Best Roadside Assistance Plans

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Man experiencing car trouble

 

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The Rundown

If you’re planning to take a road trip in a car, minivan, or RV, it's important to prepare for anything during your adventure: even a flat tire on the side of the highway in the middle of the night. That's when the value of a trustworthy roadside assistance plan comes in handy.

Many providers offer roadside assistance, including insurance companies, warranty companies, credit card providers, and national motor clubs. All of them offer the same basic services, from tire-changing and jump-starting to towing and fuel delivery. The cost of these services cost and the elements included in addition to these essentials differ from one option to the next. Here, we've rounded up the best roadside assistance plans, so you can make sure your next road trip goes smoothly.

Best Overall: AAA

AAA

 AAA

Why We Chose It: We chose AAA as our overall winner because of its comprehensive benefits, high customer ratings, and its position as an industry leader since 1902. 

What We Like
  • Choice of plans to suit different needs and budgets

  • Can claim benefits when driving any car, not just your own

  • Extras like trip interruption and theft reward included in all plans

What We Don’t Like
  • Service quality may differ from one AAA club to the next

  • Classic plan is not available for RVs and motorcycles

  • Classic plan offers very limited free towing

AAA has been one of the leading roadside assistance options since it was founded in 1902. Comprised of more than 50 regional clubs, it offers three membership plans, all of which entitle the holder to 24/7 roadside assistance. Opt for the Classic plan for three miles of free towing, one towing vehicle, up to roughly $50 reimbursement for lock and key services, and up to about $300 in trip interruption protection. 

The Plus plan increases the free towing distance to an impressive 100 miles, provides free, emergency fuel, two towing vehicles, roughly $100 reimbursement for lock and key services, and around $600 in trip interruption protection. The Premier plan is even more comprehensive. Plus and Premier are also available for RVs and motorcycles, while added benefits for all plans range from trip planning services to exclusive discounts.

Best Budget: GEICO

GEICO

 GEICO

Why We Chose It: We chose GEICO as our top budget option because it delivers quality service at one of the most affordable rates out there and has additional discounts for customers in several categories.

What We Like
  • Incredibly affordable annual rate

  • Further discounts available for eligible customers

  • Mobile app makes requesting assistance easy

What We Don’t Like
  • Only available for GEICO car insurance policyholders

  • No choice of different plans

  • Stricter limitations in comparison with competitors

If you already insure your vehicle with GEICO, you have the option of adding the company’s Emergency Road Service to your policy for as little as roughly $14 per vehicle, per year. Assistance is available 24/7 and can be requested in just two minutes via the mobile app. The app also allows you to track your service vehicle in real-time. GEICO estimates that in most cases assistance will arrive within one hour. 

Covered benefits include fuel delivery, battery jumping, tire changes, and up to roughly $100 of lockout services. Some services are included with limitations: You can be towed to the nearest repair shop, but only within 20 miles; and winching is covered, but only if your vehicle is on or immediately next to a publicly maintained roadway. Be sure to ask about further discounts for members of the military, federal employees, students, and those over 50.

Best Runner-Up: Allstate

Allstate

Allstate 

Why We Chose It: We chose Allstate as our runner-up because of its flexible purchasing options that allow you to pay per use, add to your existing insurance policy, or choose an annual membership plan.

What We Like
  • Can add to Allstate auto insurance or purchase separately

  • Mobile app lets you order and track assistance in real time

  • Coverage includes Canada, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands

What We Don’t Like
  • Fuel delivery is covered, but the fuel itself must be paid for

  • Plans are not easily comparable on the website

  • Not available for residents of California

Allstate offers 24/7 roadside assistance for everyone, whether you have Allstate auto insurance or not. If you do, you can add roadside assistance to your existing policy for as little as $25 per vehicle. Otherwise, choose from three annual membership plans: Assist, Advantage, and Elite. All three include essential services like tire changes, jump starts, lock and key services, and fuel delivery. 

Towing is also included, although allowances are calculated by cost, not mileage. For example, the Elite plan gives members up to roughly $250 reimbursement for towing rather than a set number of miles. All plans offer road hazard benefits and trip interruption protection, while the Allstate mobile app lets you request and track assistance in real-time. Finally, members of your immediate family are eligible for discounted rates.

