Reviews | The Drive

These Roadside Assistance Plans Will Get you Back in Motion

We’re way past the days of AAA being the only game in town.

With decades of combined experience covering the latest news, reviewing the greatest gear, and advising you on your next car purchase, The Drive is the leading authority on all things automotive.

youtubefacebookinstagram

The Drive and its partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links. Read more.

BYChris Teague/ LAST UPDATED ON August 3, 2022
These Roadside Assistance Plans Will Get you Back in Motion
A man tries to cool down his overheating car by pouring water into the radiator, in one of the tunnels of the road that connects La Guaira with Caracas, Venezuela, Tuesday, April 19, 2022. Drivers try to coax a little more life out of aging vehicles in a country whose new car market collapsed and where few can afford to trade up for a better used one. (AP Photo/Matias Delacroix).

Nothing spoils a road trip faster than a breakdown or flat tire. And nothing makes that situation worse than being stuck without any way to get back on the road. You can buy the most reliable car on the planet and still be stuck in the middle of nowhere when you get a flat tire, and if your car doesn’t have a spare (many now don’t), you’re out of luck. Phone a friend may work, but unless your pal is free and doesn’t mind finding you — wherever you are — you’re stuck.

Rather than bug a friend or try your luck hitchhiking, it’s a good idea to invest in a roadside assistance plan. Just like the name suggests, roadside assistance plans exist to help you when something goes wrong on your drive. Flat tires are covered, but so is running out of fuel and having a mechanical breakdown. It might seem silly to spend the money, but it’ll feel even sillier to get stuck on the side of the road.

Summary List

Best Overall: Allstate

Best Value: Progressive

Best Eco Pick: Better World Club

Best Add-On: Travelers

Best for Local Service: AAA

Why Trust Us

Our reviews are driven by a combination of hands-on testing, expert input, “wisdom of the crowd” assessments from actual buyers, and our own expertise. We always aim to offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.

Learn more

Our Methodology

To find the best roadside assistance plans available this year, I used the companies’ websites and product listings to compare prices and make a value judgment on which were best. Having purchased and overused a few roadside assistance plans myself over the years, I understand that it can be frustrating and even dangerous in some cases to wait for service on the side of the road, so I noted extended wait times when applicable. If you want to learn more about how I and others at The Drive select products, take a look at The Drive’s Gear About page for more information. 

Best Roadside Assistance Plans Reviews & Recommendations

Specs

  • BBB Rating: A+
  • Years in Business: 91

Pros

  • Affordable for most
  • Open to non-Allstate customers
  • Single-use options available

Cons

  • Cheapest plan only open to insurance customers

Allstate is one of few insurers that offers roadside assistance services to non-members, and it’s one of even fewer that offer roadside services on a per-use basis. That can be a huge money-saver for people with relatively reliable vehicles, and it can be a lifesaver for people who find themselves stuck without a clue where to start. Allstate’s roadside assistance customers get at least three included rescues a year, which includes towing, jump starts, fuel delivery, lockout services, and tire changes. The company also includes a minimum of $1,500 trip-interruption benefits.

Specs

  • BBB Rating: N/A
  • Years in Business: 85

Pros

  • Several services available
  • Mostly affordable

Cons

  • Only available to Progressive customers, and only for company-covered vehicles
  • Too many roadside assistance claims may increase your premiums

Though Flo and company desperately want you to buy Progressive insurance, the company offers services that go well beyond auto coverage. Roadside assistance is available for covered vehicles on Progressive policies, which can be great for customers, because it gets rid of the need to call separate companies for car insurance and roadside assistance. The company offers a generous 12-mile towing radius, and its prices are competitive for the services included. That said, Progressive’s insurance policies aren’t the best for everyone, so you’ll need to look elsewhere if you can’t find a suitable policy. Many of Progressive’s customers also report extended wait times for service of up to an hour or longer in some cases. Depending on your location, Progressive may not have a service provider in your area, so you’ll be waiting for them to reach you.

