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Roadside Assistance Comparison

I’ve never really given thought about buying roadside assistance protection before as I considered it just another unnecessary cost.  However, with an alternator failure the other day in our 8 year old car, it made me think about what it would cost to get a tow truck should I ever need one.   Along the same line of thought, the idea of roadside assistance started to appeal to me.  Being the comparison shopper that I am, I started to do some digging around on the available roadside assistance options out there.

From my research, there seems to be quite a few players in the Canadian roadside assistance industry.  They all seem to price their packages in the same range,with similar offerings as well.

CIBC Auto Club Costco CAA Plus Deluxe TD Auto Club PC Financial CAD Tire Gold Plan
Cost $99.95 $134.95 $117 $79 $69.97 $99.95
Towing KM 250km 200km 160km $200km 40km 250km
Traffic Accident Coverage $600 $500 (more than 250km from home) $500 Covers towing, accomm, car rental, meals $700 (more than 250km from home) $200 (more than 100km from home)
Calls Per Year 8 4 5 Unlimited ? 5
Battery Boost Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Flat Tire Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Gas Delivery Yes, Free Yes, Free Yes, Free Yes, Free Yes, Pay for Gas Yes, Free
Lockout Service Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Trip Accident Insurance $0 $0 $500k $0 $0 $0
Extrication Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Extras Trip planning services 20% ($27) off  for Exec members Trip planning services, CAA discounts at various establishments Free with TD Gold Visa, trip planning services. Only for PC M/C customers, trip planning services, 1 free oil change, trip planning services

As you can see from the table, most of the offerings are very similar with a bit of variation in price.  The beauty of a table like this is that every option can be compared side by side.  At first glance, it seems that the TD Deluxe Auto Club provides the most value.  For $80 per year, it’s among the lowest cost, but with the most benefits.

Roadside assistance is just like purchasing insurance.  You buy it in the hopes that you’ll never use it.  However, is the $100/year worth the peace of mind and convenience?  Or could you call a tow truck yourself and pay as you go?  Locked out of a car?  Perhaps keep an extra set at home or with a family member.  Battery dead?  Keep a pair of cables in your trunk and call family/friends for a boost.

How many of you have roadside assistance?  Which company do you recommend?

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FT About the author: FT is the founder and editor of Million Dollar Journey (est. 2006). Through various financial strategies outlined on this site, he grew his net worth from $200,000 in 2006 to $1,000,000 by 2014. You can read more about him here.

{ 74 comments… add one }
  • alvanson February 8, 2010, 10:12 am

    I had Costco’s roadside assistance when my car broke down on Vancouver Island just outside Sidney. The call centre kept calling tow trucks out of Vancouver, because according to them, “Vancouver is on Vancouver Island, Victoria is on Victoria Island.”

  • Canadian Couch Potato February 8, 2010, 11:08 am

    We have used CAA for years and I’ve always felt that the $100 was well worth it. If you get a tow once every two years or so, it pays for itself. We’ve had a couple of breakdowns where they’ve been a huge help. Remember also that CAA gets you discounts at hotels, gives you free maps and guidebooks when you travel, and some other side benefits that make it well worth $100 a year.

  • oneadvice February 8, 2010, 11:12 am

    I guess it all depends on which roadside assistance cover is right for you, some companies offr more benegits but you don’t want to be paying for something that you don’t even need.
    I think online comparison sites are a great way to be sure you are getting the best deal but as the says goes, always read the small print!

  • Ramona February 8, 2010, 11:19 am

    Up till 2 years ago, I never considered there to be a need at all for roadside assistance. But then I learned that I could get movie passes cheaper at CAA, which are used just like cash, always accepted. This was enough of a benefit on it’s own to swing me over. The yearly premium for CAA isn’t that great – I only have the minimum coverage, not the CAA Plus, I have the piece of mind that I’m covered (to date has not been used), and I get discounted movie tickets. I also was able to get reasonable health insurance coverage for a trip for my dad (senior, and you know how insurance can cost), and he’s not even a member. I strongly urge all MDJ fans to check it out. It’s one of few things I wish I had done years earlier.

  • cannon_fodder February 8, 2010, 11:34 am

    Good, useful article FT. Now, are extrication services if your car is stuck or is it for you if you’ve eaten too much drive through and can’t get out of your car?

