Let’s compare coverage and pricing.

 

Collision and comprehensive auto insurance have you covered if your vehicle is damaged in an accident or during inclement weather. But what if you just have a breakdown?

You could find yourself stuck in a ditch or stranded miles from the nearest gas station. That’s when roadside assistance could come in handy, and the best roadside assistance plans will help you get winched, towed, or back on the road quickly.

If you’re considering purchasing a roadside assistance plan, this article will help you decide which option is best for your needs and budget. Many of the best car insurance companies in the industry offer roadside assistance as cheap add-ons to insurance policies. You can get coverage from warranty companies and standalone roadside assistance providers like AAA, too.

If your auto insurance provider doesn’t offer roadside assistance, you might consider switching. Compare quotes by using the tool below or by calling (855) 518-0148 to see if you can save money on your premiums.

 

In This Article:

What Is A Roadside Assistance Plan?

A roadside assistance plan is a very specific type of auto insurance that helps drivers cover costs of emergency road services when your car malfunctions. It is an option on almost every auto insurance policy and is generally available for a monthly, semiannual, or annual fee. The best roadside assistance plans include:

  • Towing
  • Battery services
  • Flat tire replacement
  • Fuel delivery
  • Lockout services
  • On-site repairs
  • Winching

Roadside assistance plans are a common offering for major auto insurance companies, but they are also offered by standalone roadside assistance companies, vehicle manufacturers, and even credit card companies and cell phone providers like American Express and Verizon.

Some providers have their own dedicated roadside technicians, and others hire local independent contractors. To use a roadside assistance plan, simply contact your provider whenever you need a service. Customer support will walk you through what to do and contact the necessary services on your behalf.

Be aware that almost all roadside assistance plans have limits. There is usually a maximum towing distance, a ceiling on service hours, and a coverage liability limit.

 


 

Are Roadside Assistance Plans Worth It?

Have you ever needed a tow, winch, locksmith, or someone to replace your flat? If the answer is yes, then you might find a lot of value in a roadside assistance plan. Even if the answer is no, it might give you peace of mind just to know that the service is there for you.

The best roadside assistance plans help you deal with unexpected situations, especially ones you may encounter during long road trips far from your accustomed surroundings.

Some roadside assistance plans are much cheaper than the cost of a towing or winching service, while others could cost you several hundred dollars. Ultimately, whether roadside assistance is worth it depends on the provider you choose.

 


 

Where Can You Get Roadside Assistance Plans?

There is no single best roadside assistance plan for everyone. When shopping for a plan, consider your needs and budget. High-end roadside assistance can be expensive, and very low-cost roadside assistance may not offer the services you need.

Here’s a look at some of the most popular providers of roadside assistance and what you’ll get from each service.

Provider

Average Cost

BBB Rating

Coverage

Towing Limit

Policy Limits

1. Progressive

$16

A+

Towing

Winching

Jumpstart

Fuel delivery

Battery change

Lockout service

Flat tire change

On-scene labor

15 miles or nearest repair shop

Service limits vary by policy

2. AAA

$38–$164

A+

Towing

Flat tire change

Jumpstart

Fuel delivery

Mechanical first aid

Locksmith service

Identity theft protection

Passport photos

Trip planning

Nearest gas station, AAA-approved repair shop, or preferred mechanic

Limit of 4 service calls per membership year

3. USAA

$14

Not rated

Towing

Lockout service

Jumpstart

Flat tire change

Fuel delivery

Nearest repair shop

Pays up to $100 per occurrence

4. Geico

$14

A-

Towing

Jumpstart

Flat tire change

Lockout service

Nearest repair shop

Limit of 5 service calls per year

5. Carchex

$60–$110

A+

Towing

Mechanical first aid

Flat tire change

Emergency battery service

Lockout service

Fuel delivery

Theft reward

Trip route mapping

25 miles

Limit of 5–unlimited service calls per year, depending on package

6. Allstate Motor Club

$86–$144

A+

Towing

Jumpstart

Fuel delivery

Lockout service

Flat tire change

Trip planning

$150–$250 benefit per tow, depending on package

Limit of 3–5 service calls per year, depending on package

7. AARP

$64–$84

A+

Towing

Flat tire change

Fuel delivery

Battery boost

Winching

Lockout service

Trip routing

Auto theft reward

Emergency hospital bond

Arrest bond certificate

Legal defense reimbursement

Trip interruption guarantee

5 miles with basic package, 100 miles with premium package

Limit of 3–4 service calls per year, depending on package

8. OnStar

$300–$756

F

Automatic crash response

Automatic emergency services contact

Towing

Flat tire change

Fuel delivery

Stolen vehicle assistance

Remote vehicle diagnostics

2GB hotspot data

40 miles or nearest repair shop

Service limits vary by customer and state

9. American Express

Free*

A+

Towing

Winching

Jumpstart

Fuel delivery

Lockout service

Flat tire change

Nearest repair shop

Only provides coordination and assistance with obtaining services (cost of services are the responsibility of the customer)

 

*Included with American Express Serve® or Bluebird® by American Express membership. 

The best roadside assistance plans combine useful services with a low price tag.

