Thursday, October 11, 2012

What to Know About Roadside Assistance

Roadside assistance plans come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, and costs. Many are free with the purchase of a new car, while some are a bit pricey, especially for big families who own several vehicles. If you have a car warranty, you probably have at least some type of roadside assistance plan built into it. In fact, having a car warranty is an even smarter version of protection than simple roadside assistance, because both short- and long-term warranties will help you avoid expensive repair costs.

Decide what type of roadside assistance package you need. If you are a young, single person with a new car, your assistance needs will likely be minimal. That is one reason that dealerships offer free plans with new cars. Keep in mind that many plans only cover you within a certain geographic area, so if you buy one of those plans make certain that most of your driving is within the preferred zone.

If you have a car warranty and decide to purchase a roadside assistance plan, make sure you don’t spend too much. Many basic plans from automobile clubs cost less than $40 per year, while the fancier packages can set you back more than $200 per year. Read the fine print. Of course, if you have a car warranty, the most expensive types of service will be covered once your car is off the road and in the repair shop.

Many roadside assistance plans come with lots of extras, like hotel discounts, restaurant coupons, and sports tickets. If you want or need those things, then go ahead and get the plan. However, if it looks like something that would just pump up your package’s cost, then opt for a simpler roadside assistance plan. A good roadside plan, along with a car warranty, are your best bets against unexpected costs.

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