Gone are the days of having to find a phone book or your insurance card to get the toll-free number for roadside assistance. Now, having someone come rescue you from the side of the road is as easy as tapping an app on your smart phone. Before jumping on this technology bandwagon, there are a few things to consider when deciding whether the app version of calling for roadside assistance is right for you.
What Services You'll Get
Roadside assistance apps are similar to the service you would get if you call the number on your auto club card or use benefits through your car insurance company. The apps allow you to call someone to help if your car breaks down, if you run out of gas, if you get a flat tire or if you lock yourself out of your vehicle. Through the app, you can get a tow truck to come take your car to the shop or have someone give you a ride, similar to what a taxi service offers.
One of the primary benefits of roadside assistance apps is that using them is free. That means you won't have to pay a monthly or yearly subscription fee like most traditional roadside assistance companies charge. You'll still have to pay for the services, however, so you'll be responsible for paying for someone to tow your car or give you a lift. Many of the apps themselves are free to download, as well.
The ability to simply press a button on your smart phone and have someone on their way to help you saves you a good deal of time. In many instances, asking for help through an app dispatches someone to your location immediately so you don't have to wait for hours. This is one way apps might be giving traditional roadside assistance companies a run for their money, because the traditional versions often take much longer to send help.
The apps don't work like insurance. Many car insurance companies offer roadside assistance as part of your benefits, and pick up the tab for one or two tows per year, which can save you a great deal of money. The apps simply connect you with someone who can help and you are fully responsible for the charges. Some roadside assistance apps provide pictures and maps of drivers and their routes, which increases your safety, but not all of them do. If you do opt to download a roadside assistance app to your phone, do your homework and select one that has good reviews and provides their safety policy, such as Airport Towing.