Do Free Roadside Gas and Jumpstart Services Exist?

Key Takeaways:

  • Free roadside assistance may be possible in the state you’ve stalled in
  • Some preventative steps and equipment can keep your vehicle in good condition and you ready for small emergencies
  • You may already have roadside assistance as part of your auto manufacturer’s coverage or from a bank/credit card or internet provider
  • Finding affordable roadside assistance plans can be a cheap monthly way to access help when you need it

They say the best things in life are free, and it sure feels good being rescued from a tight spot out on the road. Successfully Googling “free jumpstart car service near me” or finding free roadside assistance for gas can make that sweet feeling of salvation even more enjoyable.

Are we spinning a lovely fantasy, or are such wallet-friendly services out there? It’s important to first explain the differences between roadside assistance and towing. We supplied an in-depth explanation in our earlier blog, but here’s the summary. Towing is a bit more serious and expensive and is what you’re going to need when you can’t or shouldn’t move a vehicle by yourself.

Roadside assistance is generally a simple fix that can get you back on the road relatively quickly. These inconveniences can include getting jumpstarts, refueling, or having a professional help you get locked keys out of your car. Towing and extricating vehicles from being stuck are only occasionally part of roadside assistance, but this isn’t always the case.

Now onto the matter of whether free roadside assistance services exist. Spoiler alert: The answer is both yes and no. Read on to learn what we mean and discover some general dos and don’ts about roadside assistance.

Some Smart Ways to Avoid Needing Roadside Assistance

What’s better than free roadside assistance near you? The answer is rarely needing it. Motorists can significantly reduce the odds of having to look for affordable rescue services if they implement a few best practices as part of their day-to-day driving strategy.

A little know-how and a nominal investment in things like a quality set of jumper cables and a reliable gas can might help you save more money than it could cost down the line. Combine those with some initiative and common sense, and you stand to save even more:

-Do It Yourself

Some of the most common roadside rescues, such as jumpstarts and gas refills, can be performed without delay by the driver themselves. You’ll need two things in either case: a little knowledge and the right equipment in your trunk. Here’s a safe guide to jumpstarting and another to transport and use gas responsibly.

It’s also a good idea to have a broader kit of emergency items on board because you never know what the nature of the problem will be. Here’s the complete list of tools to drive with and ensure you stay safe while using them.

-Be Proactive with Vehicle Checkups and Repairs

You’ve gotten used to that odd clicking sound on every journey and stopped paying attention to that weird dashboard symbol that just won’t turn off. Changing those habits can prevent you from needing roadside assistance (for a while, at least). Get your vehicle serviced regularly, don’t neglect necessary repairs, and learn to speak your dashboard’s language to avoid repair bills and roadside rescue calls.

-Recognize What the Auto Problem Is

You don’t want to waste time by calling out a roadside assistance team only to discover that you’re in a towing situation. This gets worse if you discover that the team doesn’t tow! Knowing what the problem is can help you call the right people. All car problems are either power-based, chemical, or motive. Review these top ten auto troubles and remember that a roadside assistance team can probably only help you out with numbers 1 and 3.

Having all the necessary tools and know-how doesn’t mean you’re untouchable, however. There’s no avoiding the fact that even the most proactive motorist can run into roadside trouble. The good news is that auto failure doesn’t always have to cost a small fortune when you know where to look. Let’s go over some of your available resources for low-cost roadside service.

How to Find Free (or Very Affordable) Roadside Assistance

Motorists nationwide would let out a unified cheer if every state followed Georgia’s example. Their Highway Emergency Response Operators (HERO) provide fuel and coolant, fix flat tires, and jumpstart dead batteries for those in need of roadside assistance without charging a dime. North Carolina has a similar service, courtesy of Geico.

These kinds of initiatives don’t exist everywhere, but if you’re not lucky enough to be in an area with these types of services, there are other free or very affordable options to get you the roadside service you need. Here are how some of these money-saving situations can look:

1. Your Home State Might Come to the Rescue

You may not be willing to move to Georgia (despite those peaches) and wondering if the state your vehicle stalled in is equally HERO-ic. The good news is that many states do provide roadside assistance to stranded drivers. They want to help for their own sake, but they also don’t want you stuck on or beside the road causing traffic jams or distracting drivers.

Those kinds of things only lead to more accidents. Drivers here in Maryland can call 410-582-5650 for state assistance and those in other states can try calling 911, contacting a state patrol, or checking with the local Department of Transportation (DOT).

2. Use Built-in Coverage from Your Credit Card Company or Auto Manufacturer

Your bank or vehicle company might offer free roadside assistance. Keep in mind that this benefit comes with a couple of important qualifications. There’s a limit to how much they’ll cover, and “free” roadside assistance isn’t always entirely descriptive. Some banks and credit companies will require an annual fee. Consult your credit card provider and your vehicle’s owner’s manual for terms and conditions.

3. Invest in a Good Roadside Assistance Plan

OK. This one isn’t free either, but it’s so affordable compared to what you might pay without it that you won’t feel much financial sting. A good roadside assistance plan could be yours for as little as $1 a month if you choose membership with State Farm in 2023.

AT&T has customers covered for $2.99 a month, while American Family costs $10–$20 annually, or around 83 cents to $1.66 a month. Here are some other insurers you can consider.

4. You Might Be Able to Use Your Internet Provider

We don’t just mean to Google “free roadside assistance for gas.” Not many people know that they may be getting Wi-Fi from a company that could also help them with basic car issues. Verizon, for example, provides 24/7 roadside assistance for $4.99 a month, covering flat tires, fuel replacement, and more.

Free and practically free are close cousins making all these options worth your time and money. Many motoring problems can arise if you’re not prepared to access at least some form of roadside assistance. Not wanting to make that call or meet that monthly premium could be much more expensive than you think!

The Pitfalls of Trying to Avoid Any Kind of Roadside Expenditure

Don’t be lulled into a false sense of security by thinking that the relatively small matters involved in roadside assistance are no big deal. Being locked out of your car with no means to gain entry will leave you exposed to the elements and physical harm from passing traffic or hostile parties. The same goes for your vehicle and everything in it.

Then there are the dangers of trying to keep moving with a flat tire. It doesn’t matter if you’re only trying to make it a short distance because all the same dangers of a long drive still apply. Tire failure causes hundreds of deaths and thousands of injuries every year in America. An insufficiently inflated tire can cause more stress on the whole vehicle as it tries to compensate, making it harder to control.

Skip the risks and set yourself up with roadside assistance in whatever form. Make sure you choose a team you can trust if you’re going to call for help on an as-needed basis.

Contact the Geyers Team When You Need Roadside Services

Our expert team offers ten kinds of roadside service, including flat tire repair and replacement, battery jumpstarts, and fuel delivery, which we’ll happily pour into your tank. We’re the next best thing to free with our competitive pricing and convenient credit card payment option. 

We’re also here for you day and night, 24/7, to provide the highest quality service. Our mission is to get you back on your way safely, quickly, and affordably. It’s one we’ve been proudly successful with for 30 years. Just contact us here at Geyers Towing and Recovery by calling (301) 259-3177 or visit our contact page for a fast and free quote!

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