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
Cost $99.95 $134.95 $117 $79 $69.97 $99.95
Towing KM 250km 200km 160km $200km 40km 250km
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
Battery Boost Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Flat Tire Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Gas Delivery Yes, Free Yes, Free Yes, Free Yes, Free Yes, Pay for Gas Yes, Free
Lockout Service Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Trip Accident Insurance $0 $0 $500k $0 $0 $0
Extrication Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
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?

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FT

FT is the founder and editor of Million Dollar Journey (est. 2006). Through various financial strategies outlined on this site, he grew his net worth from $200,000 in 2006 to $1,000,000 by 2014. You can read more about him here.
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David
3 years ago

The TD Gold auto club is crap. Called Oct 10 2018 on a clear sunny day. 21 degrees. My van would not start and needed a tow. I phoned them on three different occasions and went through there ACD queue. The answer the phone after about 10 minutes and SAY they are putting on hold again. While on hold on the three occasions I waited half an hour twice and one hour once.
The answered once to ask if I was with Belair or Intact insurance … duh .. not needed as I am with neither. Before you can object they transfer you to one of them. Go with CAA. They are way more reliable.

R Young
3 years ago

Something to note about TD Auto. There 200km limit is to the closest service center and not the destination of your choice. If the closest service center they have located is 50km away and you want it towed to your perfered service center that is 100km away you will be on the hook to pay for the extra 50km. Also note that they don’t take into concideration if the closest SC is open or not at the time you call.

Tenor
6 years ago

If you research this subject PROPERLY you will find that for a family with one car and multiple drivers, CT Roadside assistance (Gold) wins hands down. If you take advantage of the free and cheap oil changes the price is unbeatable. The number of tows are also unbeatable because if you are unfortunate enough to use up your 250km allowance (suggest you get a new car) there are unlimited tows to a CT repair shop. Finally, to the person who said you are only covered in Canada – rubbish. I have used it in the states with no problem. I can see that if you spend a lot of time in hotels, do a lot of cross border shopping (deals at the Duty Free) etc, then CAA has some advantages. To all other single car multiple driver situations, CT is the winner.

Sing
6 years ago

Stay away from Deluxe TD auto club. It sounds cheap but it is not. This plan was good and I used it twice before without any issue until they change the policy such that towing services upto 200km TO THE NEAREST SERVICE STATION”. My mechanic is 6 km from where my car was brokendown and TD auto club only covers 4 km based on their new policy. You will end up paying more in that NEAREST SERVICE STATION.

Robert
5 years ago
Reply to  Sing

It’s true TD Auto Club will only tow you to the nearest garage, but if you want to go further it’s something like $2/km. Not bad if your preferred mechanic isn’t too far away but it can add up if it’s a long distance. Myself or a family member has broken down or had a lock-out 2-3x in the last 8 years and a tow truck arrived within a reasonable time (40 mins). I like that it covers my spouse and unmarried kids no matter what vehicle they are driving. I pay $99/year for the TD Gold Elite VISA.

Yohannes
7 years ago

When did you do this roadside comparison? with PC Financial Roadside Assistance your allowed up to 4 service calls per year for each vehicle covered.

Rohan
7 years ago

I will never recommend TD Roadside assistance program.The fine print on TD road side assistance is” towing services upto 200km TO THE NEAREST SERVICE STATION” Even though u have delux services you have to pay from your pocket if your car broke down in town and you have to take it to your Garage, they want tow. CAA is better it has many perks plus get 20% discount in duty free shop and many more… NEVER THINK ABOUT TD ROADSIDE ASSISTANCE PROGRAMM…It is cheat…

SlartyB
8 years ago

@Kai – Canadian Tire does cover the US:
http://roadsideassistance.canadiantire.ca/en/ChoosingaPlanNQC

The other thing in favor of CT is 1 x free oil change, and four or five x $19 oil change vouchers. If you take advantage of these, then they effectively reduce the cost of membership significantly. I my case the oil change savings pay for half the membership fee. So it only really costs around $50 + tax to cover my wife and I for our single car. Compare that to the $195 it would cost for the same coverage from CAA (not taking into account their discount offers, which wouldn’t make much of a difference for us).

Kai
8 years ago

Another vote for Canadian Tire Roadside Assistance. Unlimited tows to the Canadian Tire of your choice is the big one for me… isn’t there one within a reasonable distance of anywhere you might want to go? And no, you don’t need to have it serviced there. Depending on the problem, you can putt-putt around the corner to your regular mechanic instead. Add 5 tows to anywhere and a free oil change, and you’re miles ahead of CAA!

Only concerns are: CT follows the car, CAA follows the person. If you’ve one car and 2 or more possible drivers, CT has you all covered. If you’ve the reverse situation, you’re better off with CAA. Also, CT only covers you in Canada. For international trips, bring a friend with CAA ;).

sasha
8 years ago

Be very careful with TD club, they will make the assumption you are at fault then tell you they cannot help you at this time because of that. I called TD head office to complain and they boldly lied for the reason to refuse me, just unbelievable.

Do you really want your family going through that in a stressful event.

John Clark
8 years ago

Since we have a winter home in Phoenix. I joined the US AAA

55$ with promo. We travel a lot in US