Best Roadside Assistance Services of 2018

Eli McCormick ·
Finance Senior Writer
Updated
We maintain strict editorial integrity when we evaluate products and services; however, Top Ten Reviews may earn money when you click on links.

We spent about 40 hours comparing roadside assistance services. During our research, we looked at the towing limits and reimbursements for things like locksmiths and fuel delivery. Most services sell a variety of plans, and we looked at the cost for each company’s basic and premium offerings. Based on what we found, we decided that Allstate Motor Club is the best option for roadside assistance. Its basic plan is the most affordable and has generous reimbursements for towing and lockouts.      

Best Overall
Allstate Motor Club
Allstate Motor Club pairs affordable plans with generous roadside assistance services. You get $100 reimbursement on towing and locksmith services with the Roadside Advantage Plan, which is more than enough to cover local and some longer distance service calls.
View on Allstate Motor Club
Best Value
AAA
AAA is the biggest name in roadside assistance. Its basic plan’s low price and wide variety of benefits, including rewards programs and identity protection, make it our choice for best value.
View on AAA
Best Services
Good Sam
Good Sam Roadside Assistance has some of the best services we saw. For example, it offers unlimited towing, jump starts and flat tire repairs.
View on Good Sam
US$69.95@Good Sam
Best Services
Good Sam
Product
Price
Overall Rating
Pricing
Basic Services
Premium Services
Basic Membership
Premium Membership
Basic Towing Limits
Basic Locksmith Reimbursement
Basic Fuel Delivery
Premium Towing Limits
Premium Locksmith Reimbursement
Premium Trip Interruption Reimbursement
Check Price
9.7 9.8 10 9.3
$52
$99
Up to $100
$100
$250
$100
$1,500
Check Price
9.4 8.8 9.8 9.8
$80
$115
Unlimited
Everything But Parts and Labor
Unlimited
All But Parts and Labor
$1,200
Check Price
9.2 9.3 8.5 10
$56
$119
5 Miles
$50
200 Miles
$150
$1,500
Check Price
9.1 10 8 9
$58
$74
5 Miles
$60
100 Miles
$130
$1,500
Check Price
8.9 9.8 8 8.8
$59
$95
5 Miles
$50
100 Miles
$100
$1,500
Check Price
8.8 9.8 8 8.5
$59
$89
5 Miles
$60
100 Miles
$130
$750
Check Price
8.3 8.8 8 8
$78
$120
5 Miles
$60
100 Miles
$120
$500
Check Price
7.3 5 9.3 8
$132
$240
Up to $100
$100
$100
$100
$500
Check Price
7.2 8.8 5.3 7.5
$85
$100
15 miles
$0
100 Miles
0
$1,000
Best Overall
We chose Allstate Motor Club as the best roadside assistance service overall because it’s one of the most affordable and has a strong collection of services and benefits. You don’t need to be an Allstate policyholder to sign up – anyone can join.
The Roadside Advantage plan is the most basic, and it is one of the most affordable plans we saw. It costs $52 annually, or a little more than $4 a month. This plan includes $100 worth of roadside assistance. This means if you get a flat tire, need a tow, get locked out of your car or run out of fuel, Allstate dispatches assistance and reimburses you for up to $100 of the cost. This is a more generous benefit than other services provide – many offer free towing for a limited number of miles, rather than reimbursing you for the amount you pay. The Platinum Elite plan costs $99 a year, or about $8 a month. That’s about $20 less than average for premium roadside plans. The Platinum plan includes over $250 worth of reimbursement, so if you need a longer tow, you’re covered for it. In case you get in an accident far away from home, Allstate provides a trip interruption benefit. It provides up to $1,500 toward food and lodging while your car gets repaired.
Pros
  • Least expensive basic plan
  • Basic plan’s reimbursement is more generous than competitors' plans
  • Reimbursement covers fuel and locksmiths as well
Cons
  • Premium plan offers fewer discounts than other programs
  • Not the most affordable premium plan
  • No middle-tier plan
US$52.00Allstate Motor Club
Read the full review
Best Value
AAA is nearly synonymous with roadside assistance. After comparing plans, we found that AAA offers the best value, especially with its basic plan.
The AAA Classic plan costs $56 a year, which is about $4.66 a month and only a few dollars more than Allstate’s basic plan. For about the same price, you get a variety of benefits, some of which aren’t strictly roadside assistance but valuable nonetheless. AAA Classic provides free towing for 5 miles, which is usually sufficient in cities. If you get locked out of your car, the service reimburses you $50 for the cost of a locksmith. This plan also includes benefits like identity theft monitoring and membership discounts at hotels, restaurants and other businesses. So, if you’re not a long-distance traveler, AAA’s basic plan can provide peace of mind and benefits other services lack. The company’s higher-level plan, AAA Premier, is slightly more expensive than comparable plans elsewhere, with a $119 annual cost. Several competing roadside assistance programs’ premium plans come in at less than $100 a year. However, while it may cost more, AAA Premier includes 200 miles of free towing, which is double the distance in most premium plans.
Pros
  • Basic plan one of the least expensive
  • Identity monitoring included in basic plan
  • 200 miles of free towing with premium plan
Cons
  • Only 5 miles of free towing with Classic plan
  • Only $50 for locksmith reimbursement
  • Premier plan costs $119 a year
US$56.00AAA
Read the full review
Best Services
Good Sam Roadside Assistance’s most notable feature is its unlimited towing – most roadside assistance services have limits set between 5 and 100 miles or only reimburse you for the money you spend.
In addition, Good Sam offers unlimited flat tire repairs, jump starts, fuel delivery and locksmith services. For the locksmith, you’re often on the hook for parts and labor. One drawback of using Good Sam is it’s one of the more expensive services we reviewed. Its standard plan costs $80 a year, so a little more than $6 a month. The Platinum plan costs about $115 a year, or $9.50 a month. Good Sam’s unlimited roadside assistance comes with both plans. Both levels also cover all your vehicles and family members, unlike other services that require you pay extra to add more people to their plans. The main difference between Good Sam’s two plans is the Platinum plan includes discounts on hotels and rental cars.
Pros
  • Unlimited towing and other roadside assistance
  • All family members and cars covered by plan
  • Platinum plan includes car rental and hotel discounts
Cons
  • More expensive than other services
  • Locksmith benefit requires you pay for parts and labor
  • Some services not available in every state
US$69.95Good Sam
Read the full review
Best for Seniors

