Many companies offer roadside assistance on a subscription style basis. Basically, you pay a monthly fee, and if you need it, you get a host of services for free. If you don't need anything, you get the peace of mind that you would have help if you need it.
However, not all roadside assistance programmes are the same. Before booking a service, you may want to ask a few questions.
What Services Do You Provide?
Before choosing a company to provide your roadside assistance needs, make sure you find out what services they offer. Many companies will tow your vehicle to a repair shop, but they will also do roadside repairs such as changing tyres, jumping batteries or unlocking your door. Some services will also deliver fuel to you.
Think about the services you are the most likely to need and make sure the company offers that. For example, if you frequently forget to fuel up your car, you may want a company that includes fuel delivery.
What Are Your Distance Limits?
Many roadside assistance companies only provide service within a certain radius. If you tend to drive locally, you may be fine with a service that only offers a 50 km radius, for example. On the other hand, if you travel a lot for work or pleasure, you may need a company that offers a 250 km radius or even coverage over the entire country.
If you only travel occasionally, you may want to check into the cost of getting roadside assistance when you are outside the radius. Compare that surcharge to how much you save every month for having a restricted radius.
What Is Your Average Response Time?
Sitting on the side of the road waiting for help can be scary and frustrating. To minimise your waiting time, ask prospective companies how long they take to respond to calls for help, and keep that in mind when making your selection.
Which Mechanics Do You Use?
In some cases, you may need to contact roadside assistance and have them tow your vehicle to a mechanic. The mechanic's repairs may even be covered as part of the plan. To prepare for these situations, ask the company which mechanics they use.
If you have a favourite mechanic, you may want to make sure that you can use them under the terms of the plan. If not, you may want to find out which mechanics the company uses so you can go to them for repairs.
Do You Have an App?
Finally, an app can help to make things easier. With an app, you can arrange roadside service without making a phone call. You may want to ask prospective companies about that as well.