  • FT FrugalTrader February 8, 2010, 11:45 am

    lol @ cf. I would say both. ;)

    Relating to the article, do you subscribe to a roadside assistance plan for your older vehicle?

  • Michael February 8, 2010, 11:51 am

    I have had CAA for a few years. The price is worth the peace of mind plus if something were to happen and it was my wife and kids in the car without me she would not have to deal with changing a flat, getting a boost, etc. Just make a quick call and wait for help to arrive.

  • Shawn S. February 8, 2010, 12:10 pm

    One additional metric for comparison is whether the coverage is on a “per driver” or “per automobile” basis. For example, I remember going with Canadian Tire years back because they covered the car regardless of the driver, whereas CAA required an additional “associate membership” (or something to that effect) for a secondary driver.

  • J February 8, 2010, 12:56 pm

    My wife and I use Mastercard’s Roadside Assistance Plan whenever the situation arises. It is included as part of your benefits on the standard no fee Mastercard. Basically there is a fixed fee of around $80.00 for a tow anywhere within 100 km or so….

    I am sorry I don’t have the specifics with respect to the exact fee and distance, but the numbers are in the “ball park”….. we used the service a couple years ago with no issues. Unless you have more than one breakdown a year, I think the MC deal is a good one

  • No Debt Guy February 8, 2010, 1:14 pm

    We have roadside assistance. I wouldn’t want my spouse to be stranded anywhere. We have a Husky right buy our house and always file up there. They have some type of program where we swipe our card and get points towards our membership costs.

  • Andrey February 8, 2010, 1:20 pm

    FYI: there’s also http://www.hbc.com/hbcfinancial/membership-services/en/auto.shtml. We are members, even though I cannot tell you how good it is because my car never broke in 3 years.

  • Ray @ Financial Highway February 8, 2010, 1:36 pm

    I currently have it through my phone provider about $60/yr gives 5 calls/yr. towing $50 limit and battery boost, gas deliver (pay for gas), lockout service……not very comprehensive but in the past 10 years only 1 time did I have to pay extra for towing services. It doesnt have to be my car to use the service, I have often used it for friends and family members.

  • Nabeel Jafferali February 8, 2010, 1:51 pm

    How does the Roadside Assistance included in the $50/yr BMO Shell MasterCard compare?

  • GTK February 8, 2010, 2:29 pm

    I’m a big fan of my TD Gold Elite Visa card because of the included TD Auto Club Membership, car rental insurance, and 1% cash back with no spending tiers or limits.

    I’ve used the Auto Club at least twice, and had the car rental insurance cover $2500 in damage caused by my father on a car I rented. I’ve never had any issues with the service.

    I find that the $99 annual fee more than makes up for these benefits.

  • Jerry Hung February 8, 2010, 2:45 pm

    Sorry, another sell for TD Select Services ;-p

    Adding that
    $5000 minimum balance leads to (–>) TD Select Service –> free TD Gold Elite or TD Travel Infinite VISA cards –> free auto club

    Not to mention below “freebies” with TD Select Service
    – Free USD account –> free TD USD VISA
    – Free safety deposit box
    – unlimited transaction

    I have used the battery boost a few times, very courteous and quick service, tow truck distance is limited but anything longer, my insurance covered it (hint: insurance is involved = not good)

  • locke February 8, 2010, 3:25 pm

    Personally I’ve found only one situation in 12 years of driving did I need service and that tow driver charged me $60 for extrication from an idiot manouvre on my part.

    But I agree with others if I had loved ones, then I would get it. On my own can’t justify the cost unless I did a lot of out of town driving.

    If I did want it, I’d get TD select service. That’s like 1.6% yield on the based on the $80 value of the service if you kept $5000 in the account. Otherwise I’d hate to have $5k idle

  • Melissa February 8, 2010, 3:38 pm

    Over the years I have had to use roadside assistance many times, however I now have a new car and it comes with roadside assistance for 5 years. I considered cancelling my roadside assistance that I have through BCAA but had to consider the other benefits that come with the membership.
    I live in a smallish city in BC and moved here from Toronto, I chose to keep my CAA coverage which I had in Toronto. The basic coverage is the best for me because I get my car & home insurance through them also and the cost of the membership is covered by the discount I get on the insurance. And in BC if you fill up at a Mohawk gas station you get a discount on your membership.

