What Is Roadside Assistance and What Does It Cover?

What Is Roadside Assistance and What Does It Cover?

It’s not nice to get stopped on the side of the road, and if you’re in a strange place, it could be particularly difficult to locate the appropriate firm to call. A roadside assistance package pays for some or all of the servicing required to get your car running again and provides you with a single number to contact whenever you need assistance. To offer assistance around-the-clock, roadside assistance providers collaborate with networks of tow trucks and mechanics.

In this post, the MarketWatch Guides team has analyzed the top roadside assistance plans and will go over the typical coverage that these policies offer.

Key Takeaways:

  • Battery jump starts, lockout help, fuel delivery, towing, and the installation of spare tires are all included with roadside service.
  • Plans have the option of paying all or only a portion of the service fee.
  • Roadside assistance is available from auto clubs, auto insurance providers, auto manufacturers, and other businesses.

What Is Roadside Assistance?

In the event that your automobile breaks down on the side of the road, roadside assistance is available to assist you. If your engine breaks down, you can utilize the coverage for a tow. In addition, emergency roadside help includes lockout support, gasoline delivery, flat tire replacements, battery jump starts, and other services.

Companies like AAA provide stand-alone memberships for roadside help. Many consumers also have coverage for roadside assistance through their auto insurance provider. Roadside assistance may be included in your manufacturers or extended auto warranty.

The majority of the time, roadside assistance is only applicable to vehicles and trucks, but depending on the provider, it may also include motorbikes, RVs, and bicycles.

What Does Roadside Assistance Cover?

Let’s examine what roadside help usually includes in more detail.


It might be inconvenient to become trapped on the side of the road, and it can be difficult to arrange a tow truck in a strange place. For this kind of emergency, towing services are provided by all roadside assistance plans; simply contact your company’s number, and they will dispatch a tow to your area. While some plans would only take your car to the closest technician, others will tow it to a mechanic of your choosing.

Battery Jump-Start

Maybe all you really need to do is leap, but no friendly tourists are there to assist you. To help you get back on the road, roadside assistance providers can jumpstart your dead battery.

Fuel Delivery

You can only run on fumes for so long. Experiencing the engine splutter when you eventually run out of gas is depressing. Nonetheless, you may have gasoline delivered to your location if you have a roadside assistance package. While some programs charge you for the gasoline, others provide you a fixed quantity of fuel for free.

The roadside technician could also be able to provide additional fluids, such as coolant or brake fluid, if your car breaks down due to low levels of those.

Lockout Service

Locking your keys in your car is a pain. However, you may phone your roadside assistance number to have a locksmith sent to your location rather than searching for mobile locksmiths in your region.

Spare Tire Installation

A flat tire might put an end to your road excursion. To get you rolling again, roadside assistance services include a spare tire replacement. Keep in mind that the roadside provider won’t give you a spare tire to use; you must have your own.

Other Roadside Services

A few other services that roadside assistance plans could include are listed below.

Mechanical labor

If you need a rapid fix, several roadside assistance plans provide one or two hours of mechanical service on the spot. Therefore, depending on what the roadside technician can accomplish, you might be able to acquire additional services in addition to the ones mentioned above.


Winching services are covered under several roadside assistance plans. If you go off the road and become trapped in the mud or brush, this will come in handy. In this scenario, the roadside assistance professional will attach a cable to your car and pull it back onto the road with a winch. However, for the winch to work, your automobile needs to be within 100 feet of the main road.

Trip Interruption

Benefits for journey disruption may also be included in your roadside coverage. If your automobile breaks down far from home, this will cover the cost of food and housing up to a certain amount. You may be paid for costs only if you are 50, 100, or 200 miles away from home, depending on the coverage.

Battery Replacement

If the batteries in your AAA truck are dead, you may purchase new ones. If a basic jump start doesn’t work to start your car again, this helps you avoid having it towed to a repair facility. You are still responsible for purchasing the batteries, but AAA covers the installation cost as part of your membership fee.

How Much Does Roadside Assistance Cost?

Credits: Malhotra Insurance

How you purchase a plan has a major impact on how much roadside help costs. Roadside help may be added to insurance policies for as little as $10 to $20 annually by insurance companies, while memberships in motor organizations like AAA can run you anywhere from $70 to $150 annually. Insurance company roadside policies could have less generous coverage limitations than auto club plans.

If your car breaks down, you may often save money with any kind of roadside assistance service. You could have to pay $50 to $100 out of pocket for a jump start or the installation of a spare tire if you don’t have roadside assistance. Furthermore, the cost of a tow might range from $100 to $200, based on your distance from a repair.

Roadside Assistance Coverage Limits

Plans for roadside assistance all have coverage limitations. A plan can have a $100 per occurrence cap. In this instance, it would cover up to $100 in total for on-site labor at any one moment, such as installing spare tires or locksmith services.

Some plans have an annual cap and could pay the whole cost of a certain service. Certain plans contain a maximum for each year as well as a maximum for each event. Lastly, roadside policies could also provide coverage for a certain number of incidents annually. To find out exactly what the service provider covers, read the terms and conditions.

Where Can I Find Coverage For Roadside Assistance?

Emergency roadside help is provided by a few different kinds of providers.

  • Auto clubs: Better World Club and Good Sam are two alternatives to the well-known AAA auto club. Although their roadside help costs are a little more, these firms often provide the finest benefits and towing mileage allowances.
  • Insurance providers: You may add roadside assistance to your auto insurance coverage with a lot of insurance carriers; some options start at only $20 a year. However, additional restrictions such as the annual number of incidents or the maximum miles for a tow are usually included in auto insurance roadside plans.
  • Automakers: For a limited time, new automobile manufacturers such as Toyota and Honda provide free roadside assistance.
  • Extended warranties: As an extra perk, roadside help is frequently included in manufacturer and third-party extended auto warranties.
  • Other businesses: Certain other non-auto firms offer roadside assistance. AARP, Verizon, AT&T, Chase Bank, and Visa are a few of these. Credit card companies may provide roadside assistance packages that just give you a service number and charge you for each usage.
  • Companies that rent cars: Roadside help is available as an add-on during your rental from a number of businesses, including Hertz and Enterprise.

Whether or not you are required to pay for services upfront and present receipts in order to receive reimbursement will depend on the kind of business offering the coverage. This can be the case if your auto insurance policy or an extended car warranty include roadside assistance. If you get roadside help from a specialized firm like AAA, this is typically not the case.


The Bottom Line: What Is Roadside Assistance?

When your car breaks down, you only need to contact one number for roadside help. It pays for part or all of the costs associated with gasoline delivery, lockout help, battery jump starts, towing, and installing spare tires. To find out if your insurance covers roadside help, you may contact your insurance company or research roadside assistance providers like AAA.

Top Roadside Assistance Recommendations

If you’re searching for coverage for roadside assistance, consider checking out the following companies.

  • Geico: For as low as $14 a year, Geico provides emergency roadside help. The firm provides free winching, towing up to 20 kilometers, and other services.
  • AAA: The most well-known roadside help company in the nation is AAA, but it’s actually a federation of several local businesses. AAA offers a variety of plans and extensive roadside help. In our evaluation, State Farm is another excellent roadside supplier; compare it with AAA.
  • Progressive: Progressive provides roadside assistance for big trucks, automobiles, motorbikes, yachts, and recreational vehicles. Progressive offers tow services to the closest charging station in the event that an electric car loses power.

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