Roadside Assistance: What to Know and Where to Get It

If it hasn’t happened already, it will. You’re going to need roadside assistance. Tires pop, gas runs out, or your car up and dies on the side of the road without explanation. Most new cars these days come with manufacturer roadside assistance. But that only lasts for a few years or X number of miles, whichever comes first.

Who needs it?

Everyone. Breaking down on the side of the road flat out sucks. Your plans for the day are ruined in an instant, maybe your plans for the next few days. The average tow costs somewhere between $75-$125 and can be upwards of $300-$500. That ruins your plans for the weekend. “Oh, but I can walk to the gas station and figure out help.” Probably not, the average tow is 40 miles, that’s one way. That’d be an 80-mile walk.

The fact is, you can’t walk to the gas station like they do in the movies. That would only solve you running out of gas, or maybe a dead battery. Two flat tires, a bad alternator, or any of the myriad of sensors on modern vehicles can fail and brick the car.

Where should you buy it?

If your vehicle is brand new and still under the manufacturer's roadside assistance, don’t buy any. You’re covered and you’re already paying for it. Most of them are for five years or 60,000 miles, although there are exceptions, so check the manufacturer’s website.

Whatever option you choose, make sure it fits your needs. Some benefits might end up being frivolous to you and that can mean wasted money.

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