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

Posted: 17 August 2020 3:21 pm
News

Broken car

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

Name Product Call-outs (Unlimited/4 per year) Joining Fee Fuel Replacement Locksmith States Available
NRMA Roadside Assistance
Unlimited
No joining fee
$0
Nationwide
From $9.99 per month. 24/7, nationwide coverage available.
Budget Direct Roadside Assistance
Unlimited
No joining fee
$125
Nationwide
15% discount on first year's premium when you buy online and use the code SOLVED15. T&Cs apply.
loading

Compare up to 4 providers

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.

Name Product Roadside Assistance Accidental Damage Choice of Repairer Agreed or Market Value
Budget Direct Comprehensive
Optional
Optional
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: Awarded the 2021 Finder Award for Car Insurance - Value in QLD, SA, TAS, VIC, WA and Car Insurance - Features in NSW, VIC, WA, this policy offers solid coverage at a low cost. Budget Direct's claims service has received a 4.2/5 based on nearly 5,000 customer reviews.

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

Who it might be good for: People who want a comprehensive policy without breaking the bank.
Coles Comprehensive
Optional
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: With Coles comprehensive car insurance, you could earn double flybuys points at Coles supermarkets and you can get $10 off your Coles grocery bill every time you redeem 2,000 Flybuys points. If your car is damaged, you could benefit from a one-week turnaround on repairs.

⭐ Current offer: Get 10% off your first year's premium when you take out a policy online. T&Cs apply.

Who it might be good for: Coles customers and Flybuys collectors.
Youi Comprehensive
Optional
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: Youi Comprehensive Car Insurance is one of the few providers to include roadside assistance in its policy. You'll also get access to YouiRewards which gives you discounts on furniture, parking and more. Youi also has a live chat feature on its site to talk through any questions.

Who it might be good for: People over 25 who want comprehensive cover with a focus on customer service.
Qantas Comprehensive
Optional
Optional
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: You'll be able to choose how comprehensive you want your cover to be with optional extras like choice of repairer and the option of agreed or market value.

⭐ Current offer: Earn Qantas Points for joining and paying your premium. Sign up today and earn up to 20,000 Qantas Points (points awarded will be based on your premium). T&Cs and eligibility apply.

Who it might be good for: People who'd like to earn Qantas Points.
Huddle Black Comprehensive
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: Huddle's black comprehensive is its cover with highest limits and exclusive benefits. It includes roadside assistance. You can also get up to $2,000 for emergency travel and accommodation and up to $30 million legal liability cover.

Who it might be good for: Someone who wants a 24/7 claims processing.
loading

Compare up to 4 providers

Get more from Finder

Ask an Expert

You are about to post a question on finder.com.au:

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • finder.com.au is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked

Finder only provides general advice and factual information, so consider your own circumstances, or seek advice before you decide to act on our content. By submitting a question, you're accepting our Terms of Use, Disclaimer & Privacy Policy and Privacy & Cookies Policy.
Go to site