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      June 4, 2020

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AAA Roadside Assistance vs Auto Road Service

To help you find the Best Roadside Assistance, TopConsumerReviews.com provides you with an in-depth comparison of AAA Roadside Assistance and Auto Road Service.

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Get Roadside Assistance with Good Sam Today! Whether on a cross-country road trip or a quick errand across town, it’s never a good time for a vehicle to break down. With a Roadside Assistance plan, drivers have protection against the inconvenience and danger of being stranded by the side of the road and can trust that help will be on the way.

While motor clubs used to be the only way to access these protection plans, today there is a wide range of Roadside Assistance plans from which to choose, from credit card providers to insurance companies. Plans can include flat-tire changing, fuel or coolant delivery, help with stuck vehicles, and some even offer financial help with legal defense in the event of a speeding ticket!

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Best Reviews

2020

Roadside Assistance Program Reviews

4 stars
AAA Roadside Assistance

AAA ROADSIDE ASSISTANCE

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Cost:

There are 3 available coverage levels, but membership fees depend on your geographic area

Formed in 1902, the American Automobile Association—commonly known as AAA or even "Triple-A"—has more than 55 million members who use their roadside assistance plans to cover themselves in case of an emergency while on the road. All plans include towing, emergency starting, battery service, flat tire service, fuel delivery (member pays for fuel in Classic plan), locksmith service, extrication/winching, car travel interruption, travel planning, passport photos free or at reduced cost, and more. Some AAA regions also include bicycle coverage in all memberships, while others have it as an option.

AAA's website makes it easy to compare plans across Classic, Plus, and Premier levels; we appreciate that there are no secrets as to what is covered and what is excluded. Users of the website enter their ZIP code, which takes them to the site applicable to their region of the country. Different information is presented based on region/local website; however, it appears that the membership refund policy allows members to get unused months' fees reimbursed within the first three months of a new membership.

Coverage for motorcycles is available at all membership levels; RVs/Trailer coverage is only offered at Plus/Premier levels. Also, every level of membership covers users in their own vehicles, as well as rentals, borrowed vehicles, and while riding in a friend's car.

Across all three membership levels, roadside assistance calls are limited to four per member per year, after which members can get service at AAA's pre-negotiated, discounted rate with service providers. This puts them in the middle of the pack with respect to other roadside assistance companies. On the other hand, their towing coverage is only 5 miles for Classic, 100 for Plus, and 250 for Premier members. For such a large, well-established company, we would expect their minimum mileage to meet or beat other assistance plans on the market instead of being one of the least generous.

However, AAA is unmatched when it comes to its additional perks and benefits through their network: discounts at dining, shopping, motels, theme park and other attractions; prescription savings; identity theft protection through ProtectMyID; free registration with WeatherFX for severe weather alerts; and, notary, fax, copy services at AAA offices nationwide.

While we're not impressed with AAA's skimpy mileage coverage for its lowest-tier membership plans, their reputation within the industry and extraordinary level of additional benefits is worth considering.

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3.5 stars
Auto Road Service

AUTO ROAD SERVICE

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Cost:

$69.99 - 1 year

$199.99 - 3 years

$329.99 - 5 years

$459.99 - 7 years

Auto Road Service is a division of auto warranty company Auto Advantage Inc. a well-respected business with an A+ rating and accreditation by the BBB. They pride themselves on being a "truly affordable" provider of roadside assistance coverage, and their no-frills plans include a towing range of 35 miles, three allowable claims per year, and travel planning and discount programs similar to the big-name companies within the auto coverage industry.

Their website has a thorough FAQ for customer questions, and a quickly-answered call to their toll-free number resulted in a confirmation that Auto Road Service's coverage follows the member regardless of the car driven. We would have liked to see this information featured on the site, along with several customer testimonials or reviews indicating their overall experience with the services provided.

Customers should understand that Auto Road Service truly does offer just the basic roadside assistance services—towing, battery jump start, fuel/fluids, etc.—and not any of the additional services commonly offered by other roadside assistance memberships, such as legal defense assistance, arrest bond coverage, or travel interruption benefits. However, their coverage does extend beyond the fifty states to Canada and Mexico, unlike a few of the bigger-name companies. Also, coverage is available for RVs and motorcycles.

While their call center handles over 4 million roadside assistance calls annually, using the same network as many other major companies, Auto Road Service offers a $100 reimbursement if a network provider is not available for a needed service. Within their network, they offer "Sign and Drive": Auto Road Service pays the provider directly, while the member only needs to sign for the qualified services and drive away.

Unfortunately, Auto Road Service's membership price offers less coverage for services extended by other major roadside assistance companies with comparable membership fees.

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Continued from above

Some plans also tie the coverage to specific vehicles, while others allow the covered member (and often the other drivers in the household) to receive roadside service regardless of the vehicle. The latter can be particularly useful if a covered member is riding in a car belonging to another driver when a breakdown occurs, as the coverage will be extended to servicing that vehicle.

If you’re shopping for a reputable provider of Roadside Assistance, you should consider the following.

  • Coverage Details. While all plans will cover the cost of towing, either by covering it outright or by reimbursing you for payments made to the towing company, there are significant differences in coverage depending on the provider you choose and the comprehensiveness of the plan. Carefully review the coverage details to make sure that your most likely needs are covered.
  • Length of Coverage. What best fits your lifestyle and plans for car ownership? A manufacturer plan might be enough to protect you, but if you want to cover more than one vehicle without worrying about warranty expiration, a traditional roadside assistance plan would be more appropriate.
  • Reliability of the Provider. How long have they been in business? How satisfied are their customers? How long does it take, on average, to get a tow truck or locksmith dispatched to the customer? Is there a satisfaction guarantee if the promised services don’t meet expectations?

TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked the best Roadside Assistance providers available today. We hope this information helps you find the right roadside assistance plan for you and your family!

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