Most of us are not authorized mechanics, and we don’t know what to do when we remain in our car in the middle of the road. Modern vehicles have many warnings and lights showing us what is wrong with them, but the average driver does not know what they mean.
Moreover, a breakdown happens when we need it the least, while we are rushing to an important meeting or when we go on holiday. It is why you can’t allow for your car to be taken in a repair shop, and you will be looking for a quick solution.
What is roadside assistance?
Even if you are insured, and you could think about towing your car to the nearest service, the perspective of having a replacement car for many weeks is not that appealing. Moreover, even if you will not pay for the repair if you are insured, you will pay a lot more for your insurance premiums next year.
The alternative is a roadside assistance company that would jump-start your car on the road, making sure you get home safe tonight and that you can drive your vehicle at work safely tomorrow.
The best roadside assistance companies would solve the majority of problems that are solved in services, such as:
- Flat battery
- Wrong fuel
- Flat tire
- Light and bulbs problems
- Quick diagnose
You should be able to find a roadside assistance company one hour away from you wherever you are. It means you can call one of these companies, and you can be home with your car repaired in less than two hours.
How to find the best roadside assistance companies
When looking for a specialist online to solve your car problem, you will probably look for the best price. Be aware there are different companies for different issues – some of them would only jump start your car, while others are specialized in wrong fuel problems.
Initially, you might not know what is wrong with your car, and you won’t want to call a wrong fuel company to solve your flat battery problem. The specialized companies in the field know all of the issues a vehicle could have on the road, being able to offer a complete roadside assistance service.
First, you would want to compare the prices of several mechanics in your area. It would be great to find a breakdown assistance comparison engine with several offers. However, make sure the company you call is authorized and insured to offer such services.
Simple roadside assistance quotes websites would give you all the details of the company you want to book, including their experience in the field and reviews.
Once the mechanic arrives to fix your car, don’t just stand in your car waiting for the problem to be fixed. Repairing the car will probably last for at least half an hour, enough time for you to ask the next questions:
- What is wrong with my car?
- If you can start it to drive me home, how can I be sure I won’t have the same problem tomorrow?
- Is there a warranty for the work provided?
A good mechanic will be able to explain the problem in simple terms and to be honest about your expectations. Sometimes, all they can do is to make your car work to the nearest service, but even this is better than calling an expensive towing company.
If you understand what the mechanic is doing to your car, you will have the peace of mind knowing your vehicle is in the hands of a specialist.
Read reviews and opinions
The best roadside assistance companies encourage their clients to write reviews. Of course, this happens only if they trust their work, and they are doing the right thing. Reputation is maybe an essential aspect to consider when looking for a good mechanic.
Insurance and liability
Ask the mechanic about the liability insurance. If the mechanic can’t solve the problem with your car and you still need towing, you must be sure the roadside assistance mechanic didn’t break your car even worse. In this case, a specialized service would determine if your vehicle broke because of the breakdown specialist, and this is when they are liable.
It does not happen often, but you need to be sure the rapid intervention mechanic has liability insurance. If they break your car and they don’t have such coverage, they will need to pay you at some point. However, you will need to sue them, and it might last months before you can actually prove they are liable, and they need to pay damages.
How about the price?
If a roadside assistance mechanic gives you a price that is too good to be true, it is probably a scam. Many mechanics’ buy an old van and a set of tools, and they start offering breakdown recovery services.
Check the replacement parts the mechanic offers you and make sure they are original. Some mechanics buy cheap counterfeit parts from the aftermarket. You might be happy you can go home safely tonight after the reparation, but it might break the next day because of a bad spare part.
Make sure the initial price offered by such a company is transparent. Some companies would ask you only 50$ to start your car, but once they arrive, they could say this was only the reservation’ and that you need to pay more for the actual reparations.
The most reputed roadside assistance companies would offer transparent prices, with breakdown for each service provided. Most of the cases, they would charge for the time of the mechanic, but also for the specific problem. You will have to pay extra in case car parts replacement is needed.
When we find ourselves alone in the middle of the highway with our car broken, we would probably panic and call the first number we find online. Stop before doing that, and take a deep breath. Just take 10 minutes to do your research online to find the best roadside assistance company, and you will save money and time after.