  • McGoo February 8, 2010, 3:50 pm

    I have had CAA for about 10YRS now, used them 2 times over that span. By looking through my Auto insurance I found out it actually includes roadside assistance with my premium. Its nothing comprehensive but covers all the basics (flat tire, min. tow, boost, lock out ect) so I have since canceled CAA. I figured its not worth the cost of a separate membership unless you have an older car that you are putting a lot of miles on or you are taking advantage of the travel benefits that come with these memberships. (Which I was not doing a whole lot of.)

  • Brian February 8, 2010, 3:50 pm

    I have had CAA for years and still have it. When they use to be partnered with Sunoco, I would get CAA dollars every time I get gas and swipe my CAA card. Long story short, all the dollars I accumulated from going to Sunoco went directly to my renewal. One year it cost me 11 dollars. They are no longer associated with Sunoco. I have not considered getting another coverage as I use to have two cars. Now only down to one, the newer one still has road side 24 assistance with Nissan. But the other thing I like about CAA is the various discounts you get not just here but in the states as well. Great table and didn’t realize that some of the places listed even carried road side assistance.

  • Rocky February 8, 2010, 4:20 pm

    I really have gotten my money’s worth out of my CAA membership. I don’t think there has been a year in which I haven’t used at least something on my CAA since we purchased it about 3 years ago.

  • Jatinder February 8, 2010, 4:23 pm

    I got CAA when my car battery died and I had to call my brother for a boost. Towing in upto 200KM

  • Stan February 8, 2010, 4:57 pm

    Check with you car insurance company to see if they offer a roadside assistance add-on. For $5/year (yes, $5/year!) my company will reimburse me for towing and locksmith services. I have to pay up front and submit a mini-claim, but for the savings it is well worth it.

    I don’t get any of the other fancy bits (trip planning, free maps, etc.) but I also don’t need all of those other fancy bits.

  • UpTooLate February 8, 2010, 5:47 pm

    I have been happy with TD Visa Gold Elite as well. Used a couple of times by wife with good, prompt service. 1% cash back on everything and no annual fee if one asks fee to be waived.

    Also have been driving Acura’s and their roadside is also very good with no extra charge as far as I know. Came quickly for flats on 2 occasions. Cheers.

  • Tony C. February 8, 2010, 5:54 pm

    CAA has been an excellent choice for me and now my family. We have two cars, but one is over 15 years old. Over the past 5 years I’ve had the battery die, needed a boost a few times, had two flat tires, 2 lockouts and the car needed towing twice.

    Every time the service from CAA has been ridiculously fast and friendly. In fact, I bought a battery from them. Shortly after, I was on vacation for two weeks and accidentally left an interior light on, which drained the new battery. They replaced the battery on the spot, no questions, no charge (I kept the receipt in the glove box).

    There honestly just aren’t enough good things I can say about my CAA plus membership. Especially given my ancient car.

  • Peter B February 8, 2010, 6:20 pm

    I use CAA here in British Columbia. It’s not just roadside assistance that you get with this as other posters have mentioned. Ever want to buy a map of that city you are going to visit? Free at CAA, which has come in handy plenty of times at no additional cost. I also get line item discount for buying car and apartment insurance through them as well which helps with the cost not covered in this summary.

    I have used CAA plus a couple of times because it includes motorcycle coverage which I have had to use with a flat tire. Used it once on our car when it was pouring rain to change a tire and have used it three times for other family members for towing.

    I probably have other coverage with TD Select service and with my car insurance, and our newer car warranty but there is a different level of service you get from CAA and the maps are good too.

  • Monty Loree February 8, 2010, 6:22 pm

    Offtopic:
    Hey FrugalTrader.. I just published my podcast interview with Jon Chevreau – author of Findependence Day. During our discussion he mentioned that your blog was one that he visits !! MDJ seems to be popular with the other bloggers I’ve interviewed as well! Nicely done!

    Check out this interesting discussion with Jon Chevreau!

    I’m inviting all Canadian PF bloggers to participate in my Personal Finance Podcasts for Canadians Series… Let me know if you’re interested.

    Cheers!

