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The best roadside assistance of 2021

Compare the top 7 companies with roadside service plans, starting at $1/month.

Top pick: Progressive

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This article was reviewed by Andrew Flueckiger, a member of the Finder Editorial Review Board and certified insurance counselor and licensed insurance agent in five states.

Roadside assistance is worth the money if you want help with car breakdowns, battery jumps, changing a flat tire and more. This coverage helps the most if you often travel long distances, drive an older car prone to breakdowns or want peace of mind that help is a phone call away. However, it’s an optional type of car insurance coverage that’s not necessary for everyone. And some insurers require you to buy comprehensive and collision coverage along with roadside assistance, raising the total cost.

Companies with the best roadside assistance

Compare roadside assistance costs and benefits from the most popular car insurers and driving clubs. Some prices are based on state availability.

CompanyAnnual costFlat tireDead batteryLockoutTowing
AAA$54 – $135YesYesYes, up to $150 costWithin 5 – 200 miles
Allstate$25YesYesYesUp to $100 cost (typically 20 miles)
AMA$25 – $98YesYesYesWithin 35 miles
Geico$14YesYesYes, up to $100 costClosest dealership within 20 miles
Liberty Mutual$12YesYesYesClosest repair shop
Progressive$16YesYesYes15 miles or nearest repair shop
State Farm$12YesYesYes, up to 1 hourClosest repair shop

What to consider when buying roadside assistance

When deciding to buy roadside coverage, consider the plan’s price, benefits and any limitations on getting service.

1. Price of roadside assistance vs car insurance costs.

You’ll want to balance the cost of your car insurance with the cost of its roadside assistance to determine your savings.

For example, if you find cheap roadside assistance with one company but its monthly car insurance costs more than another company, you might not save money overall.

2. Convenience.

If you’d rather not worry about finding last-minute roadside service after a breakdown, you might want the convenience of having coverage. And if you drive a car that’s known to break down, roadside coverage might be worth it since you’re more likely to use your plan.

3. Limitations, like mileage or number of service calls.

Consider how much the plan’s exclusions may affect you, such as the towing distance or no availability during storms.

For example, if you live in a remote area or want help during a snowstorm, the coverage may not help you. But if you drive in metro areas, you shouldn’t have problems finding mechanics or tow trucks.

4. Services provided and fees.

Most roadside service plans include coverage for jumpstarting a battery, changing a spare tire, delivering gas or getting a locksmith. However, you usually pay extra for the cost of gas, a new battery or the spare tire itself.

5. Membership benefits.

The biggest benefit of using motor clubs like AAA or Allstate Motor Club is that the plan follows you no matter what car you’re driving. You also get travel planning tools and discounts, helpful if you’re a frequent traveler.

Compare car insurance with roadside assistance

Compare companies that offer roadside assistance and select Get quotes to see costs and features in detail.

Name Product Roadside assistance New car protection Accident forgiveness Safe driver discount Available states
Progressive
Optional
30%
All 50 states
Discover coverage that’s broader than competitors, valuable discounts up to 30% off and perks like shrinking deductibles that reward no claims.
The AARP Auto Insurance Program from The Hartford
Optional
Yes
All 50 states
Enjoy low rates for mature drivers, plus perks like new car replacement and lifetime repair guarantees. Only for drivers over age 50.
USAA
Optional
Yes
All 50 states
Affordable car insurance with highly rated customer service. Only available to military members and veterans and their family.
Savvy
Savvy
Optional
Optional
Yes
All states & DC
Enter your current policy and get quotes in 30-seconds from 100+ companies, then get help to switch insurers for free.
Root
52%
Available in 30 states
Track your driving to receive a low rate that reflects your driving skills, and enjoy a fully app-based policy experience.
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How much does roadside assistance cost?

Roadside assistance typically costs $2–$3 per month or $24–$36 a year to add to your car insurance policy, unless your insurer includes it as a free benefit.

Premium roadside plans range from $4–$12 a month or $48–$144 a year. These premium plans add features like extra towing mileage or paying for hotels and meals if you’re far from home.

Buying roadside service as a car insurance add-on is typically cheaper than buying from a motor club like AAA or AMA. However, some insurers require you to buy comprehensive and collision coverage, which can add hundreds of dollars to your premium per year.

Does using roadside assistance count as a claim?

No. Emergency roadside service is part of your car insurance coverage, but using it won’t raise your rates like making a claim would.

In rare cases, your insurer may charge a higher premium or refuse to renew your plan if you make too many service calls within the year.

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What’s not covered with roadside assistance?

Roadside assistance is limited to small-scale mechanical problems, so you might pay an extra fee for getting stranded in a remote area, long-distance towing or to replace your battery or spare tire.

You won’t be covered for:

  • Damage caused by an accident
  • Battery replacement
  • Older or antique vehicles
  • Breakdowns because of an existing condition
  • Cost of gas or fuel — Some policies provide a few gallons of fuel for free, but you’ll pay beyond that amount
  • Unattended vehicle
  • Taxis, limousines and similar commercial vehicles
  • Oversized vehicles
  • Being pulled out of a ditch that’s difficult to maneuver
  • Service during a storm like a hurricane or a snowstorm
  • Providing a spare tire

    Alternative ways to get roadside assistance

    You can find roadside assistance from companies other than your car insurer. Some companies even let you get assistance without a roadside plan, though you may pay an on-the-go fee to use them.

    Your options include:

    • Service providers like tow trucks and locksmiths let you pay for a one-off service without a roadside plan.
    • Car clubs and motorist clubs offer plans that follow you no matter what car you drive, along with travel planning tools and discounts.
    • Car manufacturers offer roadside service with your car warranty or sometimes if your car is maintained at its service centers.
    • A few cell phone companies like Verizon and AT&T offer roadside service that’s tied to your phone line — so you’ll need the enrolled phone with you to get service.
    • Standalone services and apps like Urgent.ly charge monthly or by the service.

    Bottom line

    A roadside assistance membership could come in handy, although you can find the cheapest options from your car insurer or car warranty.

    Even if you don’t have a plan when you get stuck on the road, you can get a tow. Compare car insurance policies with towing service included to find the best deal for you.

    Frequently asked questions about roadside assistance

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