There are many situations you may find yourself in that require roadside assistance. Even if you feel prepared for any potential problems, like a flat tire or a dead battery, knowing that there’s someone you can call in the event of an emergency may give you some peace of mind. Here are some of the ways roadside assistance can help:
For safety reasons, you should not keep a filled gas can in your vehicle. Having an empty one can come in handy, but you have to get from your car to a gas station and back. Most basic roadside services include fuel delivery because running out of gas is such a common problem for motorists. Gas is provided at the cost of the customer in most cases. With a good roadside assistance plan or club plan, you’ll be able to call and have someone bring gas right to you, saving time and your feet.
Most cars come with two keys. Naturally, giving your spare key to a loved one or keeping it in your home can be helpful in this situation. Call your friend or spouse. Wait for them to bring your key. If you’re far away or need to get into your vehicle more quickly, calling for roadside assistance might be your best bet. If you don’t have roadside assistance already, some companies will let you call for help without signing up in advance.
Your car probably has a spare tire in the truck or on the back. It likely even has a small jack and tire iron. Changing a flat tire yourself is generally quick and easy, as long as you can do so safely. If you’ve never done it before, then you probably won’t want to try learning in the dark or in inclement weather. Flat tires are one of the most common reasons to call roadside assistance.
Jumper cables are the foundation of a good car emergency kit. It may be a good idea to include emergency reflector triangles to put out in front of and behind your vehicle for your safety and that of other drivers. Make sure you know how to use them properly. If you’re alone, it is almost always better to call for help than to flag down another motorist, which could be dangerous. If your battery is completely dead or the temperature’s too low, even the jumper cables might not help.
If you break down or are in an accident, you’ll need to get your car off the road and into a shop for repair. In the confusion after an accident, it may not occur to you that the friendly tow being offered to you is not covered by your insurance. Local officials responding to the accident usually call for a tow truck, and then drivers may be charged excessive fees for a tow they haven’t even called for. Call your insurance agent or your roadside assistance number immediately if you think you require a tow. They’ll make sure to send a trustworthy company to your location.
Roadside assistance may not be as expensive as you might think, but be sure you know exactly what is included in your plan.
With everyone from cellular providers to auto manufacturers offering a variety of roadside assistance plans, you may not be getting what you think you signed up for. Cellphone plans typically only cover the person who has the phone at the time. If you break down, but your child has the phone at a friend’s house, you can’t call to get help. However, if you go with a motor club plan, any personal passenger vehicle a member is driving is typically covered under the membership You may not need roadside assistance often, but as with medical insurance, you’ll be glad you invested in it when a problem arises.