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roadside assistance
Mar 8, 2024
3 min
Roadside Assistance in Canada: All You Need to Know

Have you ever had a flat tire while driving through cottage country with your family? Has your vehicle ever started to overheat while on a multi-day trip across the country? If so, you’ve probably had to contact a roadside assistance service for help.

Roadside assistance is an invaluable resource for drivers when they find themselves in an emergency on the road. 

If you’re a new driver or have recently purchased your first vehicle, you may not know how roadside assistance works in Canada. In principle, roadside assistance is relatively straightforward, but there are some important details that you should be aware of before signing up for a membership.

Continue reading to learn everything you need to know about roadside assistance in Canada.

What is roadside assistance and how does it work?

Roadside assistance plans provide drivers with help when they need it the most. In layman’s terms, a roadside assistance program provides drivers with emergency services when they cannot deal with the issue by themselves. 

For instance, if you run out of gas in the middle of a rural area and can’t walk to a gas station, you can contact your roadside assistance company for help.

Whether you need towing services or gas delivery, you can rely on your roadside assistance provider to get the job done quickly. Best of all, most roadside assurance services offer 24/7 emergency assistance, so you can rely on them at any time of day or night.

What does roadside car assistance cover in Canada?

Most roadside assistance programs offer a variety of emergency services for drivers in Canada. These services can vary based on the company, but the majority of roadside assistance memberships cover the following situations:

  • Towing
  • Battery boost
  • Tire services
  • Lockout services
  • Winching and extrication
  • Fuel delivery services
  • Trip interruption
  • Bike assist


Many roadside assistance companies offer free towing services for members (up to a certain distance). Drivers can only use this service if their vehicle breaks down.

Battery boost

You never know when your car's battery will die, so having access to battery-boosting services is incredibly beneficial. If your car battery dies, your roadside assistance company will either charge your battery up to a point where you can drive to a nearby repair shop or give you a lift (if your battery is dead).

Tire services

If you’re a new driver, you may not know how to change a tire. Thankfully, you can contact your roadside assistance company if you need help changing your tire (you’ll need to provide the spare tire).

Lockout services

Have you ever accidentally locked yourself out of your vehicle? If so, you know how frustrating it can be. The next time you’re on the road, and you unintentionally lock yourself out of your vehicle, don’t panic; instead, just contact your roadside assistance company.

Winching and extrication

Your roadside assistance company can provide you with winching and extrication service if you accidentally drive off the road (due to poor weather or road conditions). Winching and extrication services are particularly beneficial during the harsh Canadian winters.

Fuel delivery services

As mentioned in our example above, you can contact your roadside assistance provider if you run out of fuel while travelling in Canada. 

Trip interruption

Have you ever missed a portion of a trip or vacation due to an unexpected mechanical breakdown? If so, you should ask your roadside assistance provider about their trip interruption services. Trip interruption services will reimburse some of your costs if a mechanical breakdown forces you to miss a portion of your trip. The amount that you receive varies but generally ranges from $250 to $1,000.

Bike assist

Certain roadside assistance companies offer services for cyclists as well as drivers. Bike assist is very similar to car-related services; if you’re dealing with an issue with your bike and can’t handle it by yourself, you can contact your roadside assistance provider to lend a hand.

Find the best car insurance rates today.

5 factors to consider before getting a roadside assistance membership

You should always do your fair share of research before committing to roadside assistance. We suggest taking the following factors into consideration before signing a roadside assistance policy:

  • The condition of your vehicle
  • Your level of experience
  • How often you drive
  • Where you do drive
  • Your budget

Who offers roadside assistance in Canada?

Drivers have several roadside assistance packages that they can choose from, including national, provincial and private plans.

Associations like CAA, Canadian Tire and Costco Roadside Assistance offer roadside assistance plans that are beneficial for drivers who go on frequent business trips or vacations.

If you’re looking for provincial coverage, you can look into local providers serving your area or the options available through CAA. 

If you’re looking for private coverage options, you can reach out to local car dealerships, credit card companies (like Mastercard or Visa) or your car insurance company. Private roadside assistance is a fantastic option because (in some cases) it comes with your policy/contract. So make sure that you confirm that you don’t already have roadside assistance coverage before you invest in a new plan.

What auto insurance companies offer roadside assistance in Canada?

There are a handful of auto insurance companies, including Intact Insurance, that provide their policyholders with roadside assistance services in Canada.

If you’d like to compare quotes from Intact Insurance or other top-rated auto insurance providers, you should team up with one of our Surex insurance advisors.

Save up to 25% when you bundle with Surex

Although we may not offer roadside services, we can help you find a reliable auto insurance company. Our team at Surex takes pride in our ability to help policyholders find and compare the cheapest insurance quotes in Canada. Best of all, our team works lightning-fast — we can get you started in ten minutes or less!

Want to experience the Surex difference? Call or click today to get started! We can help you find competitive insurance quotes today! Don’t forget to ask your Surex insurance advisor how you can save as much as 25% when you bundle multiple insurance policies (like auto and home) with one of our providers!

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