Best for Added Benefits: National General Motor Club

National General Motor Club

National General Motor Club

Why We Chose It: We chose National General Motor Club because its Elite plan offers unrivaled benefits ranging from legal defense reimbursement to auto theft rewards.

What We Like
  • Above-and-beyond benefits for Elite members

  • Couple and family plans available for discounted rates

  • Benefits available when driving any car, not just your own

What We Don’t Like
  • Full range of benefits only available on Elite plan

  • Basic plan is not available as a family package

  • Maximum limit of four annual call-outs per individual

The National General Motor Club offers 24/7 roadside assistance via three annual plans: the Basic, Standard, and Elite. All three include jump starts, tire changes, fuel delivery, winching, a lockout service, and between roughly five and 100 miles of free towing. Choose the Elite package for a long list of added benefits, including up to about $750 for trip interruption and up to around $1,000 towards legal defense, an arrest bond, or a hospital emergency room bond. 

If your vehicle is stolen, National General Motor Club will also offer a $10,000 reward for Elite members. All of these benefits are included for about $89 annually per person, roughly $99 per couple, and around $119 per family. Under the family plan, Elite members are eligible for up to seven free call-outs in total per year. All plans also offer trip planning benefits and discounts on entertainment, dining, and retail.

Best for Unlimited Uses: Carchex

Carchex

 Carchex

Why We Chose It: As one of the only roadside assistance plans to offer unlimited uses, Carchex stands out as the obvious choice for those who spend extended periods of time on the road.

What We Like
  • Premium plan includes unlimited uses

  • Option for unlimited vehicles and up to four members

  • All plans include mechanical first aid service

What We Don’t Like
  • Unlimited use option only offered to single vehicle plans

  • Single vehicle plans won’t cover you when using a rental car

  • Not available to residents of California and Puerto Rico

Carchex specializes in extended car warranties and vehicle inspections but also has three plans for 24/7 roadside assistance. These plans have excellent customer satisfaction ratings and make use of more than 45,000 service trucks across the U.S. and Canada. Use the mobile app to request and track assistance, and enjoy an average response time of just 30 minutes. 

All plans include emergency towing, lost key and lockout services, fuel delivery, tire changing, and emergency battery services. They also include mechanical first aid, which means that when possible, your disabled vehicle will be repaired on the spot without incurring additional labor costs. The Single Vehicle Premium plan stands out because it allows for unlimited uses. The other two plans (one for single vehicles and the other for unlimited vehicles and up to four members) include five uses per year.

Best for RV Owners: Good Sam Roadside Assistance

Good Sam Roadside Assistance

Good Sam Roadside Assistance

Why We Chose It: We chose Good Sam Roadside Assistance as the winner of our RV category because it primarily caters to RVers and has three plans formulated especially for them.

What We Like
  • Specialist plans especially for RVs

  • Towing is not restricted by dollar or mileage limits

  • Immediate family members are included at no extra cost

What We Don’t Like
  • Standard plan only covers towable RVs

  • Average assistance times are longer than some competitors

  • Expensive compared to other roadside assistance plans

Although Good Sam offers roadside assistance plans for standard vehicles, too, the company is especially known for its tailored RV plans. There are three to choose from. The Standard plan covers all owned cars, trucks, SUVs, towable recreational vehicles, and motorcycles. The Platinum plan adds motorized RVs and fifth wheels and covers leased, rented, and borrowed vehicles, as well, while the Platinum Complete plan includes tire and wheel road hazard coverage and emergency medical assistance. 

All plans include towing to the nearest service center, no matter how far away it might be. Tire changes, fuel delivery, jump-starting, lost key and lockout assistance, and trip interruption protection are also offered. Unusually, your spouse or domestic partner and dependent children under 25 also receive coverage at no extra charge. Plans are valid in Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands as well.

Best for Military Members: USAA

USAA

 USAA

Why We Chose It: USAA offers dedicated products and services just for military members and their families, making it our top choice for American servicemen and women.

