Roadside Assistance with Car Insurance

Compare car insurance policies with roadside assistance online today.

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, updated on February 15th, 2024       

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Car Insurance Banner - Roadside assistance worker repairing the wheel on a car.

Roadside assistance plays a valuable role in ensuring the safety and security of motorists in Australia. Whether it’s a breakdown or misplaced car keys, roadside assistance cover can help you get back on the road when you need it most.

If you’re looking for roadside assistance as part of your car insurance, you can compare offers side-by-side online, helping you find a suitable deal in minutes from trusted providers. 

What is roadside assistance and what does it cover?

Roadside assistance is a service designed to provide immediate help to drivers during breakdowns or unexpected incidents while on the road. When using roadside assistance services, the first step is to call your provider, who will generally try to troubleshoot over the phone. If this is unsuccessful, a technician will be sent out to help. They can provide services such as:

  • Emergency towing: if your vehicle breaks down and immediate repair isn’t possible, roadside assistance may enable your vehicle to be towed to a nearby service station or repair shop.
  • Fuel delivery: if you run out of fuel while driving, roadside assistance can deliver a limited amount of fuel to help you reach the nearest petrol station.
  • Battery jump-start: if your car battery dies, your cover can send someone to jump-start your vehicle and attempt to get you back on the road.
  • Lockout assistance: if you accidentally lock your keys inside your car, it can facilitate the unlocking of your vehicle or arrange for a locksmith if needed.
  • Flat tyre repair: if you get a flat tyre, roadside assistance can reinflate it or change it if you have a spare.

Roadside assistance coverage can vary depending on the provider and the type of coverage you need. In some cases, this may range from basic cover providing essential assistance for common roadside incidents to more comprehensive coverage that includes perks such as increased limits on call-outs and towing. However, many providers will only offer one level of roadside assistance.

Roadside assistance isn’t the same as car insurance, but it can complement it. While car insurance primarily covers damages resulting from accidents, theft or other covered events, roadside assistance focuses on providing roadside support in the case of breakdown or mechanical failure.

How do I get roadside assistance cover?

Roadside assistance can often be added to existing car insurance policies, offering an extra layer of protection and assistance in case of roadside incidents. Many comprehensive car insurance policies have roadside insurance included or available for free or at additional cost as an optional extra, which could offer you greater policy value and peace of mind.

However, roadside assistance cover may also be able to be taken out as a standalone policy either with certain insurance companies or state-based motoring clubs. Car dealers may also provide roadside assistance for new cars that are still under warranty in some cases.

Finding the best roadside assistance in Australia depends on your individual requirements. Before signing up for a roadside assistance plan, you should figure out exactly what you need from it. Consider factors such as your driving habits, the age and condition of your vehicle, and the areas you frequently travel to. It’s also important to compare providers and policies, weighing up pricing, coverage and any additional benefits. 

What are the benefits of roadside assistance cover?

Drivers in Australia aren’t required to have roadside assistance cover but, depending on your circumstances, you may find it beneficial to take it out. Some of the key benefits of roadside assistance are:

  1. Peace of mind: can eliminate much of the stress and uncertainty of roadside incidents, connecting drivers to trained professionals who can provide the help they need.
  2. Convenience: access the help you need in a single phone call.
  1. Expertise and assistance: services are provided by experts with the skills and experience to handle various roadside situations.
  1. Cost savings: can provide coverage for events that individuals would otherwise need to independently arrange and pay for, which can be pricey.

However, in some cases, roadside assistance can be:

  1. Expensive: the cost of this coverage on top of car insurance can be off-putting, especially if you drive infrequently or only for short distances close to your home.
  2. Limited: while common incidents like breakdowns are covered, there may be limitations for other situations, such as off-road incidents.

Types of car insurance you can choose from

How to compare roadside assistance cover

Frequently asked questions about roadside assistance cover

What does roadside assistance not cover?

Roadside assistance is designed to provide cover for certain situations on the roadside. What exactly you're covered for will depend on your plan, but in Australia, roadside assistance may not cover:

  • Damage caused by an accident
  • Major vehicle repairs, such as a full battery replacement
  • Towing beyond the limit outlined in your policy
  • Unattended vehicles
  • Certain types of vehicles, such as cars that aren’t roadworthy or those over a certain weight, height or age
Is using roadside assistance considered an insurance claim?

No – roadside assistance isn’t the same as car insurance, and using it to fix an issue with your car if it breaks down on the road doesn't count as making a claim so your premiums will be unaffected.

Can I call roadside assistance if I am not a member?

If you break down, you may be able to call a roadside assistance provider for help even if you aren’t a member. However, you’ll likely be charged a fee or be subject to service limitations or additional costs. Some providers may also insist you sign up to become a member before they will provide assistance.

Does my roadside assistance plan cover me nationwide?

Generally, roadside assistance can cover you wherever in Australia you are, even if you’re travelling outside the state or territory you live in. Most state-based motoring clubs, such as the RACV in Victoria or Queensland’s RACQ, have reciprocal arrangements in place that can cover you while travelling interstate. You may also be covered if you have roadside assistance with your car insurance, though you should check the policy before beginning your journey.

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