Are towing services and Roadside assistance the same thing?

More than 32 million AAA members rescued drivers from broken-down cars in 2015. Unfortunately, you can’t avoid a breakdown no matter how convenient your vehicle is. Luckily, you know what to do if something like that happens. Roadside assistance and towing are pretty standard. But how are they different? There’s a misconception that they’re the same thing.

Find out what roadside assistance and towing are to know which is better. Let’s look at them.

Towing: What Is It?

When a driver gets arrested or told not to move his car, a tow truck company moves it for him. A towing service can transport a new car home before it’s registered. In short, towing services are when you can’t or shouldn’t move your car. Most insurance companies charge extra for towing.

Your roadside assistance package might or might not include it. Some packages only involve towing. People who choose only towing won’t get the additional help that comes with full roadside assistance. This seems to work for some people. Others want extra help if they need it. You don’t have to find someone else if the car is towed home.

What is roadside assistance?

Towing companies provide roadside assistance to help motorists in trouble with their cars. Although roadside assistance plans vary, many help with flat tires and dead batteries. Roadside assistance focuses on getting stranded drivers back on the road as quickly as possible.

When Should I Get My Car Towed?

Towing your car can be handy in many situations. But, most of the time, it’s because it doesn’t run. Several factors can lead to a car not running. You can solve some of these problems by getting roadside service with towing.

Sometimes, the only one who can fix the problem is a mechanic with the right tools. If you bought it, it might be a good idea to tow your new car. You can’t drive until your car is registered and insured. So you should have the car towed instead of driving it.

How to Tell You Need a Towing Service?

You should call a tow truck whenever your car is damaged in an accident or won’t start. If you want to ensure the right equipment is brought, give as much information as possible. Towing a heavy truck might require a different vehicle than towing a sedan.

You can also ask them if you’re worried about the car’s performance. For example, don’t keep driving when the engine makes a loud noise or smoke starts billowing. Even if the car isn’t broken down, pushing it beyond its limits can worsen the problem, making it more expensive and harder to fix.

A tow truck is handy when you buy a new car and haven’t registered or insured it yet.

What Is Covered Under Roadside Assistance?

How do these services work? There’s usually a strict coverage policy for roadside assistance packages. Get an idea of what they are by checking out these common ones.

  • Towing – You must take your vehicle to the mechanic if you get stuck. Most policies include towing. Towing companies may charge an extra fee if they drive your car to a specific location.
  • Battery Service – Batteries die a lot and need charging. A battery service can jump-start your car. The service does not include replacement batteries. A jump-start is usually required for a dead battery.
  • Flat Tyre Service – In the U.S., 220 million tires go flat every year. The sooner you fix a flat tire, the safer you are for other drivers. You’ll get a mechanic sent by your roadside assistance company. You can change your flat tire here. The old flat tire will be replaced with a new one. Tire replacement isn’t included. The person who is calling needs a spare tire. Spare tires are usually in a car’s trunk or back.
  • Fuel Delivery – How many times have you forgotten to get gas? When you run out of fuel, you have a hard time driving. There’s a role for fuel delivery here. Using this service, someone will bring you an allotted amount of gas to get you to the next service station.
  • Lockout Service – Maybe you’ve heard of them as “car locksmiths.” If you lock your keys in the vehicle, someone will help you get them out, and there’s no need to break any windows.
  • Extrication Service – This is similar to towing but is only for short distances. Extrication services can help you get it going again when you become stuck in your car. When is a vehicle likely to become stuck? There is a possibility that it could become stuck in the mud, in a ditch, or even in soft sand.

Towing Vs. Roadside Assistance

The difference between roadside assistance and towing is a big mystery to many. Roadside assistance packages often include towing, but they aren’t the same thing. Towing service is needed when your car won’t start.

It lets you move your car from a dangerous area to a safe place like your garage or house. The point of roadside assistance is to get you back on the road. In addition, you can get help with small, easily fixed problems with the packages.

With roadside assistance, you can drive your car away on your own. However, when towing, the vehicle cannot drive and must be transported on a flatbed.


Usually, you break down or get into an accident on the side of the road. You can handle such sensitive matters if you have the proper towing assistance.

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