AARP

You need to be over 50 and a member of AARP to join the AARP Roadside Assistance program.
There are two plans to choose from: Road ‘n Tow costs $58 a year and Premier costs $74 a year. Road ‘n Tow includes 5 miles of free towing, and Premier includes 100 miles of free towing. These plans only cover one person – it costs $10 to add a spouse and $30 to cover your entire family. AARP limits a single user to four service calls a year, a couple to five calls a year and a family to seven calls a year.
Pros
  • Lowest price for a premium membership
Cons
  • Basic plan includes only 5 miles of free towing
$58.00AARP
Best for Families

National General Motor Club

If you want your roadside assistance plan to cover more than just yourself, National General Motor Club is the best option.
The Elite plan costs $89, and for an additional $30, you can cover your entire family, including all dependents under 26. Other programs we reviewed restrict either the age or the number of dependents you can add to your plan. Families on the Elite plan get up to seven service calls a year, with 100 miles of free towing and up to $130 of locksmith reimbursement.
Pros
  • Dependents as old as 26 can be added to your plan
Cons
  • Basic plan can’t extend to families
$59.00National General Motor Club

Why Trust Us

We’ve been writing about roadside assistance services for seven years. As part of our review, we compare prices as well as the services each company offers in its basic and premium plans. The companies we looked at all have open membership.

Before you join any of these programs though, we recommend checking to see if you’re already enrolled in a roadside assistance plan. Many insurance companies offer their own roadside assistance programs for a small additional cost. Also, credit cards often include roadside assistance as well, though you’re charged each time you use the benefit, so it can end up being more expensive. Extended warranties include roadside assistance as well, so if you recently bought a new or used car with a warranty, you’re covered for 30,000 miles or the duration of the warranty.

How We Tested

Price is perhaps the most important consideration when choosing a service. Fortunately, roadside assistance plan pricing is straightforward – you pay an annual membership fee, either upfront or in monthly installments. Most roadside assistance services have different service tiers. For the most basic level of service, we saw prices ranging between $52 and $132 a year, with most falling between $60 and $80 annually. Premium plans have higher service limits and often provide discounts on hotels and rental services. The premium plans we looked at range from $74 to $240 annually, with most falling between $90 and $115 a year.

Getting help on the road is what you pay for, so we looked at what each service offers. Towing limits were important in our evaluation. Some companies offer reimbursement and some tow you for free for a certain number of miles. Basic plans are uniform in their limits – 5 miles or reimbursement of $100, which is usually enough to cover a short tow. Good Sam Roadside Assistance stands out by offering unlimited towing with its basic plan.

Premium plans have higher towing or reimbursement limits, usually 100 miles or $250. These premium plans also offer trip interruption services – if you’re in an accident while you’re far from home, the roadside assistance company reimburses you for what you pay for hotels and food while your car is out of commission.

How Much Does Roadside Assistance Cost?

Most basic roadside assistance plans cost between $56 and $132 a year, which comes to about $5 to $11 a month. A basic plan includes towing and locksmith reimbursement, so even if you only use it once, you’ll recoup the cost of your membership. If you’re a heavy traveler, you may benefit more from a premium plan, which costs between $74 and $240, or about $6 to $20 a month. Premium plans have higher towing and reimbursement limits and often include discounts on hotels and car rentals.

Driving Safety Tips

Having the protection of a roadside assistance service provides peace of mind that you can get back on the road after a breakdown. But before you leave on a trip, take time to do some basic inspections and maintenance.

Tires are one of the most common causes of accidents. Per the Department of Transportation, there are nearly 11,000 tire-related crashes each year. AAA reported responding to nearly 450,000 tire-related calls in 2017 alone.

Before you take off, check your tire pressure to make sure they are all properly inflated. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that having properly inflated tires can save you up to 11 cents per gallon on fuel. Also, make sure your spare tire is properly inflated. The NHTSA also recommends checking your tires’ treads. If the tread is at or less than 2/32 of an inch, you need to replace the tire.

Avoid accidents by not driving while distracted or impaired. Also, don’t use your cell phone to text or watch videos while driving. If you’re going on a long road trip, try and rest up. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that 1 in 25 drivers have fallen asleep at the wheel in the last 30 days – if you’re feeling tired, pull over and take a nap. Many roadside assistance services include hotel discounts with memberships, so you can take advantage of those offers if you need a place to stay before finishing your trip.