Roadside Assistance: What Options Are There?

Roadside assistance is a real lifesaver when you find yourself stranded anywhere from State Highway 1 to the wops. So what options are available to you?

Roadside assistance is a great benefit to have. Whether from your insurer or a separate non-insurer provider, it can get you back on the road when things go awry. Or, at the very least, get you off the side of the road and to a mechanic.

While most insurers offer their own programs. not all do. Furthermore, a handful of non-insurer options are available, such as those from the AA and VTNZ.

Canstar takes a look at what options you have for roadside assistance.

What does roadside assistance cover?

Each roadside assistance policy is different. And it pays to carefully check each policy under consideration, so you know exactly what’s included in your policy.

Below we go over some of the common benefits you can expect to find in your policy. It’s worth noting that not all benefits are free. For example, your insurer may arrange a locksmith to come and help you out should you lose your keys, but you may have to pay the cost of replacement keys.

Common benefits of roadside assistance:

  • Cover for the vehicle, not the driver. So anyone driving the vehicle at time of incident is covered.
  • Battery jumpstart
  • Emergency fuel delivery should you run out
  • Changing a flat tyre
  • Towing to safety or nearest repairer
  • Minor roadside repairs
  • Assistance if locked out (replacement key delivery/ opening car for you etc.)
  • Technical advice
  • Accident assistance (towing, clean up etc.)

Benefits that are sometimes included, or may only be included on premium options could be:

  • Taxi or rental car assistance
  • Emergency accommodation assistance
  • Cover for vehicles that are being towed (like a boat, trailer or caravan)

Common exclusions of roadside assistance

  • Vehicles over 3000kg (3 tonnes)
  • Unattended vehicles
  • Vehicles that need salvage equipment or special equipment, such as power winches or extended cables
  • Lack of access due to extreme weather
  • Off-road or racing vehicles
  • Towing due to misuse

Is roadside assistance included in my insurance policy?

Roadside assistance is typically offered as an optional extra on top of your insurance policy. Not all policies may be eligible (some insurers only include the option on their comprehensive/full insurance policies) and there may be different levels of cover to choose from.

→Related article: New Zealand’s Best Car Insurance

Roadside assistance: what’s on offer from insurers?

Below we look at the insurers that have roadside assistance programs. Most include cover for the common benefits listed above, but any significant exclusions or benefits have been listed. Prices have been given where available. However, some insurers require you to apply for a quote before providing a price.

Be sure to visit provider websites for further details and Product Disclosure Statements.

AMP

AMP has optional roadside assistance (at an extra cost) on its Comprehensive car insurance policy.

  • Not available on Third Party or Third Party Fire & Theft
  • Unlimited free callouts

Tower Car Insurance

Tower

Tower’s RoadWise can be added to any Tower car insurance policy at an additional cost.

  • Cover starts from $3 a month
  • Three free callouts per year
  • For each year you renew, you receive an additional three free callouts
  • If any towing is needed, this will be done according to your Tower insurance policy, not RoadWise

 

Trade Me Insurance

Trade Me Insurance car insurance is underwritten by Tower. Therefore you have the option to add RoadWise to your Trade Me Insurance car insurance policy, for the same benefits.

AMI

AMI’s breakdown service has two levels of cover and can be added to its Full Cover car insurance policy.

Standard: $32

  • Three callouts per year
  • Cover for service costs up to $60 per callout
  • Not available on Third Party or Third Party Fire & Theft
  • Option to add Nominated person cover. This covers another person in any car, whether they’re a passenger or driver for up to two people

Premier: $76

  • Five callouts per year
  • Cover for service costs up to $150 per callout
  • Cover for towed vehicles such as your caravan, boat, or trailer
  • Not available on Third Party or Third Party Fire & Theft
  • Option to add nominated person cover. This covers another person in any car, whether they’re a passenger or driver for up to two people

State

State’s Roadside Rescue can be added to any State car insurance policy

  • $30 per year
  • Three free callouts per year

ANZ

Underwritten by Vero, ANZ car insurance offers roadside assistance as an optional extra on its Comprehensive and Third Party Fire & Theft policies.

westpac logo

Westpac

Westpac’s Auto Assist can be added to its Comprehensive car insurance policy.

  • $2.50 per month on top of your Westpac insurance policy
  • Three free callouts per year (up to the value of $150 per callout)

→Related article: What to do In the Event of a Car Accident

Roadside assistance: Non-insurer options

Insurer roadside assistance is not available unless you have an insurance policy with that provider. For example, you can only get Tower’s RoadWise roadside assistance if you have a car insurance policy with Tower.

If your car insurance provider doesn’t have roadside assistance, or you feel as if your provider’s programme isn’t right for you, there are a few non-insurer options available to you.

AA NZ Logo Official

AA

The AA is separate from AA insurance. And while AA insurance itself doesn’t offer any roadside assistance, AA members get roadside assistance as a part of their membership.

AA memberships start from $79 a year for standard individual memberships, and each year you have the policy you receive a discount. In addition to roadside assistance, your AA membership offers benefits such as discounted AA Insurance rates, fuel discounts and more.

VTNZ

VTNZ offers cover from just $39 a year. Additionally, there is a 10% multi-vehicle discount and a 5% discount when you renew your policy. It provides six free callouts per year

NZRA (New Zealand Roadside Assistance)

NZRA offers three roadside assistance packages, which all cover you for six callouts a year:

  • Standard Roadside Car and Motorcycle: $62.50 per annum
  • Premium Roadside Car and Motorcycle: $92.50 per annum
  • Standard Roadside Motorhome: $71.50 per annum

Compare car insurance


author andrew broadley

About the author of this page

This report was written by Canstar Content Producer, Andrew Broadley. Andrew is an experienced writer with a wide range of industry experience. Starting out, he cut his teeth working as a writer for print and online magazines, and he has worked in both journalism and editorial roles. His content has covered lifestyle and culture, marketing and, more recently, finance for Canstar.


Enjoy reading this article?

You can like us on Facebook and get social, or sign up to receive more news like this straight to your inbox.

By subscribing you agree to the Canstar Privacy Policy

Share this article