  • Greg February 8, 2010, 6:28 pm

    Have had BCAA (CAA) for about 17 years and in the early days, use them often (had old cars) and even used them when I locked keys in a friends trunk. In the last 10 years have only had to use them one. I try to buy my gas at Mohawk or Husky which give a small percentage of purchase price towards renewal of membership.

    I’m considering cancelling the membership as I figure with one call out in 10 years, it would just be cheaper to pay for the service directly. I’m also going to look into the Mastercard $5 option that someone mentioned above.

  • AK February 8, 2010, 7:46 pm

    I had the TD Gold Elite card for some time (no fee with the chequing account we have), and thankfully never had the opportunity to try their services. Then I got the wise idea to switch it to the TD Travel Infinity Visa (also no fee with our account) thinking we could go on a holiday. Promptly after making the switch, our alternator seized about 20 minutes outside of Calgary’s city limits. One Humpty’s breakfast (we broke down right outside the only restaurant for miles)and an expensive tow into downtown Calgary (the only garage willing to sneak in the out-of-towners and save the day) I was feeling pretty sheepish!

    I wonder how many travel points I earned on the tow and repair bill?! ;-)

  • Financial Uproar February 8, 2010, 7:51 pm

    When I went searching for cheap auto insurance a couple of years ago, it turns out that the insurance offered to CAA members from Alberta Motor Association was $500 per year lower than my insurance broker quoted. So that makes it much easier to swallow the cost of membership.

  • FrugalGreenie February 8, 2010, 8:32 pm

    It’s all a matter of perspective…and everybody’s different. We no longer make really long car trips (ie NS to Ontario, via the States, etc) so I think that for us we no longer require the extra ‘piece of mind’ roadside assistance for the “loved ones”. Most of our trips are within a 300km radius of home. We keep a short list of tow operators that we have used (2 in the three years.) At $80/tow (cash) I think that means I’m ahead $140 bucks on the average $100/year CAA membership over three years. We had CAA before and GMC roadside assistance before that on a previous vehicle. Keep your money and keep an independant tow operator’s number in your cell phone. And get a great mechanic and keep him (or her on your cell phone too! :) Should we return to the annual need to drive across this great land of ours we might revisit our needs.

  • cannon_fodder February 8, 2010, 8:51 pm

    FT

    Our two cars are 5 and 9 years old now. We got rid of the 14 year old car last spring to upgrade to the “new” one.

    I just received an offer in the mail for a CAA basic membership affiliated with Petro Canada.

    You get the membership for $54 ($64 if you don’t use sign up for automatic renewal) plus 10,000 Petro Points plus a North American atlas. In addition if you want another family member covered their fee is $31. The membership covers any car the member is in even if it is just a friend or coworker.

    Plus you have 8 months to decide if you like it or cancel for a full refund.

    No where in the mailer do they try to upwelling to a Plus membership. They don’t even explain the differences.

  • Kathryn February 8, 2010, 9:57 pm

    Shawn S. Good point. We went with Canadian Tire for a while for the same reason. We only have one car and it was much cheaper to get the car covered for whoever was driving it than to get protection for two people which we would have had to get if we went with CAA.

    In the end we cancelled because we never used it. Their plans have changes since then and have gone up in price. I like the idea of their ‘roadside on request’ plan but hate that they’ll only take you to a Canadian Tire for car repairs.

  • Wil February 8, 2010, 10:01 pm

    Cancelled my spouse’ lame, over-priced BCAA coverage and continued with my TD Deluxe Auto Club – which also covers her as my spouse.

    The decision was easy and satisfying.

  • Wil February 8, 2010, 10:02 pm

    PS Have also had several occasions on which to utilize the TD Club and was never disappointed.

  • paul s February 8, 2010, 10:54 pm

    Had CAA plus for years. Used it a few times. It’s great peace of mind, and a relief when they come to help. A no brainer IMO. used to always get the triptics (sp?) when going on a trip, but GPS made that serviece obsolete. Save money on hotels all over NA. Makes my cost basically free by doing that.

    I’ve never done a comparison with others. Thanks for doing it. Won’t switch for a few dollars as CAA service has been fast everytime, and travel discounts are good.

