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Millions of Aussies call family over roadside assistance – but does it really make sense?

Young Woman Checking Car Engine At Countryside

Roadside assistance starts at around $7 a month, yet a third of drivers would still rely on friends or family if they broke down.

Who would you call if your car suddenly broke down and you were left stranded by the side of the road? Well, according to a new Finder survey, millions of drivers trust family or friends to step in and save the day.

Out of 1,007 respondents, 16% said they would call their spouse or partner if they broke down, a further 11% would call a family member and 5% would call a friend. However, the reliance on our loved ones might not be the best decision.

While some issues can be fixed fairly easily, there are plenty of car problems which require expert help - including lock-outs, rescues, and electrical faults.

In fact, NRMA technicians attended 61,347 vehicle lock-outs and 98,180 electrical faults in the 12 months leading up to September 2017. The recovery service also rescued 3,767 children and pets from vehicles in the same time period.

Of course, many people rely on friends or family because it's the cheaper option - but just how convenient is it for you and them? Would they be able to drop everything to get you out of a tightspot without delay? Would you want them to?

Considering how cheap a roadside assistance policy can be, it's an inconvenience most Aussies can afford to avoid. Finder research shows a standalone roadside assistance policy can start at less than $7 a month.

It's also fairly common for car insurers to offer roadside assistance as an optional extra, while some even include the perk as standard in their comprehensive policies.

Find roadside assistance for less than $7 a month

1 - 1 of 1
Name Product Call-outs (Unlimited/4 per year) Joining Fee Fuel Replacement Locksmith Cost per Month
Budget Direct Roadside Assistance
No joining fee
Up to $15
Up to $125
15% discount on your first year's membership when you buy online and use the code SOLVED15. T&Cs apply.

See car insurers which offer roadside assistance

The table below features Finder partners which offer roadside assistance as an optional extra or built-in perk.

1 - 4 of 4
Name Product Roadside assistance Accidental damage Choice of repairer Agreed or Market Value
Youi Comprehensive
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: The 2023 winner of our Best Features Car Insurance award. Plus, it's one of the only insurers to automatically include roadside assistance.

Who it might be good for: Those who want good customer service with lots of inclusions.
Budget Direct Comprehensive
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: The 2024 winner of our Best Value Car Insurance award. It's cheaper than most, plus you can lower costs by adding age restrictions.

⭐ Current offer: 15% off your first year's premium when you take out a policy online. T&Cs apply.

Who it might be good for: Anyone who wants a good value policy.
Qantas Comprehensive
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: You need car insurance so why not get one that lets you earn Qantas Points? It's good value too (it's underwritten by the same insurer as Budget Direct).

⭐ Current offer: Earn up to 30,000 Qantas Points with every car insured by 30 September. Plus save 15% on your 1st year’s premium when you purchase online. T&Cs apply.

Who it might be good for: People who want more bang for their buck with Qantas Points.
Huddle Comprehensive
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: Huddle's comprehensive policy will cover you if your vehicle is damaged or lost as a result of a collision, a natural event, a malicious act, theft or fire. It also includes up to $500 for essential repairs.

Who it might be good for: Someone who drives less than 15,000 km a year can opt for Pay As You Drive cover.

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