Towing vs. Roadside Assistance

Towing vs. Roadside Assistance

August 31, 2021

If you’ve ever been stranded on the side of the road, you understand the importance of towing services and roadside assistance. While these two services sound similar and there’s some overlap between them, you might have to pay for separate policies if you’d like both services.

But to make an informed decision, you need to know what’s included in both services, when they are appropriate to use and the cost and benefits of each one.

If you ever wondered, “What’s the difference between towing and roadside assistance?” this article will answer your questions.

Roadside assistance

This is a service offered by insurance companies, manufacturers or associations. It is mainly used for simple fixes to your car that you can self-diagnose. Some examples of these are lockouts, flat tires, running out of gas or a dead battery.

Roadside assistance dispatches a technician with the appropriate skills, knowledge and tools to help you with whatever problem you may have. There are several factors that influence whether you should invest in roadside assistance.

First, is your car newer or older? If you have an older and/or used car, it might be worth it to get roadside assistance. Second, do you travel a lot to and from unfamiliar places? If you’re driving a lot in your car for work, school, to see family or for other reasons, having roadside assistance could offer you peace of mind.

Another nice thing is that roadside assistance often comes with a specified amount of towing. This means that towing is included up to a certain distance, but, past that, you might have to pay for overages. If you’re still asking yourself, “What’s the difference between towing and roadside assistance?” you can read on to find out.


For more serious car troubles and/or problems that you can’t diagnose, you’ll want to request a towing service. This often comes in handy if you’re in an accident or if you find that your car is disabled and won’t run at all.

Other times to request towing is when there’s a severely visible and obvious problem with your vehicle. This can range from seeing smoke pouring out from under your hood or hearing a loud noise coming from your car that signals that something’s wrong. Your car blowing out a tire is another situation where you could request a tow.

If at any time you’re gravely worried about your car’s performance, get it to a safe place (like the shoulder if you’re on a highway or a parking lot if you’re on residential streets), and call for a towing service. If it comes down to it, protect your own physical safety before the car’s. You can always get a new car.

The difference

The chief difference between towing services and roadside assistance is that with roadside assistance, you’ll ideally be able to drive your car away and continue driving to your destination; with towing, the company will take your car via a flatbed to a nearby mechanic’s shop of your choice. From there, you can get your car inspected and fixed.

Call for towing or roadside assistance today

Whatever service you elect to use, now you know the difference between towing and roadside assistance. No matter the size and scope of your car troubles, if you need help, give us a call at S & R Repairs Towing & Recovery Inc. We have the knowledge and expertise to either get your car running again via roadside assistance or the ability to safely tow it to a mechanic, so you can get it fixed.

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