  • Financial Cents February 8, 2010, 11:01 pm

    We use CAA, their basic package. No complaints. With older vehicles, every few years the membership pays for itself. We pay about $85 for both memberships. Given the extras, triptiks, maps and other services, you can’t beat it for pennies a day piece of mind.

  • Ms Save Money February 8, 2010, 11:01 pm

    I have AAA roadside assistance and it only costs $50 a year – real cheap and great service. You can call them any hour of the day and they’ll also help you out if u lock yourself out of the car.

    This is especially good for those with older cars. I don’t know if they have AAA in Canada though.

  • Arjun Rudra February 9, 2010, 1:14 am

    Hey Frugal

    I’ve been with the Canadian Tire Roadside Assistance program for close to 3 years now. I’ve used them a grand total of 6 times in 3 years and was I glad that I had their number each time. They were generally quick to respond and did a good job each time. Have no complaints and will continue to use them going forward.

  • Christina February 9, 2010, 5:08 pm

    Easy trick:

    Don’t buy road side assistance. The first time you need it, buy it. You can purchase CAA over the phone with a credit card and they will help you out immediately. At this point the CAA membership is an alternative for paying for a tow, and the overall cost is probably pretty comparable, but you get the protection for the rest of the year.

    I’ve done this myself, it works!

  • FT FrugalTrader February 9, 2010, 5:39 pm

    Christina, I thought these programs all had “deductibles” of a couple days before the account can be activated. I read that on the Costco promo material, and I assumed it is the same for the rest. However, if CAA is different, it’s a great idea to wait until you need it.

  • cannon_fodder February 10, 2010, 12:46 pm

    Do any of these services cover driving in the US? I haven’t had my vehicle need such a service except once when I was driving to our Corporate HQ in the US.

  • used tires February 10, 2010, 2:27 pm

    You’re right oneadvice, online comparision sites are the best way to get the best deal for me too.

    Jean

  • Kelly February 12, 2010, 7:10 pm

    I agree that, in normal city driving in an average vehicle, road-side assistance isn’t necessary, for the price. However, I have a CAA membership, which also gives me discounts on my home insurance. As the discounts are more than the cost of the annual membership, I am basically receiving road-side assistance coverage for free.

  • JC March 30, 2010, 1:16 pm

    I had been with CAA for years until about a year & a half ago. After I got a renewal notice/invoice, I switched to “PC Financial Roadside Assistance”. The reason being, they say there are 3 ‘Free” calls per year but on the renewal, they said they were increasing my fee because I’d used 3 calls the previous year!!! I’d called for things like unlocking the door & a short tow (5 kms). D’oh! Free eh?! Not! I said ‘ADIOS!’ to CAA & switched to PC. I’ve had to call for a tow once since & had good service. No regrets.

  • Carol June 8, 2010, 9:43 am

    We have two vehicles as well as a motorcycle and three children that drive so either need coverage on all three vehicles or on all five of us – any suggestions?

  • J.P. June 15, 2010, 3:13 pm

    @Kathryn- Canadian tire will actually tow you to any location of your choice within the limits of your plan, it does not have to be Canadian Tire. HOWEVER, if you do go to Canadian Tire it does not count as one of your service calls for the year. I was hesitant about purchasing a plan from them for the same reasons but when I called their customer service number the gentleman explained how there plans actually work. Hopefully I wont actually ever have to use it.

  • CanadianRoadside September 21, 2010, 4:11 pm

    In Reply to Kathryn,

    “I like the idea of their ‘roadside on request’ plan but hate that they’ll only take you to a Canadian Tire for car repairs.”

    it’s not true, the gold, silver and ror plans will tow you anywhere you like. The extra to that they do unlimited tows to canadian tire. So as where caa plus give you 5 claims…canadian tire gives you 5 claims anywhere, and as many tows as you need to canadian tire as a bonus. Oh plus you can’t beat that package of coupons, one free oil change and 4 discounted ones every year. I’ve had the plan for years now and I love it. (more then caa) ;)

  • Hasan October 20, 2010, 11:38 pm

    I have TD Delux road side assisstance, unfortunatley my experience is very very bad, the call centre guy avoiding to send tow truck, my car tire rod broken, he said it’s an accident, I explained him this is not but he refused me to serve

    please never buy TD Delux membership

  • VeryFrustrated November 14, 2010, 2:01 am

    My experience with TD deluxe Auto Club is terrible. My car battery was dead, and I was on the phone with the call centre for 45 minutes. The agent had difficulty finding my location on googlemap or other map services, and I had to help him for 30 minutes to find my location. I had to repeat the same excruciating experience to help the agent locate the destination. Finally, after 45 minutes, I gave up. I called the Auto Club later to lodge a service complaint, and got a bland “thank you for calling” type of response. They would start an internal review, but I would not receive any follow-up or offer for the trouble.

