I’ve never really given thought about buying roadside assistance protection before as I considered it just another unnecessary cost. However, with an alternator failure the other day in our 8 year old car, it made me think about what it would cost to get a tow truck should I ever need one. Along the same line of thought, the idea of roadside assistance started to appeal to me. Being the comparison shopper that I am, I started to do some digging around on the available roadside assistance options out there.
From my research, there seems to be quite a few players in the Canadian roadside assistance industry. They all seem to price their packages in the same range,with similar offerings as well.
|CIBC Auto Club||Costco||CAA Plus||Deluxe TD Auto Club||PC Financial||CAD Tire Gold Plan|
|Traffic Accident Coverage||$600||$500 (more than 250km from home)||$500||Covers towing, accomm, car rental, meals||$700 (more than 250km from home)||$200 (more than 100km from home)|
|Calls Per Year||8||4||5||Unlimited||?||5|
|Gas Delivery||Yes, Free||Yes, Free||Yes, Free||Yes, Free||Yes, Pay for Gas||Yes, Free|
|Trip Accident Insurance||$0||$0||$500k||$0||$0||$0|
|Extras||Trip planning services||20% ($27) off for Exec members||Trip planning services, CAA discounts at various establishments||Free with TD Gold Visa, trip planning services.||Only for PC M/C customers, trip planning services,||1 free oil change, trip planning services|
As you can see from the table, most of the offerings are very similar with a bit of variation in price. The beauty of a table like this is that every option can be compared side by side. At first glance, it seems that the TD Deluxe Auto Club provides the most value. For $80 per year, it’s among the lowest cost, but with the most benefits.
Roadside assistance is just like purchasing insurance. You buy it in the hopes that you’ll never use it. However, is the $100/year worth the peace of mind and convenience? Or could you call a tow truck yourself and pay as you go? Locked out of a car? Perhaps keep an extra set at home or with a family member. Battery dead? Keep a pair of cables in your trunk and call family/friends for a boost.
How many of you have roadside assistance? Which company do you recommend?