These Roadside Assistance Plans Will Get you Back in Motion (2022)

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

These Roadside Assistance Plans Will Get you Back in Motion (1)

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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.

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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.

Best Value

Progressive

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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.

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Best for People Wanting A Simple Insurance Add-On

Travelers

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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.

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.

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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.

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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.

FAQs

What is the difference between roadside assistance and recovery? ›

For example, if you get a flat tyre or your engine conks out, you can call for roadside assistance. When your mechanic arrives, they'll try to fix your vehicle there and then. If they can't, they'll tow you to a garage (also called 'recovery') for repairs, so you won't be left stranded at the roadside.

What is Roadside Assistance cover? ›

Roadside assistance or local cover: A basic level of breakdown cover, this is when your provider sends out a mechanic and recovery vehicle to try and repair your vehicle roadside. If they can't repair it, they'll normally tow it to a nearby garage.

How far will the RAC tow you? ›

Basic and Standard: With Roadside Assistance, we'll tow you up to 10 miles if we can't fix you on the spot. This can be to the nearest garage or another destination. Just so you know, if you need to be towed further than this, there will be an extra charge.

Does Green Flag cover the car or the person? ›

Answer: At Green Flag we cover the vehicle not the person, so no matter who is driving, the vehicle is always covered.

Does breakdown cover pay for repairs? ›

In most cases, it will only cover any repairs made by the breakdown mechanic at the scene. If you do add extra cover to include the cost of parts and garage repairs, there will usually be a maximum amount that the breakdown provider will permit so you would have to pay for anything over this limit.

How many times can you call the AA out in a year? ›

Call us out as many times as you need to, as long as it's not a recurring problem with your vehicle. 24/7 cover for breakdowns over 1/4 mile from home. If we can't complete repairs at the roadside we'll take you and your vehicle to a nearby garage.

Do the AA take you home? ›

National Recovery

We'll take you, your vehicle and up to 7 passengers to wherever you need to be . We can take you back home, back to the start of your trip or on to the end of your journey. It's useful if we can't fix your vehicle at the roadside and a local garage can't do the repair quickly.

Can you call the AA to your house? ›

Help at your doorstep with At Home cover

Call us out right away, or arrange a time that's best for you. We'll be there for you day or night, 365 days a year. We fix 9 out of 10 breakdowns at home.

How Long Should AA take to get to you? ›

The average wait time for roadside recovery is 40-60 minutes and, because you might need to stand away from your vehicle until help arrives, keep a warm coat, a reflective, high-visibility vest, and a torch in the boot. We hope you'll never have a use for them, but you'll be glad of them should a breakdown ever occur.

Will the RAC jump start my car? ›

We'll fit a high-quality battery with up to 5 years warranty, and under our price match guarantee. If your existing battery is in good shape, we'll jump start your car and have you back on the road in no time.

Do the RAC take you home? ›

Breakdown cover at home (also known as 'home rescue' or 'home start') means we'll come to your rescue if you break down on your doorstep. For example, with a flat battery or a cold engine. The RAC will always try to fix your vehicle there and then. Or if we can't, we'll tow you to a garage for repair.

Is AA or RAC better? ›

If you're looking for a no-frills package and you're happy taking out a longer contract, then the RAC Standard package should suit your needs. But if you want complete peace of mind, no matter what happens, then the AA Premium cover is the best value.

Does Green Flag cover start immediately? ›

All kinds of cover start at a minute past midnight on the day after your policy starts, or on the day after the start date on your schedule — whichever comes later.

Do green flags come with a flat tire? ›

Green Flag will always come to your assistance, no matter what. But with flat tyres some people prefer to change wheels themselves. Here's what to do if you do suffer a puncture.

Which is better RAC or Green Flag? ›

On Trustpilot, RAC Breakdown Cover has a 4.3 out of 5 score; the AA scores 4.4/5 and Green Flag also scored 4.4. Car magazine Auto Express put together a ranking of breakdown cover providers, based on readers' experiences, which you can read here. It put Green Flag in 2rd place, RAC in 4th place and AA in 5th.

How soon can you claim on breakdown cover? ›

If you buy a standard breakdown policy your cover won't normally start for at least 24 hours, whereas instant breakdown cover will start straightaway. Some providers may offer you limited cover immediately after your purchase until the full cover kicks in 24 hours or so later.

What causes car to breakdown? ›

A flat or faulty battery

Battery trouble is often the main cause of breakdown issues. You may well have a flat or worn-out battery if your car: Struggles to turn the engine over. Takes longer than usual to start.

Does breakdown cover include recovery after an accident? ›

Breakdown insurance after a road accident

Some breakdown providers completely exclude recovery of cars involved in an accident, whilst those who will tow a customer's vehicle from an accident scene will usually only do so after authorisation by the police or another emergency service.

Will AA tow my car to a garage? ›

Help even if your car can't be fixed

If your car can't be fixed at the roadside, the AA will tow it to a garage.

