come with unlimited service calls throughout a year.

Who's it for?

Families with multiple drivers

These are families in which both partners drive and/or there are dependents with a legal driving license.

Multiple-car owners

These are people who either own more than one car or frequently depend on car rentals for their transportation needs.

Frequent vacationers

This group comprises people who often take road trips and those who spend a lot of time on the road while on business.

Adventurers

They like to explore off-road destinations and often own multiple vehicle types such as RVs or motorbikes in addition to a car, truck or SUV.

What does the expert have to say?

  • AAA - American Automobile Association

    Founded in 1902, AAA is a group of 69 affiliated motor clubs in North America. They have locations in every state and many countries. They offer 24-hour roadside assistance, including assistance for international members in the U.S.

    • Best for AAA roadside assistance service is best for multiple-car owners as well as frequent vacationers.
  • OnStar

    This roadside assistance service comes bundled with GM vehicles. However, consumers can also buy the service separately for their vehicles through OnStar's For My Vehicle (FMV) service.

    • Best for OnStar is best for adventurers, family travel and multiple drivers.
  • Good Sam Roadside Assistance

    Known for its roadside assistance services for RVs, boat trailers and motorbikes, apart from standard passenger vehicles, Good Sam Roadside Assistance offers support in the U.S., Canada and Mexico.

    • Best for Good Sam Roadside Assistance is best for families with multiple drivers, frequent vacationers and adventurers. It is designed for RV owners too.
  • Paragon Motor Club

    Founded more than 25 years ago, Paragon Motor Club offers 24/7 emergency roadside assistance services, including those geared toward commercial and business vehicles.

    • Best for Paragon Motor Club is best for multiple-car owners, family travel and frequent vacationers.

  • Allstate Motor Club

    Allstate was founded in 1931 as an auto insurance company and has since  diversified to include roadside assistance. The company has been providing roadside assistance for more than 50 years.

    • Best for Allstate Motor Club is best for families with multiple drivers, family travel and adventurers.

  • BP Motor Club

    Established more than 40 years ago, BP Motor Club offers 24/7 roadside assistance. The motor club has three membership plans and offers support in the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico.

    • Best for BP Motor Club is best for families with multiple drivers, multiple-car owners and frequent vacationers.

  • Better World Club

    Better World Club is an environment-friendly roadside assistance service that offers emergency roadside assistance for cars, hybrid vehicles and bicycles.

    • Best for Better World Club is best for family travel and owners of hybrid vehicles.

  • AutoVantage

    AutoVantage is an emergency roadside assistance service that provides support in all 50 states. The company has a network of more than 15,000 service providers and more than 25 years of experience in the field.

    • Best for AutoVantage is best for families with multiple drivers, adventurers and frequent vacationers.

  • National Motor Club

    Established as an independent motor club in 1956, National Motor Club is a Texas-based roadside assistance service that offers support for multiple vehicle types, including RVs and motorbikes.

    • Best for National Motor Club is best for frequent vacationers and families.

  • AutoRoadService.com

    Established in 1979, Auto Road Service is a New York-based roadside assistance service that offers support for residents in the U.S. and Canada.

    • Best for Auto Road Service is best for frequent vacationers, adventurers and families with multiple drivers.

11 – 11 Best Rated Roadside Assistance Services