    This is just thoroughly bad customer service. They did not deliver the promised service when I was distress and needed it the most.

  • Debbie Goodspeed January 21, 2011, 4:12 pm

    We have had Alberta Motor Association for almost 2 years now, the AMA Roadside assistance SUCKS! Honestly, we broke down in Niagara Falls[starter solenoid], after a half hour of talking to somebody on their 1-800 number operator we simply gave up. It was 11:00 pm at night beside the Niagara Falls, and the only thing the operator on the telephone was interested in was trying to troubleshoot our car problems on the phone. ALL WE wanted was a TOW! Simple, it used to be that was what tow trucks were used for. We did not want a telephone mechanic, we did not want the tow truck operator to show up an start pulling wrenches on our car, we just wanted a tow to a repair facility. We gave up. We got some local help. We continued our trip across the continent and broke down in Burlington, Vermont[alternator]. This time when we phoned their toll free phone number in the United States, and they simply tried to Dodge the main issue which was; Would somebody please send us a tow truck? We even phoned the Alberta Motor Association when we returned to Canada, and they did not offer to help us in any way or form. Now here we have a snow storm that finished a couple of days ago, and the same old story. Our other car the fuel pump is gone 170,000 kms, and we once again can not get a tow truck to show up. It is sad and pathetic, all at once. We are canceling our AMA membership and we will buy Roadside Assistance from ANYBODY but AMA. The AMA roadside assistance is a complete WASTE of Money. Take you money and BURN it, it will be a more enjoyable experience.

  • Greg March 17, 2011, 5:50 pm

    It’s definitely worth getting if your car is over 5 years old. $100 a year is not bad for peace of mind.

    The reason I say this………

    3 years ago my car died in cottage country on a sunday morning in the winter 180 km from Toronto. No local garages were open and I had to get back to the city. I had to get a flatbed tow truck from a local company and it cost me over $300 for the tow back to Toronto.

  • CharlesP May 6, 2011, 11:26 am

    @24. Tony C. [a year or so later]

    One difference in CAA and other clubs is that CAA it is on the driver, not the vehicle. Motorcycles are also covered with CAA Plus.

    So that means you have to pay extra [$40 for another driver] for your spouse.

    So that can be a bonus to we bikers or scooter-ers (:-)

  • cpedley May 8, 2011, 11:11 am

    A great resource. Thanks for the comparison. One thing you might put in your chart is that some of the above plans require the signup for their credit card.

    This is 2011.

    Wondering what has changed if anything.

  • shelly May 19, 2011, 2:38 pm

    Kijiji has a roadside assistance deal on today for $39.

  • kevin_405 July 14, 2011, 1:07 pm

    Open TD Select Service Checking Account with $5000 min balance
    Get all/Most bank services free..

    Free services includes
    1> TD Elite Visa with free TD auto club
    2> Bank drafts
    3> US $ checking account and US $ credit card
    4> Lockers if available..
    5> Free cheque printing

    U should write an article on this

    After opening select service account with TD i closed my CAA membership.. TD auto club is far superior in terms of reimbursements when tows from clubs are hard to find.. this has happened to me with CAA where i would have had to wait 2 hrs for tow in a snow storm.

  • Ross July 19, 2011, 6:25 pm

    Recently we tried to use CAA roadside assistance for the very first time since we had purchased membership.

    5 and a half hours later, we were still waiting for a tow truck. We called back several times during the period ( thankfully we had brought along a cell phone) and each time they indicated a truck was definetly on its way and gave the time of arrival. These arrivals never occurred. After more than 5 and a half hours of this nonsense, we gave up and called a normal tow which arrived in 10 minutes and took care of everything. It cost me $100 but I didnt have to wait all day and possibly all night. We were not in a remote place but in a small city near our home. It turns out the towing company who is contracted for the work in our area is over 60km away. Thus, they dont actually provide service in our area despite selling us the membership and promising us the services.

