02 Mar The 5 Best Roadside Assistance Companies
Purchasing Roadside assistance is critical for your safety, as well as your peace of mind. However, different companies that offer roadside assistance often offer very different packages for sale. You’re in pretty dire straits when you call for roadside assistance, and whether or not your plan covers a particular service can be the difference between hours of waiting and even thousands of dollars in bills.
These are the five best roadside assistance companies:
- Mach1 Services
- National Motor Club
Each one of the roadside assistance companies listed above is typically considered the top five roadside assistance companies. They offer a wide range of services and plans suited for all sorts of lifestyles.
Unfortunately, it’s hard to say that one roadside assistance company is the overall best. They all have different prices and services, and a service that may be unnecessary to one person may be crucial to another. But don’t worry! We’ve done your homework for you. Just keep reading for more on the five best roadside assistance companies.
What Exactly is Roadside Assistance?
First, let’s go over what roadside assistance actually is. Roadside assistance is a loose collection of various services that are performed in a car-related problem in order to minimize your time spent inconvenienced as well as minimizing your repair bill.
Problems roadside assistance firms are prepared to deal with are breakdowns, running out of gas, flat tires, and towing needs. The availability and frequency of these services vary among different plans and providers.
(There are plenty of tow truck companies out there for you to choose from when you need help.)
This of roadside assistance as being a form of insurance to supplement regular car insurance. Instead of covering repairs and damages to other people’s cars during an accident, your roadside assistance fees cover the services needed during more routine breakdowns and mistakes. For example, if you have to pull over on the side of the highway with an engine problem or a if you run out of gas and need a gas delivery service, roadside assistance will be there to help you. (There are plenty more options than to call 9-1-1 if your car breaks down.)
The 5 Best Roadside Assistance Companies
When it comes to roadside assistance companies, bigger is usually better. Even if you are not the sort of person who travels a lot, you will want a company with a national presence if you ever plan on leaving your zip code.
That being said, even among the biggest companies, there are large differences between the services offered, the nature of your membership, and even whether or not you have to pay dues. So, here are the five biggest and best roadside assistance companies.
Mach1 services tout itself as the roadside assistance firm of the future. The first thing that sets them apart from other roadside assistance companies is that they are not membership-based.
Instead of paying a yearly membership fee, you simply download their app. When you get in trouble, you use the app to call for help. That’s it.
This is a no brainer for anyone who is an infrequent driver. Not that you should worry too much about whether or not you will use a roadside assistance membership. It’s about peace of mind, remember?
However, if you commute on public transit or otherwise drive infrequently, it becomes more difficult to justify the cost. With Mach1, you know you have easy access to roadside assistance without the fee.
As an added bonus, since no membership is required, you can use Mach1 if you find yourself the passenger of a driver without a roadside assistance plan. It is not connected to you or your car, so it is available in almost any situation!
The one downside to Mach1 is as a new service provider. It lacks coverage in many areas of the USA. Most of its locations are located along the Gulf Coast, especially in Texas and Florida, with a smattering of locations in the Midwest.
If you live outside of these areas, Mach1 probably is not the way to go. However, since you do not need a membership, it is worth keeping in mind if you are even briefly passing through these areas on a long car trip.
AAA is probably the best-known roadside assistance company in the United States, and for good reason. Their service is the byword for reliability, and they are omnipresent throughout the country.
However, unlike Mach1, they do have a membership fee, either paid monthly or annually. They have several plans, and none of them break the bank, with the most expensive coming in at ten dollars a month.
If you suspect you might need your car towed a long distance, you might want to look into the higher tiers of membership. The lowest tier only covers three miles of towing, and the next step up covers one hundred miles.
Since AAA is a membership-based roadside assistance company, it is not tied to a specific car. This means that not only can you use AAA when riding in any car you own, but you can also use your membership as a passenger in somebody else’s car as well.
Finally, it is worth mentioning that membership with AAA gives you access to a treasure trove of coupons and savings with seemingly unrelated companies. You can get discounts on anything from hotels to laptops. They even offer coupons for medicine! Definitely worth checking out.
