Roadside Assistance Program Comparison

Which car insurance company has the best roadside assistance program?

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Roadside assistance comparison: which insurance company's program is best?

Roadside assistance can give you some much-needed peace of mind. If you’re stranded on the side of the road with a dead battery or flat tire, your roadside assistance service is available to help you. While most major providers offer roadside assistance — usually as an add-on for an additional cost — not all policies are created equal. Let’s compare some roadside assistance programs from top insurers to options offered by third-party service providers so you can decide which will offer you the best value.


Table of contents: what is the best roadside assistance program?



Emergency roadside programs from car insurance companies

Many car insurance companies offer roadside assistance. While these programs vary by location and company, most apply only to the vehicle and drivers listed on the policy. Roadside assistance through a car insurance provider is typically cheap. See below for roadside assistance prices and coverage options from top providers in the United States.


Insurance ProviderGEICOState FarmUSAAProgressive
Emergency Jumpstart ServicesYesYesYesYes
TowingYes, to the nearest service stationYesYes15-mile radius
Emergency Fuel ServicesNoYesYesYes
Vehicle lockoutUp to $100YesYesYes
Flat Tire ServiceYesYesYesYes
Extrication/Winching ServiceNoNoNoYes
Labor/Small Mechanical RepairNoNoNoUp to One Hour


The primary options that are inconsistent from company to company are extrication and winching services, as well as small labor and mechanical repair. Progressive is the only company that offers this service.


Which insurance company has the cheapest roadside assistance program?

The price of roadside assistance services may vary based on how many vehicles you insure. Below are estimated prices of popular insurers' roadside assistance plans.


ProviderCost of Program
GEICO$14 per car, per year
State Farm$5-$7 per policy period
USAANot listed
Progressive$10-$18 per policy period
AARP$58-$74 per year



The Zebra’s Auto Security Plan

The Zebra’s Auto Security Plan follows the individual, rather than the driver: you can apply this coverage to another driver’s vehicle, as long as you’re in the car with them. This provides more flexibility than other insurance companies’ roadside assistance packages: GEICO’s and State Farm’s coverage applies only to the vehicle listed on the insurance policy.

As an added bonus, the Auto Security Plan is the same price no matter how many dependents — family members like your spouse or children — you add to the policy, unlike AAA or AARP’s products. The Zebra’s plan is similar to those of AAA and AARP in that you do not need to participate in the auto insurance plan from Auto and Home Plus — the roadside assistance provider — in order to qualify.

If you’re interested in discussing the Auto Security Plan with a representative, click the buy now button below the following chart or call (888) 444-2833.


CoverageBasic — $60 biannuallyPremium — $100 biannually or $25 monthly

Roadside assistance:

  • Towing
  • Battery
  • Lockout
  • Tire change
  • Emergency gas delivery
  • Extraction/winching
3 events covered per yearUnlimited
Auto maintenance services15% off services30% off services, up to $500 per year and $250 per event
Deductible reimbursementNoUp to $500
Medical reimbursementNoYes
Auto repair reimbursementNoYes up to $250
Travel/entertainment/food discountsNoYes


Key terms explained

  • Medical reimbursement: This will provide reimbursement of the first 48 hours of emergency medical expenses and ambulance expenses that are not covered by your insurance and that result from car accidents.
  • Deductible reimbursement: This is specific for qualifying events (defined in your policy agreement) and will apply after the claim has exceeded the deductible.


Buy Now

Please note: the Auto Security Plan is available in the following states: Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah*, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin.

*In Utah, The Zebra provides only the basic $60 plan.



AAA Roadside Assistance overview

AAA is what most people think of when they think about roadside assistance. AAA’s program is among the most reliable and in-depth of roadside assistance options, but that service comes at a price. See below the coverage options offered by AAA’s membership tiers.