Can I transfer my AA membership to another person? ›

As the main policyholder, our contract is with you. You can't transfer it to someone else. But you can add someone to your cover or take out a new policy. Call us to discuss your options.

Can I cover 2 cars for breakdown? ›

Multi-car breakdown cover is a type of breakdown cover that lets you add two or more cars to a single policy. It's useful for households and families with multiple cars registered to their address, as it can often work out cheaper and less complicated than taking out individual policies for each vehicle.

What is silver membership with AA? ›

What are the benefits of Silver and Gold membership? When you renew your AA membership after a year you become a Silver Member and get access to other benefits and services, including 1 day of free European Breakdown Cover up to 3 times a year.

Can you cancel AA membership at any time? ›

Continuous Members – paying monthly or quarterly can cancel their AA membership Breakdown Cover at any time by giving a minimum of 30 days notice.

How do you get a gold AA membership? ›

To requalify for Gold status, you need to fly at least 30 qualifying segments or earn 25,000 qualifying miles or points during the calendar year. It takes 60 qualifying segments or 50,000 qualifying miles or points during the calendar year to reach AAdvantage Platinum membership.

Should you stay in your car if it breaks down? ›

Stay in your vehicle

If you need to get out of the car, get your vehicle to a safe place and make sure the road around you is completely clear. If you're stopped on the right-hand side of the road, get out through the passenger-side door.

Can you leave your car if it breaks down? ›

Stay put. If you can't make it off of the road, don't exit the vehicle to push. Stay put and wait for help. If you are able to bring the vehicle to a safe place, make sure you and your passengers exit through the passenger doors, or the doors opposite the road.

What do you do during a breakdown? ›

Broken down on a motorway
  • Take your car off the motorway. Try to leave the motorway at the nearest exit or by pulling into a service station. ...
  • Leave your car safely and stand away from traffic. Turn on your hazards and if you've broken down at night or visibility is low, use your sidelights too. ...
  • Give us a call.

How much does it cost to have AA? ›

There are no dues or fees for A.A. membership. An A.A. group will usually have a collection during the meeting to cover expenses, such as rent, coffee, etc., and to this all members are free to contribute as much or as little as they wish.

Is AA a good company? ›

Is The AA a good company to work for? The AA has an overall rating of 3.3 out of 5, based on over 531 reviews left anonymously by employees.

How long is car recovery? ›

The time it takes for a recovery vehicle to reach you shouldn't be more than 30-60 minutes. After that, loading time can take between 10-20 minutes.

What happens if car battery dies while driving? ›

If your alternator is still healthy, a dead battery won't change anything during your drive. If your alternator dies alongside your battery, then you'll lose power to almost everything: your engine, all of the lights, HVAC, radio, dashcam, and even power steering. Prioritize safely pulling over before anything else.

How many years does car battery last? ›

Some cars will get up to five or six years out of their battery, while others will need a new one after only two years. In general, your car will usually need a new battery after three to four years. Replacing your car battery is another part of routine maintenance.

How long should I leave my car running to charge the battery? ›

Remember: After you've done a jump start, you'll need to keep the vehicle's engine running for around 30 minutes to allow the alternator time to charge the battery sufficiently.

Does RAC cover cars over 10 years old? ›

Q. Is there any age restriction on vehicles you will cover? No, we cover vehicles of all ages. The only exception is our Battery Replace breakdown extra product which is only available to purchase on vehicles less than 15 years old and with mileage less that 150,000.

Can you get a courtesy car after a breakdown? ›

As long as you have comprehensive car insurance, you will likely get a courtesy car whether the accident was your fault or the fault of another driver. Most insurance companies believe that, regardless of blame, you should still have access to a vehicle to get you around while yours is being repaired.

Can I use RAC without being a member? ›

If you've broken down already and you're not a member of RAC, we can still help you. However, you will be charged a fee for this service. Simply call 0333 202 1857 to speak to an advisor, quoting WJ0003.

How many times can I call RAC out? ›

You can call us out as many times as you need. Just bear in mind repeat callouts for the same fault won't be covered. We'll fix your vehicle at the roadside and if we can't, we'll tow you 10 miles.

What is the difference between the AA and green flag? ›

The AA's starting level of cover is called Roadside Assistance. Green Flag's is called Rescue. Both these cover levels provide unlimited call-outs, 24/7 cover from 1/4 mile from a home and a tow to the nearest garage if your car can't be fixed at the roadside.

What does RAC stand for? ›

RAC
AcronymDefinition
RACReception and Care (disaster care)
RACRoyal Automobile Club
RACRemote Access Cache
RACRemote Agent Control
159 more rows

How many times can you use breakdown cover? ›

You are permitted to make an unlimited number of claims during the term of you cover, apart from misfuelling which is limited to two per cover term.