  • cannon_fodder July 20, 2011, 2:14 am

    Kevin_405,

    All along, TD has been pushing their TD Infinite card to me – I didn’t realize that the select service (which I just entered into 3 months ago) would allow me this TD Elite Card with free TD Auto Club membership for me, my spouse and any children under the age of 22 in the household. Thanks!

  • Jessica July 21, 2011, 1:58 pm

    I’ve been with CAA for several years now.
    Recently I was stuck at the rest area on 401/Grimbsy and was told that Caa only had one tow truck in the entire area at 9pm.
    I was told they would be there within 45minutes, and I called 45 mins later only to be told the guy was towing someone’s car and it would be an hour or longer.
    Customer service offered no explanation as to why there was only one tow truck in the entire Niagara region.
    Expect better service for the plus memerbership fees!

  • Suzanne October 9, 2011, 3:35 pm

    Had our first experience with TD Elite today….not impressed….waited more than two hours for a tow. I can understand that kind of wait in the middle of a snow storm but not on a sunny Sunday morning. I also spent 20 minutes on the phone…most of the time on hold. Don’t see why they couldn’t have taken the cell number and called back when the arrangements were made.

  • Plan seeker November 24, 2011, 3:18 pm

    Old article, but still helpful – just found it on a search.

    To those complaining about waiting too long for a service vehicle, note that most tow truck drivers are independent contractors and have agreements with most of the roadside assistance providers in that area. So, when you switch from one plan to another, you still may be getting the exact same tow service.

    The differences in the plan providers are detailed in the table in the article above, how CSRs deal with customer, and if the provider is willing to contract additional tow truck owner/ops in specific problem areas.

  • Paula April 11, 2012, 11:38 am

    Do not get Access Roadside Assistance.

    I did a comparison similar to yours before deciding which company to go with. I’d been a CAA member for years but found it to be expensive when other companies seemed to offer the same services for less. So I bought the Access Roadside Assistance 1 yr membership through one of the daily deal websites for the low price of $40. What a big mistake.

    I had chosen that company specifically because my membership included 200km of towing, which, living out in the country, was very important to me. When I finally did need to use it in rural Quebec, I was told the car would only be towed to the nearest garage – despite what it said in the manual. It was 11pm on a Sunday night and I had to call my mother to come and get me – a 1.5 hr drive for her (so 3 hrs total). Then she had to drive me back to the garage the next day after the car was fixed (another 3 hrs driving). This is not what I had signed up for and I achieved no savings from the membership given the garage was only 5km away from where I’d driven it to.

    Moral of the story, some things are too good to be true. I plan to file a complaint with the BBB shortly by the way.

  • Alexandria Myko May 17, 2012, 2:08 am

    NTT roadside assistance sell membership for just $59. You don’t even have to buy membership, they’ll service you anyways. I needed help with a tire change on the 401 and they send help pretty fast. I asked the driver how did you get here so fast? He said ” Nearesttowtruck.com have over a 1000 tow trucks in the GTA on gps and they sent me as being the nearest tow truck to you”. It’s a great concept. It cost me $50 for the tire change and so i bought a membership for $59 after ward. Their number now stuck in my head 1888 90 TOWME.

  • AmJam May 25, 2012, 9:15 pm

    A plug for TD Auto Club:

    – they delivered gas to me when I was out: didn’t charge me for 5L of gas!

    – I’ve locked my keys in the car at least half a dozen of times…fond memories. TD Auto Club dispatched a local truck to help me out.

    – I had a flat tire once upon a time, and noticed it at work. Called the club and they took it to my garage for me!

    – Travelled to Ithaca NY, was driving a friend’s car and got stuck. Called TD and they were there in a pinch.

    – Long story short, for the 80 bucks / year (they take it out in instalments for me), very much worth the expense.

  • netasp August 1, 2012, 2:45 pm

    For the TD club, you HAVE to get their Visa card with $99 annual fee and as of today August 1st-2012, no more unlimited calls, limited to six only!

    I am very sure and just read their pdf manual. Can you guys confirm as well?

