Your best options if you need your car towed while travelling

January 29, 2015

Bad luck means sometimes having to tow your vehicle while you're far away from home. If ever you're on a road trip and you find yourself in such trouble, help and support is available. Here's how to get them.

Your best options if you need your car towed while travelling


Most car manufacturers offer roadside assistance, though some conditions may apply. If your vehicle is covered by this type of program, you can have it towed to the nearest dealership regardless of who is driving.

First, you need to be familiar with the terms and conditions for your vehicle’s roadside assistance program.

  • It’s usually provided for a limited period and a maximum number of kilometres.
  • If you are within the limits of your contract, the car manufacturer will take care of towing your vehicle in the United States and Canada.

Services vary from one manufacturer to another, but in general, towing services are permitted in the event of a mechanical breakdown, winching or retrieval.

  • Towing services are often combined with other emergency services including jumpstarts, changing flat tires, emergency refuelling and unlocking doors.

Keep in mind that in most cases, you will initially have to foot the bill for the towing or assistance, and then request a refund.

  • To avoid any other unfortunate surprises, it’s recommended to contact roadside assistance before you leave, confirm that you are still eligible for coverage, understand what limitations may apply.

Insurance companies

If your vehicle is properly insured, the cost of towing your car when driving on vacation could be covered by your insurance provider.

  • Your vehicle will probably be transported in the direction of the nearest authorized dealer.
  • Usually, a maximum towing distance is included with your policy, and if you exceed this distance you may be charged additional fees.

Most insurers provide the same services as roadside assistance. Thankfully, insurance companies provide emergency services around the clock.

Auto clubs

An automobile club conducts business much like a private insurance company.

  • For an annual fee, you’ll have access to towing services anywhere in North America.

Your vehicle will have to be towed to an authorized mechanic or service centre.

  • Depending on your membership, maximum towing distances may vary, so be sure to read the fine print.

Whether support is being provided by roadside assistance, an insurer or an auto club, towing and emergency services are an intervention meant to get your vehicle in working condition and back on the road.

If towing is required because you are physically unable to drive your car, you are responsible to find a substitute driver who can take charge and drive your vehicle to its destination.

The material on this website is provided for entertainment, informational and educational purposes only and should never act as a substitute to the advice of an applicable professional. Use of this website is subject to our terms of use and privacy policy.
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