The GoodSam Club is a very niche association that offers roadside assistance. Specifically, they are an association of RV (recreational vehicle) owners. As such, their benefits are centered around road trips and camping.
Like AAA, the GoodSam Club is membership-based, requiring you to pay dues. However, their benefits and discounts are far less general than AAA’s, offering savings on fuel, coupons for camping and outdoor sports retailers, and even discounts on campground entry fees.
The GoodSam Club is most known for its logistical assistance. They have partnered with many RV parks and campgrounds, publicly endorsing facilities that meet certain standards of cleanliness and safety.
They also offer a trip planner, helping you figure out your stops on a long, cross country trip. Overall, GoodSam’s specialization helps deliver a quality experience to those a specific type of driver.
Allstate, as in the car insurance company, also has a separate roadside assistance program. Allstate’s roadside assistance plan is a lot like AAA’s as it requires a monthly membership fee. However, there is some difference.
First of all, since Allstate is primarily an insurance company, it is possible to get your roadside assistance policy bundled with your auto insurance. This can be extremely convenient and less complicated than dealing with two separate companies for two very similar needs.
However, the most significant change which cars you can use your roadside assistance with. Allstate roadside assistance is available for any car you yourself are driving.
This means that, unlike AAA, you cannot call for roadside assistance as a passenger in somebody else’s car. That being said, you do not have to own the car as long as you are the driver, so Allstate is available when driving a rental.
National Motor Club
National Motor Club offers far-reaching coverage, of which roadside assistance is only one part. Their monthly dues are higher than other plans, but their services are far more diverse.
National Motor Club offers standard roadside assistance services, including gas delivery and locksmithing services. However, where they set themselves apart from companies like AAA and Allstate are their additional services.
These additional services are quite comprehensive, including everything from identity theft protection to a ten thousand dollar accidental death benefit. The extra cost is more than made up for by these bonus perks,
In other words, if you are looking for an all-encompassing plan, the National Motor Club is probably your best option. Its many varied services are a great one-stop-shop for peace of mind during travel. Just be prepared to pay a little bit more.
What Should I Look for When Choosing Roadside Assistance?
First of all, before you even look for roadside assistance, you should make sure you don’t have it already. Sometimes it can be provided as a part of certain car insurance plans, upon purchasing a used car, or even as a reward from your credit card company.
You may have been enrolled in a complimentary roadside assistance plan without your knowledge, so always make sure to check before you spend money on something you already have!
Other than that, what you look for when choosing roadside assistance largely depends on what you need. Some of the most common ways plans and providers differ is on the frequency of service, coverage by country/ownership of the car, and price.
In order to choose the best coverage for you, you need to take a look at your own personal driving habits and where you might get into trouble.
- Do you take car trips with other people frequently? If so, you might want to look into a plan that is tied to you instead of your car. Many plans, especially plans provided by car manufacturers, can’t be called for help with a car you don’t own.
- Do you travel internationally? Many roadside assistance companies have facilities in multiple countries, so it is worth looking into where you would be covered.
- Do you live in a rural area? Then maybe you should make sure refuel service is prompt and available. Running out of fuel in an urban area isn’t a big deal, but in a rural area, the next gas station could be hours away on foot.
- Do you live in an area with extreme winters? Most roadside assistance companies offer winching services, so this could be important if you are stuck in a snowbank.
Overall, roadside assistance is a loose collection of related services that you may or may not need. It is great to have as many of these as possible, if only for your own peace of mind.
But when comparing plans, the most important thing to do is to consider your own driving habits and match them with the services you are most likely to need. It really is that simple!
Whether or not you drive a lot, you will almost certainly end up in a predicament not covered by car insurance. Maybe you’ll miss an exit and run out of gas, or maybe your engine will break down at the worst possible time.
When this happens, you need to make sure you have a plan. Roadside Assistance services take the effort out of making a plan because, in most cases, all you will have to do is make a call.
Typically, they aren’t expensive, and even if they were, you can’t put a price on peace of mind. So get out there and do your research! On a car trip or even on your commute, someday you will need a helping hand.