What is roadside assistance?
Roadside assistance, also known as breakdown cover, is a service designed to help you get going again if your vehicle breaks down.
When you call for help, your service provider will usually try to solve your problem over the phone.
If they can’t, they’ll send either a roadside contractor to mobilise your vehicle or a truck to tow it to the nearest motor mechanic (within service limits).
The most common roadside-assistance services include jumpstarts, battery replacements, breakdown tows, tyre changes, emergency fuel, and key recovery.
How does roadside assistance work?
When you call Budget Direct, we’ll ask you a series of questions about your vehicle to narrow down the likely cause of the breakdown (unless it’s obvious).
If we’re unable to pinpoint the problem and/or get you moving again quickly with an easy fix over the phone, we can dispatch either a roadside contractor or a tow truck to assist you.
If we send a contractor, they will in most cases be able to mobilise your vehicle; in the unlikely event they can’t, we can arrange for your car to be towed.
For more details, please read our Roadside Assistance terms and conditions.
Does roadside assistance cover the car or the driver?
Budget Direct Roadside Assistance covers the vehicle – we’ll provide assistance for your nominated vehicle, regardless of who’s driving it at the time it breaks down.
Which breakdown cover do I need?
Though roadside assistance is provided by many different companies, their products are fundamentally the same.
That is to say, if your vehicle breaks down, you can call your provider for assistance and, if necessary, they’ll dispatch a roadside contractor or tow truck to help you.
So how can one roadside assistance provider be distinguished from another?
For some consumers, the choice of provider boils down to factors such as cost and rescue-vehicle-fleet size (which they may surmise translates to shorter waiting times).
Budget Direct has a national network of more than 2,000 service providers, who you can access around the clock for just $89.95 a year – less than $1.75 per week.
Is roadside assistance part of car insurance?
No. You can, however, buy a Roadside Assistance membership with or without Budget Direct car insurance.
Is roadside assistance considered a claim?
No – a roadside-assistance callout is not a car insurance claim.
In contrast to car insurance, which covers loss or damage to your car, roadside assistance is designed to help get your car mobilised if it breaks down.
So, whereas a car insurance claim may result in your insurance premium being increased (to reflect your higher risk rating), a roadside-assistance callout will not.
Do I need roadside assistance if my car is still under warranty?
It’s common nowadays for car dealers to automatically provide roadside assistance as part of a manufacturer’s new-car warranty.
In other words, you may be able to access roadside assistance for the duration of your car’s warranty.
Terms and conditions vary between providers, so you might want to compare the T&Cs before deciding whether to stay with your provider or join another one.