Specs

  • BBB Rating: A-
  • Years in Business: 20

Pros

  • Company claims to be country’s only green auto club
  • Company frequently ranks highly in reviews
  • Bicycle plans available
  • Price matches AAA

Cons

  • Only available to Progressive customers, and only for company-covered vehicles
  • Too many roadside assistance claims may increase your premiums

Better World Club is one of few companies around that seem to try to live up their name and mission statement. The company is a certified B-Corp, and promises to donate 1 percent of its proceeds to environmental cleanup and advocacy. Additionally, all of its operations are carbon-neutral. Sweetening the deal, Better World Club price matches comparable AAA policies, so you can “be green” without spending a ton more in the process. Though green, the company does seem to take longer than its competitors when it comes to call response times. Some customers report waiting for extended periods, which is less than ideal. Many also report higher than average rates for plans, but the company’s AAA price match policy may help there.
Best for People Wanting A Simple Insurance Add-On
Travelers
Check Latest Price

Specs

  • BBB Rating: A
  • Years in Business: 169

Pros

  • Good pricing for Traveler’s customers
  • Solid list of extra services
  • Generous mileage radius for towing

Cons

  • Must be a customer and service is only available for covered vehicles
  • Roadside assistance only available for top-tier insurance plans

Travelers offers roadside assistance to its customers at a reasonable price. Its policies also include several great add-ons like winch service and locksmithing that improve value. Coverage options include towing with a radius of up to 100 miles, which is more generous than most plans and plenty for most people. However, just like other insurance-based roadside assistance providers, you’ll have to be an insurance customer to be eligible for roadside plans. Even then, you can’t call for roadside assistance for a vehicle that isn’t covered by a Travelers policy.
Best for People Wanting Local Service
AAA
Check Latest Price

Specs

  • BBB Rating: A+
  • Years in Business: 120

Pros

  • Multiple products available
  • AAA offers insurance and other services
  • Regional locations across the country

Cons

  • More expensive than most competitors
  • Doesn’t always win on customer service

The American Automobile Association, or AAA, is one of the oldest and most recognizable roadside assistance companies in the United States. Though its competition has literally grown up around it, AAA remains a strong option in the space, with several plans and pricing choices for related services like insurance. The downside to AAA is that the company doesn’t always score the highest in customer service, and it’s certainly not the cheapest option out there. The company also holds back some of the best features for its most expensive plan, including concierge services, travel accident coverage, and locksmith services.

Our Verdict on the Best Roadside Assistance Plans

Allstate is the best roadside assistance provider for most people. It offers the most flexible service options, including one-off choices that don’t require a membership, and its plans sometimes come with renewal discounts. On top of that, there’s a generous trip interruption benefit. 

We also like Better World Club. The company’s commitment to a sustainable business from top to bottom is unique in the industry, and its prices aren’t that far out of line with most of the competition. It’s also one of few companies in the space that offer price matches, as Better World customers can ask the company to meet AAA’s prices. 

What to Consider When Buying a Roadside Assistance Plan

Types of Roadside Assistance Companies 

Insurance Required

Many insurance providers offer roadside assistance services, but only to their members. They can be cheaper and may offer better add-on services. The downside here is that you aren’t typically able to obtain services for a vehicle not covered by an insurance policy.

No Insurance Required

Some providers, including insurers like Allstate and standalone companies like AAA, offer roadside assistance plans to people without requiring that they be insurance customers. Insurance companies that do this may reserve the best prices for people who purchase their insurance products.

Roadside Assistance Pricing 

Roadside assistance plans vary in price depending on the type of plan (is it attached to an insurance policy or not?) and on the level of services provided. In most cases, expect to pay at least $60 per year for the most basic roadside assistance plan. You can spend as much as $150 or more per year for the best coverage. 

It’s easy to find roadside plans with monthly payment options, but be cautious that you’re not paying more overall because of it. It’s also best to check all of your options before committing, because what sounds like a reasonable plan may be more expensive than a similar option from a competitor. You may also be eligible for discounts and other programs that can lower your costs, so be sure to ask. 

FAQs 

You’ve got questions. The Drive has answers.

Q: What does roadside assistance cover?

A: Specifics vary from plan to plan, but most roadside assistance plans offer help with flat tires, fuel fill-ups, breakdowns and towing, and more. Many offer add-ons or bonuses such as trip interruption reimbursement, rental cars, and semi-concierge services like movie tickets and restaurant reservations.

Q: Is roadside assistance worth it?

A: We’ll never tell you not to spend your money on something that makes you feel better and safer behind the wheel. We also aren’t here to tell you not to buy a roadside assistance plan. Unlike an extended warranty, roadside assistance is something that can be helpful for anyone, even owners of newer, more reliable cars.

Q: Does using roadside assistance make my insurance premiums go up?

A: Some people report that their insurers record roadside assistance as a claim, which could cause your insurance to increase. It’s best to check with your insurer if you’re worried about it, and if you don’t get the answer you want, it’s always possible to buy a plan from a non-insurance company.

stripe
stripe