Roadside assistance is free from some car manufacturers when you buy a new vehicle, lasting for up to 5 years or 36,000 - 100,000 miles in most cases. Roadside assistance from a car insurance company or a motor club like AAA requires paying an up-front cost before being eligible for free roadside assistance calls.
When Roadside Assistance Is Free
New cars sometimes come with a roadside assistance plan for a few years, provided by the car manufacturer.
Some credit card companies offer free roadside assistance for qualified users.
You can sometimes get roadside assistance with a pay-per-incident plan through your insurance company, so while there is no monthly or yearly cost for services, you pay a certain amount anytime you use the service.
Volkswagen offers roadside assistance for certified pre-owned vehicles, as well as for new cars.
Certain On-Star plans include roadside assistance at no extra cost.
You could have several free roadside service calls after paying a membership fee for a motor club or an insurance company’s roadside assistance program.
AAA roadside assistance costs between $38 and $171 per year, depending on the region and the membership level chosen. A one-time enrollment fee will also be charged at the time of purchase, when getting a AAA membership. AAA roadside assistance is included with the cost of a AAA membership, and drivers can select a classic, plus, or premier membership plan.… read full answer
AAA Roadside Assistance Cost and Benefits
5 miles of towing
$50 in locksmith service
100 miles of towing
Free fuel delivery
$100 in locksmith service
200 miles of towing
Free fuel delivery
$150 in locksmith service
The costs presented in the table are sample costs for Florida residents
Memberships of all levels also include benefits besides roadside assistance, such as identity theft insurance and trip interruption coverage.
All AAA Roadside Assistance Plans Include:
Flat tire services
AAA towing mileage limits vary depending on your state and membership level. Plus and premier memberships generally include higher towing mileage limits and more coverage overall than a classic membership. For instance, in some regions, the classic plan covers up to $50 in locksmith services, while the plus and premier plans pay up to $150.
AAA Roadside Assistance Cost Comparison
AAA - $38 to $171 per year
State Farm - $30 per year
Allstate - $79 to $149 per year
Progressive - $16 per year
Geico - $14 per year
For more information about choosing between roadside assistance options, check out WalletHub’s guide to the best roadside assistance.
Roadside assistance covers towing to nearby service stations, battery changes or jump-starts, and delivery of fuel or oil. Many roadside assistance programs also cover locksmith services up to a certain dollar amount and replacing a flat tire with an existing spare.
Removal of vehicles from ditches, deep snow, mud, or off-road terrain
Assistance if a policyholder is locked out of their vehicle
Often includes discounted replacement batteries
Starting the battery after it has died or become too weak to start the vehicle
Help with changing a flat; may include a discounted replacement tire
Can include free or discounted fuel, up to a certain amount or enough to get to the nearest gas station, depending on the plan
Some roadside assistance programs also include discounts at participating restaurants, attractions and hotels, as well as trip interruption coverage and travel assistance. Roadside assistance can cost anywhere from $8 to over $170 per year, depending on whether you purchase it as an add-on to an existing car insurance policy or through another company.
Yes, roadside assistance is worth it if you have an old car, regularly drive long distances, live somewhere with bad weather (especially snowstorms), or are unfamiliar with car maintenance. Roadside assistance can be cheap, and it can help with everything from towing and winching to jump-starts and lockout services.
You have an old car. Cars that are at least 10 years old are twice as likely to be stranded on the side of the road and four times as likely to require a tow than younger cars, according to AAA. With that in mind, it is worth considering roadside assistance if your car is more than 10 years old.
You regularly drive long distances. Generally, it is worth buying roadside assistance if you commute every day or regularly take long-distance road trips, as your car will experience more wear and tear than the average vehicle.
You live somewhere with bad weather. Where there is bad weather, there are road hazards. Especially if you live in a place that gets a lot of snow, your risk for getting stuck in a ditch or losing control of your vehicle is much higher. Thus, buying roadside assistance, especially a plan that includes winching, is worth the money.
You are unfamiliar with car maintenance. If you feel uncomfortable changing a tire or jumpstarting your car’s engine—or you don’t want to worry about car maintenance at all— it is worth it to purchase roadside assistance to ease your anxiety.
You get it through your car insurance company. Roadside assistance is usually much cheaper through an insurance company than through an auto club. It is worth noting that before allowing you to buy roadside assistance, your insurer may require you to buy comprehensive and collision coverage.
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