roadside assistance

Roadside Assistance: Which Automaker Does It Best?


Winter is right around the corner, which means harsh weather and hazardous driving conditions. Being stranded on the side of the road is never something you want to think about. And if it’s late at night, it’s hard to not feel as if you’re stranded with no help in sight.

That is why automakers offer complimentary roadside assistance with every new car they sell. Like everything else in life, some companies have a clear edge over others, in terms of how long you’ll be covered for. But which automakers offer the best roadside assistance programs? The answer to this question is quite important, as the difference between the best and worst programs vastly differ.

So if you’re stuck between two cars and can’t decide which one to lease, looking at the quality of their roadside assistance plans can be another important factor for you to consider. Keep reading to find out which automakers offer the best roadside assistance programs!

Why is Roadside Assistance Important?

To borrow from the immaculate TV show Breaking Bad, the shady criminal defense lawyer, Saul Goodman, had a line he would say to convince people to employ him. It goes as follows, “Lawyers are like insurance, you hope you never have to use them, but not having one…”. The same goes for roadside assistance. Without an automaker’s complementary program or a plan that you’ve purchased on your own like AAA, you could be paying hundreds or even thousands of dollars every time your vehicle is disabled.

Not only does having roadside assistance save you money, but it also provides peace of mind. Knowing that you have a number to call when you’re in need provides loads of comfort. Having someone available to help you 24/7 especially when you’re in a stressful situation makes everything much easier.

roadside assistance

How Does Roadside Assistance Work?

So you’re sitting in your disabled car on the side of the road, now what? Well, in most cars there will be a sort of SOS button (usually on the rearview mirror) that will automatically put you on the line with someone that can send help for you. Most roadside assistance policies can assist you if you have a flat tire, dead battery, run out of fuel, or need a tow. If you require the latter, most companies will give you a tow to the nearest dealership or certified repair shop. For anything else, the technician will more than likely be able to resolve your issue on the spot.

Some more high-end automakers such as BMW and Mercedes will also offer reimbursement benefits if you’re far from home and your trip was interrupted due to your vehicle breaking down. For example, BMW will reimburse you up to $1,000 per incident to pay for lodging, food, and securing alternate short-term transportation. Other companies also utilize third party services such as OnStar to assist you and can even remotely unlock your doors if you’re locked out of your car.

Which Automakers offer the best Roadside Assistance plan?

In this list I prioritized the length of coverage over anything else, because vehicles are more likely to have issues the longer you have them. So you’re more likely to actually need your roadside assistance in year five or six rather than year three.

Brand Roadside Assistance (years/miles)
Lincoln Unlimited*
Cadillac 6/Unlimited
Buick 6/70,000
Hyundai 5/Unlimited
Chrysler 5/100,000
Dodge 5/100,000
Ram 5/100,000
Kia 5/60,000
Jeep 5/60,000
Chevrolet 5/60,000
Ford 5/60,000
GMC 5/60,000

*Lincoln also offers towing to your preferred Lincoln dealer within 100 miles.

Roadside Assistance plans that fall short

Alternatively, these automakers don’t offer great roadside assistance plans. However, if you’re leasing a vehicle from one of these brands and don’t plan on keeping the car, then Toyota is the only one we would recommend avoiding. This is because the majority of lease deals are for 3 years/36,000 miles or less, which ensures that you’ll be covered for the duration of your lease. Just another reason to consider leasing over financing!

Also keep in mind that just because a certain brand does not have great roadside assistance coverage, doesn’t mean you should write them off completely. It’s also important to keep in mind that there is also comprehensive, powertrain, and corrosion coverage warranties that come with new vehicles as well.

Brand Roadside Assistance (years/miles)
Honda 3/36,000
Mazda 3/36,000
Nissan 3/36,000
Subaru 3/36,000
Volkswagen 3/36,000
Toyota 2/Unlimited


As long as you’re not buying a used car, odds are you will have roadside assistance available to you through your vehicle’s manufacturer. However, if you’re planning to keep your car when your lease is up, or are financing, it is extremely important to know which warranties are the best. If you can’t decide which car to get, it might be a good idea to start by looking at the warranties automakers offer and go from there.

In any case, the automotive experts here at Capital Motor Cars are able to assist you with any questions you may have with roadside assistance and much more! Be sure to contact us today to take advantage of our unbeatable monthly lease deals and ride off in a brand new car!