By December 22, 20050 Comments Read More →

Auto Clubs – RoadSide Service Assistance Is It Worth It?

Reader Question

Austin, I was just wondering if you could recomend a car club that’s better than A**.
Thanks, Don

Hello Don,

I am not a huge fan of car clubs. Why? With a cell phone anyone can call for assistance now and be taken to any shop they want. Most cell phone service providers have some kind of roadside assistance program as well. My take on shops that are A** shops…they give you a discount for being a A** member, but does the shop make up the discount somewhere else? In my dealings with A** shops…..they don’t seem to be very honest.

Of course I am not saying that about all A** shops, but the shops that I know of are not shops that I would recommend. I am VERY leery of any auto repair shop that gives discounts!

So if you wanted to join A** to get their discount on repairs….you might be better off without their membership. If you wanted to join because of their roadside assistance program, call your cell phone service provider and ask about their program.

If you don’t really travel outside of your home city much, I would ask your regular mechanic which 24 hour towing service they recommend and keep their card handy in your glove box for emergency.

The wrecker company I use at my shop has gone to Florida (I live in Texas) to pick up a customer and his truck that blew the motor. The wrecker drivers have keys to my protected storage lot, so I don’t need to be there when the car is dropped off, the keys and a work order is left in the car and I can start work the next business day. The wrecker also bills me, so the customer does not have to worry about paying the tow truck driver late at night.

A lot of my customers call the tow truck directly now, which makes life easier for me too. If you are looking for security on the road while around your city, I would recommend you get a relationship as I mentioned above. Ask the tow company how far away they will come and get you if you need them, and what the rate is.

If you are really going a long distance in your car and you don’t feel comfortable with the dependability of your vehicle, I would rent a car, a small price to pay for some added peace of mind on a long out of town trip. Rental cars are fairly inexpensive and usually come with national roadside assitance. If you don’t travel outside your home area much, the price you pay for a rental car will probably be less than or equal to the yearly price of a car club membership.

Austin C. Davis

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