  • John Clark November 12, 2012, 10:02 pm

    Since we have a winter home in Phoenix. I joined the US AAA

    55$ with promo. We travel a lot in US

  • sasha December 27, 2012, 1:13 pm

    Be very careful with TD club, they will make the assumption you are at fault then tell you they cannot help you at this time because of that. I called TD head office to complain and they boldly lied for the reason to refuse me, just unbelievable.

    Do you really want your family going through that in a stressful event.

  • Kai December 30, 2012, 4:44 pm

    Another vote for Canadian Tire Roadside Assistance. Unlimited tows to the Canadian Tire of your choice is the big one for me… isn’t there one within a reasonable distance of anywhere you might want to go? And no, you don’t need to have it serviced there. Depending on the problem, you can putt-putt around the corner to your regular mechanic instead. Add 5 tows to anywhere and a free oil change, and you’re miles ahead of CAA!

    Only concerns are: CT follows the car, CAA follows the person. If you’ve one car and 2 or more possible drivers, CT has you all covered. If you’ve the reverse situation, you’re better off with CAA. Also, CT only covers you in Canada. For international trips, bring a friend with CAA ;).

  • SlartyB July 4, 2013, 10:47 am

    @Kai – Canadian Tire does cover the US:
    http://roadsideassistance.canadiantire.ca/en/ChoosingaPlanNQC

    The other thing in favor of CT is 1 x free oil change, and four or five x $19 oil change vouchers. If you take advantage of these, then they effectively reduce the cost of membership significantly. I my case the oil change savings pay for half the membership fee. So it only really costs around $50 + tax to cover my wife and I for our single car. Compare that to the $195 it would cost for the same coverage from CAA (not taking into account their discount offers, which wouldn’t make much of a difference for us).

  • Rohan January 21, 2014, 11:25 pm

    I will never recommend TD Roadside assistance program.The fine print on TD road side assistance is” towing services upto 200km TO THE NEAREST SERVICE STATION” Even though u have delux services you have to pay from your pocket if your car broke down in town and you have to take it to your Garage, they want tow. CAA is better it has many perks plus get 20% discount in duty free shop and many more… NEVER THINK ABOUT TD ROADSIDE ASSISTANCE PROGRAMM…It is cheat…

  • Yohannes February 15, 2014, 1:14 pm

    When did you do this roadside comparison? with PC Financial Roadside Assistance your allowed up to 4 service calls per year for each vehicle covered.

  • Sing March 9, 2015, 9:17 pm

    Stay away from Deluxe TD auto club. It sounds cheap but it is not. This plan was good and I used it twice before without any issue until they change the policy such that towing services upto 200km TO THE NEAREST SERVICE STATION”. My mechanic is 6 km from where my car was brokendown and TD auto club only covers 4 km based on their new policy. You will end up paying more in that NEAREST SERVICE STATION.

    • Robert February 28, 2016, 1:04 am

      It’s true TD Auto Club will only tow you to the nearest garage, but if you want to go further it’s something like $2/km. Not bad if your preferred mechanic isn’t too far away but it can add up if it’s a long distance. Myself or a family member has broken down or had a lock-out 2-3x in the last 8 years and a tow truck arrived within a reasonable time (40 mins). I like that it covers my spouse and unmarried kids no matter what vehicle they are driving. I pay $99/year for the TD Gold Elite VISA.

  • Tenor June 27, 2015, 12:29 pm

    If you research this subject PROPERLY you will find that for a family with one car and multiple drivers, CT Roadside assistance (Gold) wins hands down. If you take advantage of the free and cheap oil changes the price is unbeatable. The number of tows are also unbeatable because if you are unfortunate enough to use up your 250km allowance (suggest you get a new car) there are unlimited tows to a CT repair shop. Finally, to the person who said you are only covered in Canada – rubbish. I have used it in the states with no problem. I can see that if you spend a lot of time in hotels, do a lot of cross border shopping (deals at the Duty Free) etc, then CAA has some advantages. To all other single car multiple driver situations, CT is the winner.

  • R Young November 10, 2017, 12:51 pm

    Something to note about TD Auto. There 200km limit is to the closest service center and not the destination of your choice. If the closest service center they have located is 50km away and you want it towed to your perfered service center that is 100km away you will be on the hook to pay for the extra 50km. Also note that they don’t take into concideration if the closest SC is open or not at the time you call.

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