If you're looking for a reliable roadside assistance service to count on when your car inevitably breaks down, you may not know exactly what to look for at first. In fact, it may seem as though all services are equal in what they offer, and that there's little to no difference between the various options. That said, there are some extremely important distinctions that set some services apart from others. Check out just a few of them below to know what to keep an eye out for.
One of the first questions you should ask when shopping around for a roadside assistance service is if the service has any blackout days. Some services will have days during which service is not available, usually limited to holidays. But don't compromise when it comes to availability. You want a service that offers help around the clock, every day of the week, including holidays. There's nothing worse than thinking you have coverage during the holiday season, only to find out too late that you actually don't.
Many roadside assistance services will rush you a spare gallon or two of gas, or jump start your battery for you in the case that it dies unexpectedly. But perhaps the most common problem people run into when they're out and about is locking themselves out of their car. So make sure that whatever roadside assistance service you ultimately choose has somebody on staff that can come at any time of day or night to help you gain access to your vehicle.
If you have just purchased a new vehicle (or even a previously owned one), one option you may want to look into is roadside services through a dealership affiliated with your make of car. More often than not, dealerships provide special deals and additional incentives for recent customers, as well as towing to a dealership location in the event of a breakdown or accident. At the dealership, you can speak with mechanics about a specific problem with your car, have it fixed on the spot, and be on your way in no time.
Some roadside assistance services will tell you that they offer 24/7 service, but keep quiet about the fact that you can only take advantage of a certain number of calls per year. That's why you should always ask how many calls you're allotted -- an unlimited amount, of course, is best.