Coverage DetailClassic MembershipPlus MembershipPremier Membership
Jump StartIncludedIncludedIncluded
TowingUp to 7 miles, 4 times a yearUp to 100 milesOne per household up to 200 miles, remaining tows up to 100 miles
Emergency Fuel ServicesFree delivery, pay for fuelFree delivery and fuelFree delivery and fuel
Vehicle lockoutCoverage up to $60Coverage up to $100Coverage up to $150
Flat Tire ServiceIncludedIncludedIncluded
Extrication/Winching ServiceOne service per yearTwo servicesTwo services
Rental Car BenefitsDiscountedDiscounted plus one car-class upgradeOne-day complimentary midsize rental car
Rental Car BenefitsDiscountedDiscounted plus one car-class upgradeOne-day complimentary midsize rental car


AAA includes basic roadside assistance coverage plus additional perks and benefits, displayed below. 


Coverage DetailClassic MembershipPlus MembershipPremier Membership
Vehicle Registration Renewal HelpIncludedIncludedIncluded
Discounts on shopping, dining, hotels, and entertainmentIncludedIncludedIncluded
Identity Theft ProtectionDaily monitoring, email alerts, fraud resolution support, loss card protectionDaily monitoring, email alerts, fraud resolution support, loss card protectionDaily monitoring, email alerts, fraud resolution support, loss card protection, $10,000 in identity theft insurance
Discount to Carfax Vehicle Report20% off CARFAX20% off CARFAXOne free year, 40% for additional reports
Vehicle inspection serviceFree 40pt, or discount 86ptFree 40pt, or discount 86pt$45 mail-in rebate for 86pt
Extrication/Winching ServiceOne service per yearTwo servicesTwo services
Rental Car BenefitsDiscountedDiscounted plus one car-class upgradeOne-day complimentary midsize rental car


This extra coverage comes at a cost. AAA roadside assistance costs more than does assistance provided by an insurer. AAA typically has better reviews, thanks to its response time and quality of service. Furthermore, if you’re interested in discounts on hotels, dining, and other services, AAA might be a good option.


CostClassic MembershipPlus MembershipPremier Membership
Monthly Fee$5$7.75$9.75
6-Month Fee$30$47$59
Annual Fee$60$279$351




AARP Roadside Assistance overview

If you’re an AARP member, you can purchase a roadside assistance policy with tiered services and features, similar to AAA. See below the basic and premier coverage options.


Fuel DeliveryYou pay for the fuelUp to 2 gallons free
Total Service CallsSingle: 3
Couple: 3
Single: 4
Couple: 5
Family: 7
Dead Battery JumpYesYes
Flat Tire ChangeYesYes

Lockout Service

Towing Serviceup to 5 milesup to 100 miles


AARP Roadside Assistance coverage options explained

  • Pathfinder Trip Routing Service: Tips and maps on destinations in the US, Mexico, and Canada.
  • Trip Interruption: This means if your vehicle you are traveling with is disabled as a result of an accident, you will be reimbursed up to $1,500 for our travel expenses. You must be more than 100 miles away from home to be eligible.
  • Auto Theft Reward: This will provide a monetary reward for information leading to the arrest of the thief if your vehicle is stolen.
  • Legal Defense Reimbursement: Provides litigation defend in the event you are taken to court over a traffic violation. Certain restrictions apply.
  • Hospital Emergency Bond: If you're injured more than 100 miles away from and are required to present evidence of financial responsibility at a hospital, this will provide support.
  • Arrest Bond Certificate: An AARP edition of a get out of a "get out of jail free card." If you're arrested for a driving-related offense (but cannot be DUI/DWI related), you can use this coverage as a jail bond. Up to $1,000.
  • RV Roadside Coverage: You can add this coverage for $24/yr and will get two additional service calls for this coverage.


AARP’s program offers additional benefits not provided by a standard insurer.


