When your vehicle dies on the road or you have a flat tire or dead battery, you need help, especially if you are a person with disabilities. Thank goodness for roadside assistance. But finding the ideal company requires some digging as no two auto clubs offer the same services and prices. And the businesses run the gamut from insurance companies, car makers, oil companies, credit-card issuers and even cell phone companies.

Vehicle coverage: Ask if only your accessible vehicle is covered or if you are covered in any vehicle you drive (like a rental). You want a plan that “follows the member,” providing coverage no matter who owns the vehicle.

Towing: Do they provide towing only to a dealership or any place you choose? You need to know the mileage limit, as you’ll be charged if you exceed it. (It’s usually less than 100 miles.)

Travel much? Choose a plan with the most generous towing allowance and travel insurance (trip interruption insurance) benefits if you travel far from home frequently.

Sign up for only what you need: Full service clubs offer maps and directions, travel and hotel discounts, travel insurance, and help in locating hotels or alternative transportation when your car is in the shop. If you rarely leave town, save the money and opt for a more basic package.

You should know: Many insurance companies report the number of your roadside assistance calls to ChoicePoint, a company that compiles claims information for the insurance industry. If you use assistance frequently, your rates could go up.

Discounts: Roadside assistance clubs do not usually offer membership discounts for those with disabilities. You might want to check with ADA Auto Club, a nationwide roadside assistance program especially designed for people who travel with their wheelchair. Call 1-800-720-3132 or visit online at adaautoclub.com and compare rates and benefits with other companies.

This mobility safety update has been brought to you by NMEDA – the National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association. Need some information on how to make your vehicle wheelchair accessible or upgraded with the latest and most convenient features? Contact a NMEDA dealer in your local area. Your local NMEDA member is a mobility and accessibility equipment expert!

6 responses to “Tips on Finding Roadside Assistance to Fit Your Needs

  1. I am starting to travel more in my car, and I am always worried about breaking down on the side of the road. It’s good to know that when it comes to choosing a roadside assistance service, that there are some factors I need to take into consideration before choosing the right one. It will be nice to find one that will be able to give a generous towing allowance, especially if I am far from home and can’t have someone come tow me.

  2. I like that you mentioned that a good roadside assistance company will provide towing to anywhere you choose, not just a specific location. I want to be in control of where my car is taken, so this is really important to me. I am trying to take more precautions and prepare for emergencies, so I have been looking for the right roadside assistance. I will definitely keep these things in mind as I search, thanks a lot!

  3. It really does help to find out what kind of towing you should expect when you choose any particular roadside assistance program. After all, you want to make sure you can still get towed even if your are quite a way away. It might also help to find out if they are willing to take you to a repair shop of your choosing or if you’re stuck going to the place they choose.

  4. I’ve been looking for a good roadside assistance, and I think that being able to get some tips would be good. I’m glad you talked about how towing would be good. I’m going to have to look at different roadside assistance and see what we find!

  5. Thanks for the great tips for finding a roadside assistance company. We definitely want a service that will tow us if we need it. Our car is older than dirt, so we’ll end up needing to be towed at some point.

  6. I really like your tip to check for any towing discounts if you travel with your wheelchair. I have a cousin who travels in a wheelchair, and they have a very old van that they drive around in. If that van ever breaks down while they are on the road, I would want my cousin to be able to get a discount on the towing services!