How does Green Flag recovery work? ›

We offer 24 hours roadside assistance, 365 days a year. If your vehicle can't be fixed at the roadside, we'll tow it to the nearest garage. If your vehicle breaks down at home, we'll come and help you. We won't charge to come out to assist you.

Do Green Flag replace batteries? ›

If this tester is used, Green Flag gives customers a print-out of the test results for peace of mind. If you need a new battery, your technician will source one for you to buy (subject to availability), and they'll fit it for free.

Does Green Flag cover cars over 10 years old? ›

Cover will only be provided for vehicles that are under16 years old and privately registered and used in the UK. Call us on 0800 400 600 from inside the UK. If you have our Green Flag App downloaded on your smartphone you can use this to tell us about your breakdown.

How do I change the Green Flag on my car? ›

You can change your car details by calling Green Flag on: 0345 246 1558. You can also live-chat an agent on the website here. Whilst speaking to the agent you will also be able to upgrade your policy and complete any other changes you may need.

Does a flat tyre count as a breakdown? ›

Yes, as a general rule, breakdown cover policies include coverage for punctures, and changing tyres.

Does Green Flag cover any driver? ›

Answer: At Green Flag we cover the vehicle not the person, so no matter who is driving, the vehicle is always covered.

What is the AA response time? ›

The AA said the average time between when they receive a call and when they arrive at the breakdown is under 50 minutes while the RAC said it gives each member an individual expected time of arrival.

Is Green Flag owned by Direct Line? ›

Roadside Rescue Since 1971

Green Flag, a subsidiary of Direct Line Group, provides vehicle rescue services in the UK to approximately 3.5 million customers. Launched in 1971, Green Flag rescues around 2,000 vehicles a day.

What is local vehicle recovery? ›

Local vehicle recovery means that if we can't fix you at the roadside, we'll tow you up to 10 miles to a nearby garage, or somewhere else you choose. We also call this a 10-mile tow. It comes as a standard part of RAC Breakdown Cover.

What does nationwide recovery mean? ›

But with National Recovery (also known as Relay), you're covered nationwide. If you break down and we can't fix your vehicle at the roadside, we'll help you finish your journey. We'll tow you, your vehicle and up to 7 passengers wherever you need to go.

Can I call the RAC for a flat TYRE? ›

If your tyre fails to inflate when you're inflating it, it could be too damaged. If this is the case, use your spare tyre or call RAC breakdown assistance and one of our patrols can help you out.

Is breakdown cover separate to insurance? ›

Breakdown cover is usually separate from your vehicle insurance policy, although sometimes it does come as an add-on.

Will the AA tow my car home? ›

We'll take you, your vehicle and up to 7 passengers to wherever you need to be . We can take you back home, back to the start of your trip or on to the end of your journey. It's useful if we can't fix your vehicle at the roadside and a local garage can't do the repair quickly.

Does breakdown cover include recovery after an accident? ›

Breakdown insurance after a road accident

Some breakdown providers completely exclude recovery of cars involved in an accident, whilst those who will tow a customer's vehicle from an accident scene will usually only do so after authorisation by the police or another emergency service.

Can I use AA breakdown straight away? ›

Call 03330 046 046 and we'll come and rescue you today. We'll provide instant cover for anyone broken down in the UK who's not already with us. Just so you know, you can't buy cover online if you've already broken down – so please call instead and we'll help you.

Who does nationwide recovery collect for? ›

Nationwide Recovery Service is a debt collector that works specifically with health care companies to recover unpaid accounts. If you have a large hospital or doctor bill, it's very unlikely that you are able to pay it all in one go.

How Long Should AA take to get to you? ›

The average wait time for roadside recovery is 40-60 minutes and, because you might need to stand away from your vehicle until help arrives, keep a warm coat, a reflective, high-visibility vest, and a torch in the boot. We hope you'll never have a use for them, but you'll be glad of them should a breakdown ever occur.

Is Nationwide Recovery service legitimate? ›

Nationwide Recovery Service is a legitimate company. They are not a fake company, or a scam. But, they may spam call and harass you. One of the best ways to combat this is to dispute and remove unvalidated debts.

Can I drive 2 miles on a flat tire? ›

No. Do not drive on a flat tire. However, it may be necessary to travel a short distance on a flat tire when pulling over to the side of the road. But driving on a flat tire is a surefire way to put your passengers at risk and seriously damage your vehicle.

Does RAC cover cars over 10 years old? ›

Q. Is there any age restriction on vehicles you will cover? No, we cover vehicles of all ages. The only exception is our Battery Replace breakdown extra product which is only available to purchase on vehicles less than 15 years old and with mileage less that 150,000.

Will RAC fit a new tyre? ›

“Our normal RAC patrols do a great job of fixing the majority of punctures at the roadside or by using the RAC's pioneering new universal wheel, but this new tyre-fitting service complements our experienced patrol force and ensures that we have the right solution for our members to keep them moving.”

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