As a single female, my parents always instilled in me the value of roadside assistance. Every year I would have a mishap. I wasn’t the type of person that liked to bother friends or family. I didn’t have a partner, so I just found ways to get my needs met. Some of this involved learning about the various roadside assistance programs and signing up for one. On the way, I learned a lot about what these programs offer a person. I would definitely recommend having one in place because you are bound to need it this year. With people flocking to the roads instead of risking it on planes, you are bound to get some extra miles on your car. The chances that you will have an incident like a flat tire also are excelled. In the following article, we will look at the various programs out there so that you can make an informed decision.
Triple A is a standard staple when it comes to roadside assistance. They operate throughout North America. It is a non-profit that takes their mission to help seriously. So seriously I find that even when I’ve had a flat tire, the first thing I do is call. They will change the tire for you or just tow you to a safe location. You should give them a detailed explanation of what is wrong when you are on the road.
When you call AAA, they will ask you if you are a member. If you are not a member, they will offer to sign you up on the spot and then will take care of your needs for the day. The sign up process doesn’t take too long, but you will have to have a wallet full of your details. If you don’t have all of your information with you, they will try to be flexible with what you have. AAA will then ask you if you are in a safe location or not. This typically means are you stranded at home versus on a busy freeway. They will offer you priority service if it is an emergency. You know that waiting at home can be a lot more pleasant. However, if you need to get to work quickly and are at home, make sure you advocate for yourself. This could mean the difference between waiting a half hour as opposed to a few hours. AAA has a great way of prioritizing. I’ve been stranded on really cold days and they come quickly. They are friendly on the phone and cheerful helpers. I have never had an experience with one person where I feel like complaining afterwards. These are customer service orientated professionals and it really shows in the way they treat you. If customer service really is a priority for you, then I recommend this service. With AAA, you can also upgrade to one of their better programs. Some of the perks will include longer tows that are free. If you want to be towed across a city or even when you are in a nearby town to the city, then you should go with the Gold Card. This will be a little bit more per month but is worth it. Some of the service providers are so nice that they will let you upgrade at the time of your emergency, however, this is not a given. It really will be luck of the draw when it comes to what you get. Another nice perk that they have added is checking your car out to make sure that you are winterized and your fluids and battery are in good working order. You can call them and schedule an appointment just to do this. I recommend that you call them when you are at home off work. You might just get a same day appointment. If you get this done, then you can expect to have one less emergency on your hands such as your battery suddenly dying. They are knowledgable, so they will get you up to speed on what you need done in order to get your vehicle up to snuff.
Onstar is another company that you may have seen advertised on the radio or TV. They have a heavy handed advertising campaign, so it is likely that you have at least heard of them. Onstar is a subsidiary of General Motors. They provide service all over North America as well as other countries such as China, Europe, Brazil, and Argentina. As you can tell, they have quite a far reach. They will offer other services as well, but one of their offerings is emergency services. You will have to have their audio interface in your vehicle to call them. If you’ve had a major emergency, then their sensors will automatically contact the Onstar call center. This can be nice when you’re in a collision because you are not scrambling for a phone number. On the other hand, if you wanted to handle anything with a cash payment, then it can be harder to keep the collision off of public records.
The services for Onstar can really rack up. If you are on a tight budget, then the $20 just for emergency services can be expensive. This can add up to $240 a year. If you compare this to AAA, this is what you will have to pay on a Gold Plan. However, some people like the fact that there is more SMART technology with Onstar. They can often just locate you without you having to tell them where you are. This can help if you just want quick help with not a lot of questions. Additionally, your car can have free Onstar for the first five to ten years, so if you get used to the Onstar system, then you will probably not want to switch it out. With that said, all of the bundles for Onstar are $90 a month, so they probably want you to get used to hands free calling and everything that they have to offer. The plan is offered through cell phone companies, but it is really just a security, emergency services, and 30 hands free calls per month for your car plan. This means you shouldn’t get used to those hands free calls because if you do more than one a day, the charges can really rack up.
Aside from the costs, Onstar is a level of comfort that you can only get with Smart features. You know that you will be protected with the Onstar system. You don’t even need to worry about using your phone when you need emergency calling. You really have a phone built into your car. It senses when you have a problem and will send help. However, if you let your battery die or have another problem, then you should have the Onstar number in your phone. You cannot call from your car if all systems are down.
Onstar is a swanky service that also is friendly. They pride themselves on being able to be there for you right away and taking a proactive approach to your safety and well-being in the car. People who love technology and want more Smart features in their lives will go for the Onstar approach. You can just sign up for the emergency plan and not worry about the other Onstar services if you are on a budget. It is relatively in line with AAA.
The Goodsam Club is geared towards RV adventurers. There are a lot more of them on the road now too thanks to COVID-19. The RV vacation has surged in popularity as you are really in your own bubble in terms of air. You even get your own bathroom if you are willing to pump out the waste. The Goodsam club is ready to offer roadside assistance. The club already has 2.185 members to speak of. This means they already have quite a reach and a proven track record.
However, just because they offer RV plans, doesn’t mean they don’t have something for cars. While the automobile plans usually cost $100, now they are going for $50 in a huge sale. This means it’s a great time to sign up if you are looking for any affordable auto plan. The costs at this rate really cannot be beaten. However, if you already have a Goodsam membership, then unfortunately, you are not eligible for this deal. If you really look at the above options that we’ve covered, Goodsam is the best price by far. Even when you go with AAA, you will still pay over $100 per year. Also, right now the sale is $55 for coverage of your sport trailer as well. This is a novel option for people that travel with these. If you purchase the platinum package for $90 right now, you will also get emergency medical coverage. This is important for people that travel to other countries. If you are in America, you probably will like having emergency medical coverage if you don’t have medical coverage through work. In this case, at least you know that if you get in a car accident, your medical expenses will be covered.
With this plan, like the others above, you will get 24/7 assistance. This is of course important because you absolutely need the 24/7 coverage or what is the point? Being stranded in the middle of the night in a car is even more dangerous than during the day. The plan also offers loyalty features. If you use auto-renew, then you will get a $10 discount. This is a great hidden feature that can inspire you to just keep your safety assistance rolling for the next year.
One of the best parts of the basic plan is that they will cover all of your towing costs. They say that whether it is five miles or 500 miles, that they have you covered. What could be better than being in another state and still having your towing covered? I personally think that if you want to capitalize on the Goodsam sale, that this is the best plan to go with. If you go with AAA, you will have to buy a Gold plan, and even then, they have a cap on how far you can get a tow. The Onstar plan will charge you $20 a month just to get roadside assistance.
It’s easy to see why the Goodsam family is growing fast. They are in touch with the times and they are offering discounts during COVID-19. This is a time when many people are unsure of everything. They don’t necessarily want to spend on extra expenses, but they still know they should get certain help such as roadside assistance for emergencies. It’s an important part of feeling secure when you travel anywhere in these difficult times.
All of the Roadside Assistance providers offer different perks. I have tried to highlight the little known details that make each provider so special. This can help you make a more informed decision as well as know how each plan differs from the next one. It can be hard when you see a barrage of information and advertising to know what to choose. We’re all on a time crunch and it seems working at home due to COVID has only made us busier.
You will be in good hands with any of the providers. I made my choice for a recommendation based on economics and how I see a new member to roadside assistance being the best served in this time. However, I do recommend all three of these services as they all have advantages. AAA is the most well-established service, so if you want to go with proven quality, then you can’t go wrong. However, I was surprised by Goodsam and so it is more choice to recommend it for new members.
Happy Motoring 🚗 🚘 🚙