HONK for Help is unlike most of the best roadside assistance services that you usually find. You don’t have to pay a subscription for a membership or buy into a specific plan – you only pay for what you need. Like other at-will roadside services, such as Urgent.ly, HONK - their capital letter branding, not ours - follows Uber’s and Lyft’s independent provider models. You submit your claim, and nearby service providers bid for the job, helping you get a low price and fast response during your emergency. At least if you're lucky - depending on where you breakdown, there may not be enough competition or coverage to provide a satisfactory service.
HONK covers standard emergency services, including towing, flat tires, jump-starts, auto lockout, fuel delivery and winch services, and it even lets you specify if you need flatbed towing or towing for an exotic car. It can find a provider to help you in most kinds of weather and road conditions, from sand to ice and snow.
You submit your claim through HONK's mobile app, which is free to download and use. It's available for all the best smartphones, and can be found on the Apple App Store or Android Store. When you need assistance, you open the app and enter information about yourself and the situation. Once it finds a service provider, you receive an update with the price and an estimate of how long it will take help to get there. On its website, HONK advertises incredibly fast response times of around 15 to 30 minutes, though this could vary somewhat depending on how far away from a city or service center you are.
Coverage is generally very good, although more remote areas have fewer approved providers. One thing we love is that all HONK's partners are given a background check when they sign up, giving you peace of mind if you're broken down alone or in an unknown part of the country. They also enforce insurance validation checks too, so you know that whoever shows up has the right insurance too, which covers you in the event that they make the problem worse.
Recovery prices start at $49, which is much lower than the annual membership cost for a traditional roadside assistance policy. You pay for the service through the app using your credit or debit card, never cash – that way, you never have to worry about giving a cash payment or tipping the service provider. You can also see the provider’s name, company info and phone number on your app while tracking their arrival. HONK's only downside is that support is only available via email – you can’t speak to a company rep over the phone.
Should you choose HONK for Help?
While HONK isn't a traditional roadside service, it is a valid option for motorists looking to save money. Basically, if you're confident that your car isn't going to break down that often - accidents and unforeseen mechanical defects aside - then it's a really good alternative to signing up for a $100+ yearly plan. We'd suggest that anyone who lives and drives outside urban or suburban areas should also have a more traditional plan like AllState Motor Club or Good Sam Roadside Assistance, as you may find that you breakdown in an area sparsely covered by HONK approved rescue centers. Overall, though, the app is well designed and easy to use, and employing HONK instead of a regular breakdown provider can save you loads of money every year.