Car Rental SavingsYesYes
Hotel DiscountsYesYes
Pathfinder Trip Routing ServiceNoYes
Warranty Repair/Referral ServiceNoYes
Trip Interruption GuaranteeNoUp to $1,500/yr
Auto Theft RewardN/A; except CA: up to $5,000Up to $10,000/yr
Legal Defense ReimbursementNoUp to $1,000/yr
Hospital Emergency BondNoUp to $1,000/yr
Arrest Bond CertificateNoup to $1,000/yr
RV CoverageNoYes
Free Smartphone AppNoYes
60-Day Money-Back GuaranteeNoYes


Like AAA, AARP’s roadside assistance coverage is more expensive than coverage from an insurance company.


Plan NameBasicPremier
People covered1-21-3+
First-Year Membership Fee$58$74 (1 person),
$84 (2 people),
$104 (3 people)
Renewal Pricing$58 /yr$84 (1 person),
$94 (2 people),
$114 (3 people)






Roadside assistance comparison: third-party vendors versus insurance companies

If you're deciding between a third-party roadside assistance company or your current car insurance company with whom you have an auto insurance policy, consider the following suggestions:


How does your insurance company handle roadside assistance claims?

If you have too many roadside claims with your current car insurance provider, your coverage can be dropped altogether. If you file multiple claims with a third-party vendor, your car insurance coverage should be unaffected.


What are you willing to pay?

Third-party roadside service vendors offer more products and better service, but they are more expensive. If you prefer to keep your rates low, the coverage provided by your current company might be a good solution for you.


What do you want from your roadside assistance coverage?

Similar to comparing car insurance quotes, which plan works best for you may depend on how you drive, who you are, and what you want out of your roadside assistance package. If you’re already an AARP member, its program might be an easy option for you. If you prefer AAA’s stellar reputation and extra amenities, choose this option. If you’re content with more barebones service, your current provider’s package might be sufficient.

The Zebra's roadside assistance package, backed by FMIC, is a good mix of the two. While it doesn’t include as many amenities as AARP and AAA, it does cover more than a standard car insurance company’s roadside assistance option. The best choice is to define for yourself what you want and what you’re willing to pay for.

Compare car insurance policies today!

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Recent Questions:

Why did my rate increase for a $25 towing claim?

Unfortunately, you were given the correct information. Insurance companies base their rates on the risk of having to pay any claim.
Oct 24, 2018 Albany, OR

Can I add roadside after I've broken down?

Unfortunately, this would be an example of insurance fraud. Most likely, your insurance would deny this claim anyway because of the correlation between the date of the added coverage and the date of the claim.
Aug 27, 2018 Milwaukee, WI

Will my Farmers insurance roadside assistance provide towing up to 250 miles?

Roadside assistance varies by insurance company. From my understanding, most towing and roadside assistance coverage offered as part of an auto policy either has a set dollar amount to cover a tow, covers towing up to 15 miles from your breakdown, or covers towing to the nearest repair facility.
Jul 20, 2017 Oakdale, CA

Will requesting roadside assistance impact premium increases in the future?

Unfortunately, using your roadside assistance is considered a claim since you are using coverage on your policy. Most insurance companies will allow you to use your roadside assistance three times.
Apr 5, 2019 Madison, AL


Ava Lynch
Ava LynchSenior Analyst

Ava worked in the insurance industry as an agent for four-plus years.

Ava currently provides insights and data analysis as one of The Zebra's property and casualty insurance experts. Her work has been featured in publications such as U.S. News & World Report, GasBuddy, Car and Driver, and Yahoo! Finance.

About The Zebra

The Zebra is not an insurance company. We publish data-backed, expert-reviewed resources to help consumers make more informed insurance decisions.

  • The Zebra’s insurance content is written and reviewed for accuracy by licensed insurance agents.

  • The Zebra’s insurance content is not subject to review or alteration by insurance companies or partners.

  • The Zebra’s editorial team operates independently of the company’s partnerships and commercialization interests, publishing unbiased information for consumer benefit.

  • The auto insurance rates published on The Zebra’s pages are based on a comprehensive analysis of car insurance pricing data, evaluating more than 83 million insurance rates from across the United States.