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Australians waste $189m a year on roadside assistance

Many Aussies would call someone they know for help if they got stuck at the side of the road – even if they're already paying for the service.

Close to 1 in 5 Australian drivers with roadside assistance are wasting their money, according to new research from Finder.

16% wouldn't call roadside assistance

We surveyed 919 car owners and asked them about roadside assistance.

When asked who they would call first if they were stranded on the side of the road, 84% of those with roadside assistance would call their provider.

This leaves 16% who say they would call someone else besides roadside assistance. Of these:

  • 9% would call their partner or spouse
  • 2% would call a family member
  • 1% would call a friend
  • 1% would call a tow truck
  • 1% would call the closest mechanic
  • 1% of respondents would call someone else

It means 16% of car owners with roadside assistance – equivalent to 1.8 million people – may be wasting around $105 each on average per year on a service they aren't using, at a combined cost of $189 million.

That's a whole lot of wastage, especially considering how useful roadside assistance can be. Flat tyres, an empty fuel tank, dead batteries or being locked out of your car are just some of the reasons drivers find themselves stranded on the side of the road.

Not to mention, you can find roadside assistance for as little as $6 a month with no joining fee."

How much is roadside assistance per year?

Finder research has found roadside assistance may cost $105.37* per year on average. In total, we looked at 5 insurers:

Insurance providerRoadside assistance cost (annually)
Budget Direct**$89.95

*We sourced these figures on each provider's website on 3 May 2023.
**We did not include Budget Direct's 15% policy discount for new customers.

Cost isn't the only consideration

Finder's 2023 Customer Satisfaction Awards asked more than 600+ Australians to rate their roadside assistance provider based on customer service, value for money and more.

NRMA came in first place overall, scoring 4.5/5. 94% of the 119 people surveyed said they would recommend NRMA roadside assistance.

Highly commended policies included Youi and Virgin Money.

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