Roadside assistance and breakdown towing are essential services that can save you time, money, and sanity in the event of a breakdown. Knowing how to choose the right roadside assistance and breakdown towing plan for your vehicle is an important part of preparing for the unexpected. This blog post will help you compare different roadside assistance plans so that you can make an informed decision about the best coverage for your vehicle. We’ll look at the types of services offered, what to consider when choosing a plan, and how to get the most value out of it.

Who Offers Roadside Assistance?

Roadside assistance in Australia is offered by a range of providers, from insurers and major car manufacturers to roadside assistance clubs. Many leading insurers offer comprehensive roadside assistance policies as part of their services, which can provide you with cover for events such as a breakdown or accident.

Some of the well-known providers include:

Budget Direct

24/7 Roadservices Australia

RAC Roadside Assistance

NRMA Roadside Assistance

Wrong Fuel Rescue

Youi Car Insurance

Batteries On the Go

National Roadside Assist

Real Car Insurance

RACQ Roadside Assistance

What’s Covered by Roadside Assistance?

The specific services covered by roadside assistance programs can vary depending on the provider, but most programs generally cover the following types of situations:

  • Towing: If your vehicle is unable to be driven, the program will pay for it to be towed to a repair facility or a location of your choice.
  • Battery jump-start: If your battery is dead and you need a jump-start, the roadside assistance provider will dispatch a service vehicle to help you.
  • Tyre change: If you have a flat tyre, the provider will send someone to change it for you, or if you have a spare tyre, they will assist you in changing it yourself.
  • Fuel delivery: If you run out of gas, the provider will bring you enough gasoline to get you to the nearest gas station.
  • Lockout assistance: If you accidentally lock your keys in your car, the provider will dispatch a locksmith to help you get back in.
  • Winching and extraction: If your vehicle becomes stuck in the mud, snow, or another situation, the provider will send a tow truck with a winch to pull it out.

Again, the exact services covered by a particular roadside assistance program may vary, so it’s important to check with the provider for a complete list of services and any restrictions or limitations that may apply.

Other Common Roadside Assistance Services

These may include tyre changes, towing services, jump-starting dead batteries, and emergency fuel delivery for vehicles that have run out of fuel. Roadside assistance typically also covers lockout services when keys are locked in the car or if a key is broken off in the ignition or door lock. Some roadside assistance programs also offer services such as battery testing and installation, winching, and more. Additionally, many roadside assistance programs include discounts on automotive repair services. Drivers need to read the details of their roadside assistance coverage so they know exactly what services are covered and when they can use them.

How Much is Roadside Assistance?

The cost of roadside assistance in Australia depends on the provider you choose and the type of cover required. Generally, standard coverage costs around $55 per year, while the more comprehensive coverage can cost up to $250 depending on your requirements. Most providers offer a range of plans so you can tailor your coverage to suit your needs. It’s important to compare different providers and their services as some may offer better value for money than others.

When comparing roadside assistance plans, it’s also important to consider the level of cover provided and whether or not it includes features such as jump-starts, tyre changes, fuel delivery and other emergency services. Most roadside assistance policies will include a maximum amount of call-out fees and the number of calls allowed per year.

Things to Watch Out For

Who is the Coverage for – the Driver or the Vehicle?

This is an important question to consider when determining what exactly your money is paying for. Will the coverage extend to anyone driving the car or just to the policyholder when driving any car?

Annual Call-Out Limits:

It may be unexpected, but you may need more than four jump-starts in a year. It’s something to keep in mind if your vehicle is prone to breakdowns.

Who covers the cost of Petrol?

Some roadside assistance plans will provide a limited amount of fuel at no extra cost, while others may require payment at the time of delivery.

“Arrangements Made” Clause:

This term can be found in the terms and conditions and refers to services such as arranging a taxi, calling a locksmith, or securing emergency lodging. The company will make the calls on your behalf but, unless stated otherwise, the expenses will need to be covered by the policyholder.

Towing Limitations:

Most roadside assistance programs have a limit on the distance they will cover for towing. This limit may differ for metropolitan areas and rural areas. In urban areas, the limit is usually measured from the scene of the breakdown, while in remote areas, the limit may take into account the round trip for the tow truck.

Pre-existing Conditions:

Some providers may charge an additional fee for breakdowns caused by issues that existed before enrolling in the roadside assistance program.

What do Motoring Clubs Offer and How Much do They Cost?

Motoring clubs offer a range of services to their members, including but not limited to roadside assistance. Some common services offered by motoring clubs include:

  1. Roadside assistance: Provides help with common road emergencies such as jump-starting a dead battery, changing a tire, or towing your vehicle.
  2. Trip planning and navigation: Assistance with trip planning and navigation, including maps, route suggestions, and trip-planning tools.
  3. Travel discounts: Members can take advantage of discounts on travel-related expenses such as hotels, car rentals, and attractions.
  4. Insurance coverage: Some motoring clubs also offer insurance coverage for your vehicle, providing financial protection in the event of an accident, theft, or other covered events.

The cost of a motoring club membership can vary depending on the level of service and coverage offered, as well as the club itself. Some motoring clubs charge an annual membership fee, while others may offer memberships for a monthly fee. The cost of membership can range from several hundred dollars per year to a few dollars per month, depending on the club and the level of service offered.

For example, NRMA has three different levels of roadside options ranging from Everyday Care at $120 a year to Ultimate Care at $288 a year with add-on options for vehicles over 3.5 tonnes (t) at $132 a year, travel benefits for pets at $45 a year, and extra towing distance at $12 per 10km a year.

What’s the Difference Between Roadside Assistance and Car Insurance?

Roadside assistance and car insurance are two separate types of coverage, but they both offer protection for your vehicle.

Roadside assistance is a type of service that provides help with common road emergencies such as jump-starting a dead battery, changing a tire, or towing your vehicle. It’s designed to provide peace of mind and help when you’re stuck on the side of the road.

Car insurance, on the other hand, is a financial product that provides financial protection for your vehicle. It typically covers damages to your vehicle or others’ vehicles in the event of an accident, theft, or other covered events. Car insurance may also provide liability coverage if you’re found to be at fault in an accident and are responsible for paying damages to others.

Reliable Towing Services

Choosing the right roadside assistance and breakdown towing plan for your vehicle is an important decision that can provide peace of mind and help you get back on the road quickly in the event of a breakdown. When selecting a plan, consider factors such as the level of coverage, the cost, the range of services offered, and the reliability of the provider.

If you require a towing service, Combined Towing offers a range of services that are designed to provide fast and reliable assistance in the event of a breakdown. With years of experience and a commitment to customer service, Combined Towing is a trusted choice for drivers looking for high-quality towing and roadside assistance.

Don’t wait until you’re stranded on the side of the road to think about roadside assistance and towing. Take the time to research your options and choose a plan that provides the level of coverage you need to keep you and your vehicle moving. With the right plan in place, you can hit the road with confidence, knowing that help is just a phone call away.