Although many people treat them as the same thing, "roadside assistance" and "towing" aren't synonymous with each other! Roadside assistance programs typically provide some level of towing support, but they offer far more services. In some cases, the additional benefits offered by roadside assistance programs are likely to be even more valuable to most drivers.
The best way to understand why roadside assistance programs are so helpful is to consider the reasons that you may find yourself stuck on the side of the road (or in your driveway). Below you'll find three situations where roadside assistance services will be far more beneficial than a simple tow to the nearest garage.
1. Dead Batteries
Modern cars can limp along when suffering from a wide range of ailments, but a drained battery will always stop you cold. Without the juice from your battery, your starter cannot engage and provide the jump your engine needs to begin turning. Battery trouble can also strike at unexpected times since even relatively new batteries may fail when drained too deeply by accessories.
Battery trouble is hardly a critical emergency, and towing your car to a shop or home in this situation is a waste of time and money. Fortunately, roadside assistance programs usually offer battery services that can get you on your way without hauling your car to another location. Not only can they give you a jump when your battery is still healthy, but they can deliver and install a new battery to replace a failed one.
2. Flat Tires
Flat tires are another issue that can strike at the worst possible moments, leaving you stuck on the side of the road with a vehicle that's dangerously unsafe to drive. If your car comes equipped with a spare tire, a roadside assistance driver can replace your flat one. Even better, they can tow you to a safer nearby location (such as a parking lot) if you're stuck on the freeway or another hazardous area.
Air service is another shockingly valuable benefit offered by many of these services. Driving on an underinflated tire for even short periods can cause damage, but you may not have any other choice if your car is stuck at home or in a parking lot when you notice the problem. An assistance program can send someone to inflate your tire, saving you from a potentially costly replacement.
3. Empty Fuel Tanks
It's embarrassing, but many drivers find themselves running their tank just a little bit too low. Towing your car to a service facility for this issue is rarely the most efficient solution, but assistance programs can save you from facing your local mechanic. A driver can bring fuel to your car, allowing you to get back on the road and on your way to the nearest gas station.
Reach out to a roadside assistance program in your area to learn more.