What We Like
  • Affordable option for military members

  • Joining USAA is free

  • Vehicle will be towed to the nearest repair shop, regardless of mileage

What We Don’t Like
  • Assistance is only available for covered vehicles

  • Benefits are basic in comparison to some competitors

  • Winching is not included

USAA is a membership organization that provides insurance, banking, investments, and advice for former and current U.S. military members and their families. Become a member for free, then choose to insure your vehicle with Towing and Labor coverage to benefit from USAA’s Roadside Assistance program. Because it isn’t a standalone, pre-paid plan, the program is both simpler and considerably cheaper than most other entries on this list. 

Included services range from emergency towing to lockout services, jump-starting, flat tire changing, and fuel delivery. Bear in mind a few caveats: Winching is not covered, so your vehicle must be on or immediately next to a public roadway. You also must have a functioning spare tire. And although fuel delivery is free, you will need to pay for the fuel. Request for services to be paid for by USAA in advance or submit invoices for reimbursement after the incident.

Best for the Environment: Better World Club

Better World Club

 Better World Club

Why We Chose It: If the environment is your first priority when selecting service providers, choose Better World Club for its commitment to being 100% carbon neutral.

What We Like
  • Discounts offered for owners of hybrid and electric cars

  • Specialized plans for bicycle owners

  • Exclusive member discounts on dining, shopping, and travel

What We Don’t Like
  • Plans are relatively expensive for what they offer

  • Including family members on your plan costs extra

  • No coverage outside the U.S. and Canada

Better World Club is an environmentally conscious members club that offers home, travel, and auto insurance as well as 24/7 roadside assistance for cars and bicycles. The company is 100% carbon neutral, advocates for sustainable transportation policies, and donates to multiple environmental causes. If you own a hybrid or electric car, you’re eligible for a discount; and if you choose to get around exclusively by bicycle, there’s a plan for you, too. 

Auto owners have a choice between a Basic or Premium plan, both of which allow you to add a bicycle, motorcycle, or RV, and up to three associate members for an additional fee. The towing range for the Basic plan is five miles in comparison to 100 miles for the Premium plan. Both include battery jump-starting, flat tire changing, lockout service, fuel delivery (with two free gallons on the Premium plan), winching, and trip interruption protection.

Final Verdict

We chose AAA and Allstate as our overall winner and runner-up because of their established reputations, excellent customer reviews, and wide variety of plans and services. However, National General Motor Club is a great choice if you want unique added benefits like bond coverage in case of an arrest or emergency room visit. Carchex is ideal for those who want unlimited uses throughout the year, while GEICO is our top pick for those on a budget. Good Sam, USAA, and Better World Club all offer specialist services for RV owners, military members, and eco-conscious customers respectively. 

What Is a Roadside Assistance Plan?

A roadside assistance plan covers you in case of unexpected problems on the road, ranging from a flat tire and running out of fuel to misplacing your keys or locking them inside your vehicle. Most also include emergency towing in case of vehicle failure. 

How Much Do Roadside Assistance Plans Cost?

Costs vary depending on whether you organize roadside assistance through an independent members' club, an extended warranty provider, or as an add-on to your existing insurance policy. The plans on this list range in price from about $20 to $240 per year. 

Does My Roadside Assistance Plan Cover Multiple Vehicles?

You will need to check with your provider. Some plans are vehicle specific, others cover all the vehicles that you own, and certain ones cover any vehicle you happen to be driving whether it’s owned, rented, or borrowed. Other plans allow you to register multiple vehicles at the time of purchase. 

How We Chose the Best Roadside Assistance Plans

When choosing providers, we read multiple reviews from automotive media publications. We then corroborated these by checking them against real-life customer reviews. When we found a discrepancy (as with Progressive, which has great media write-ups but poor user reviews), the provider was eliminated. With the exception of GEICO and USAA, we also chose to focus on plans that can be purchased independently—unlike insurance add-ons by brands like State Farm and roadside assistance plans for cardholders at places like Chase Bank. We also made an effort to include a wide spectrum of plans for everyone, from those on a budget to RV owners and veterans.

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