OnStar offers by far the most features of any top roadside assistance service, including automatic emergency service dispatching. However, the company holds an F rating from the BBB and is flooded with complaints from customers who say their service reimbursement fees were not honored. With the heftiest price tag of the group, these signs are too worrying to make the investment advisable.

American Express, while a free service offered to card members, is different from the other providers we compare in that it does not pay for roadside services. Instead, it grants access to an emergency dispatch hotline.

Because this service comes free for members, there is no reason not to take advantage of it. However, if you are shopping around for the best roadside assistance plan, we would recommend looking elsewhere.

 


 

Best Roadside Assistance Plans: Our Top Picks 

Just as there is no best car insurance provider for everyone, there is no best roadside assistance plan for every driver. That being said, there are three providers that stand out from the competition: Progressive, AAA, and USAA.

Buying a roadside assistance package through your insurer is usually the cheapest option, but premium services like AAA can be worth the separate fee.

Progressive Insurance logo

#1 Progressive: Best Roadside Assistance Overall

Progressive roadside assistance is only slightly more expensive than other low-cost competitors, while also offering better benefits. The most generally useful roadside services are towing, winching, and lockout services. Progressive offers all of these, and the Progressive towing service has a greater range than similar competitors.

If you have Progressive car insurance already, going with Progressive roadside assistance is a no brainer. Even if you don’t have Progressive, we recommend looking into the insurer for its great coverage.

AAA Insurance logo

#2 AAA: Best Plan Features

AAA roadside assistance is the gold standard in roadside assistance plans. AAA offers three different policies: Classic, Plus, and Premier. The Classic plan limits tows to five miles, but with the Plus plan, you can have your vehicle towed up to one hundred miles, which is much farther than most roadside assistance packages.

With even the most basic AAA membership, you have access to Motor Vehicle Department (MVD) services. AAA can help you complete any paperwork you would normally do at the DMV like vehicle registration, titling, and plate renewal services. Instead of going to the DMV, you can do these things at a AAA office, and AAA covers all the necessary fees.

The benefits of the Plus and Premier AAA memberships are that they offer reimbursements for locksmith fees, trip interruption, emergency medical transport, and even windshield repair.

USAA Insurance logo

#3 USAA: Best Value

We think USAA car insurance provides great value, and this opinion extends to its roadside assistance program. While the services included are limited, at $14 per year it is among the cheapest means to get roadside assistance. Even if you only use it once a year, USAA roadside assistance is well worth the premium.

 


 

Our Recommendations For Car Insurance

At the end of the day, you probably shouldn’t pick an auto insurance provider based on which has the best roadside assistance plan. It may be a factor, but a reliable claims process, affordable rates, and the right level of coverage are ultimately most important.

If you’re shopping for car insurance and roadside assistance, check out our top recommended providers and start comparing quotes by entering your zip code below. You can also call (855) 518-0148 for an even easier experience. 

 

Progressive: 4.5 Stars

Progressive is among the largest insurance providers in the U.S. and has been servicing policies since 1937. We scored Progressive car insurance at 4.5 stars out of 5.0. Progressive holds an A+ financial strength rating from AM Best and an A+ rating with the BBB.

Progressive offers a number of discount options, including a deductible savings bank, policy bundling, and the Snapshot® mobile app. If you are a responsible driver, you have a good chance of finding a low premium with Progressive – not to mention, one of the best roadside assistance plans.

Geico: 4.5 Stars

We think Geico’s affordable rates, easy claims process, and nationwide availability make it one of the best options out there. That’s why we rate Geico auto insurance at 4.5 stars out of 5.0. Geico scored 4 out of 5 on the J.D. Power 2019 Auto Claims Satisfaction StudySM and has an AM Best financial strength rating of A++.

Geico’s numerous discounts include:

  • Safe driver discount
  • Family discount
  • Military discount
  • Good student discount

Most customers find that Geico offers the lowest premiums among major providers. For that reason, we think it’s a good idea to include Geico car insurance and roadside assistance in your search.

 


 

FAQ About Roadside Assistance Plans

What is the best roadside assistance service?

There is no single best roadside assistance service. Which service is best for you depends on your needs and budget. We think Progressive offers the best overall roadside assistance package, and AAA offers the best premium service.

To get roadside assistance with Progressive, you will need to have a Progressive auto insurance policy.

What does roadside assistance cover?

Roadside assistance coverage varies depending on the provider. Standard roadside assistance offerings include towing, winching, lockout services, and flat tire services.

Other less common offerings include roadside maintenance, trip planning, and fuel delivery. None of these features are unlimited, however. Even the best roadside assistance plans cap the number of service calls customers can make in a year.

Is AARP better than AAA?

It depends on which plan you decide to purchase. The least expensive AAA plan is cheaper than the least expensive AARP plan. However, the most expensive AAA option costs more than the most expensive AARP option.

For the lower cost plans, we think that AAA is a better option. It allows for more monthly service calls and a useful Motor Vehicle Department service. Premium AARP plans include more options like emergency bonds and legal defense fees, but these extras are superfluous for some customers.

How much is a roadside assistance plan?

The price of a roadside assistance plan varies depending on the provider and services. The cheapest plans can be as little at $14 a year (Geico, USAA), and the most expensive plans are upwards of $100 a year (OnStar).