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In which situations can Roadside Assistance help you?

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In which situations can Roadside Assistance help you?

When your car breaks down, it’s comforting to know help is on the way

Back in the days before cell phones, if your car broke down on an isolated road and you were a long way from a payphone (remember those?), it could be hours before the situation got sorted out.

These days, life is a bit easier. Roadside Assistance services reduce much of the stress that comes with a car breakdown – and they’re just a phone call away. Most Australian car insurance providers offer Roadside Assistance, so it’s worth shopping around.

Roadside Assistance services reduce much of the stress that comes with a car breakdown – and they’re just a phone call away.

What does it cover?

Roadside Assistance packages come in all shapes, sizes and prices, so what’s covered will vary. Normally you’ll be assisted in most of the following situations:

Flat tyre changing

Sometimes you can safely change your own tyre and be on your way. At other times, professional help can come in handy.

Towing

When your car has broken down or you’ve got a flat that can’t be safely changed where you’ve stopped, a towing service is extremely useful.

Jump-starting a battery

You may not have jumper cables with you or if you do, you may not be sure about how to safely use them.

And keep in mind if you have a car that was built in the last 5 years, jump starting it could risk damaging the whole wiring system. In these circumstances, it’s a big help if a technician can come out and get your car going again.

JumpStart (3)

Running out of fuel

Some of us don’t like to see the fuel gauge dip below a quarter of a tank, while others prefer to ‘live on the edge’ and leave it until the very last minute to hunt down a petrol station.

If you do run out of fuel and the nearest pump is who-knows-where, Roadside Assistance will normally include an emergency fuel delivery so you can get on your way.

It’s embarrassing, inconvenient and happens more often than we like to admit: locking ourselves out of our own cars.

Locked out of your car

It’s embarrassing, inconvenient and happens more often than we like to admit: locking ourselves out of our own cars.

Fortunately, Roadside Assistance typically includes a locksmith service so you can get back into your vehicle and get moving again if your keys have been lost, stolen or left in the car (this is surprisingly easy to do when you’re juggling keys, wallet and five bags of groceries around the boot).

Battery replacement

When you’re stuck somewhere with a dead car battery, you can call Roadside Assistance and have them bring you a new one, which they’ll then install for you. Sometimes you just pay for the cost of the battery.

Minor roadside repairs

Roadside assistance provides help for minor repairs that can help you get back on the road

Roadside assistance provides help for minor repairs that can help you get back on the road (fuses, drive belts, hose repairs, etc.).

The definition of ‘minor’ and the specifics of what’s included will be in the Terms & Conditions brochure that comes with your Roadside Assistance cover.

Technical advice hotline

Sometimes you’re not sure what the exact problem is with the vehicle or what choices you have in dealing with it.

This is why some insurers provide a special telephone hotline that you can ring for technical advice if you’ve broken down or have safety concerns about your vehicle.

Stressed woman car breakdown

How many callouts are included?

As with every type of insurance cover, make sure you understand the terms, conditions, restrictions and limitations of your Roadside Assistance package.

One of the most important things to check when shopping for Roadside Assistance is the number of callouts you’re allowed.

Is there a limit per year?

Is it ‘unlimited’ based on the insurer’s fair use policy?

Always ensure you understand the limits on how often you can call for assistance with your cover. As with every type of insurance cover, make sure you understand the terms, conditions, restrictions and limitations of your Roadside Assistance package.

How far can you be towed if you break down (in the city and out of it)?

If you run out of fuel, what’s the dollar value of the fuel they’ll fill you up with?

All these details make a difference when you’re deciding which Roadside Assistance cover is right for you.