Q . Is it necessary to buy the Roadside assistance plan while buying a new car ?
A – As a rule of thumb, Roadside assistance plan comes bundled as a service when buying a new car and one need not buy one at the start. However after the manufacturer’s warranty expires which is normally 2 years from the sale date, it makes sense to buy the roadside assistance plan provided by the manufacturer & sold by the dealer.
Q. What are the benefits of Roadside assistance plan that is provided by the manufacturer ?
A – There are quite a few benefits –
- Towing service provided to the nearest authorized workshop in case of a breakdown.
- Technician would be provided for minor jobs like tyre change, empty fuel tank, jump starting the battery, etc.
- Pan India service
- For some cars, even a taxi and hotel stay is provided.
- Basic services will be free during the tenure of the roadside assistance program
Whether or not to buy this program then depends on the consumer. For consumers who have faced the trauma of their car breaking down in the past, this program is a God sent.
Even if the consumer wishes not to buy this program, they can still call the roadside assist and the manufacturer will deal with the problem, however there will be a charge for each and every service provided and at a cost higher than the market, the reason being the manufacturer wants the user to understand about the value of enrolling in such a program.
To quote an example, if a VW Vento breaks down in say, Mumbai within the manufacturer’s warranty of 2 years, it will be towed to the nearest authorized workshop free of cost. (After 2 years, the program is available at Rs.3000/- + service tax for further 2 years)
Now compare this to a VW Vento which is not covered in this plan. The customer will have to pay Rs 4000/- + service tax to get it towed every time it breaks down. Think about the roadside assistance plan as insurance – meaning if the car breaks down during that period you get basic breakdown service for free or minimum charges but if your car does not breakdown during that period then your money goes waste – in either case you are mentally relaxed since you have bought a cover for the car and have capped your expense limited to the fees paid initially which can occur during a car breakdown situation.
If you feel that your car won’t break down even once in the 2 years, you need not worry about buying the program but it must be noted that whenever the car does fail, the customer will have to endure huge costs.
- If you feel the car has a tendency to break down it makes sense to buy the program
- If you travel long distances, it makes sense to invest in this program
- If your daily travel is short distance and within the city or you don’t take the car out for days at end then you don’t have to worry too much about the program.
- Irrespective of what choice you make, remember that in case of an emergency you can always call the roadside assistance of the manufacturer. Only in case you are not enrolled in the program the costs might be huge.
In the end, it is really boils down to personal choice.