Roadside Assistance Options for P&A Providers

By: Toni McQuilken

Roadside Assistance Options for P&A Providers

If there was any one product category that is nearly an “easy sell” to customers buying new or used cars, it would be roadside assistance. Granted, it’s still not easy, but most customers will walk in either having a story or having heard a story of a time when this particular service saved them time, money or hassle in some way. So half the battle – convincing them of its worth – is already done.

Convincing them to go with your specific offering, however, is more difficult.

Some of that comes down to how the offering is structured, what the benefits are, and of course, the cost. For a P&A provider, there are numerous options available, either via a brand the customer might already know, or via services that allow you to “white label” a product so you keep the brand identity and recognition. For now, we’re not going to look at the difference between those options, or the pros and cons of each – we’ll save that for another day. What we are going to look at are some of the key players in this space, and what makes the different.

Before you can offer your customers a product, you have to decide which one to go with – we talked to some of the top providers, and asked them what makes them different and where they see the industry going. Some of the answers might surprise you.

One thing that was interesting is that, across the board, they have all embraced technology. Using cell phones, either via just GPS positioning to help get aid to a customer’s exact location faster, or offering full-featured apps that do everything from call in the incident to pinpointing the location, and more. These apps allow them to get closer to the client, and provide the information they need in a stressful situation faster and easier.

The growth of technology, while making a huge impact on this corner of the industry, has not removed the need for a human touch, however. The companies stressed their local call centers, multiple languages and quick access to customer service representatives as important features. Technology has made it easier and more convenient for customers, but at the end of the day, it’s all just “extras” on top of great people who offer exceptional support.

No matter what direction you take with the roadside assistance package you offer clients, or which company you go with, a look at the top competitors, their offerings, and what they have to say about the future of the roadside assistance category should be interesting.

Roadside Assistance Roundup

Allstate Roadside Services

Allstate Roadside Services
April Eaton, Corporate Relations Manager

Please provide a little bit of the history of your company and how it became involved in offering roadside assistance programs.

Allstate was founded in 1931, as part of Sears, Roebuck & Co., and became a publicly traded company in 1993. At the time, the initial public offering of Allstate was the largest in U.S. history. On June 30, 1995, Allstate became a totally independent company. In 2008, Allstate Roadside Services (ARS) emerged when Allstate acquired General Electric’s Partnership Marketing Group and integrated ARS with Allstate Motor Club, one of the nation’s top motor clubs with more than 50 years of roadside experience. Allstate now offers a suite of roadside services plans to suit a variety of coverage and payment needs.

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Auto Road Services Inc.

Auto Road Services Inc.
Scott Grove, President

Please provide a little bit of the history of your company and how it became involved in offering roadside assistance programs.

Auto Road Services Inc. was formed over 20 years ago as the first provider of roadside assistance programs to the auto aftermarket industry (Tires, Batteries, etc.) as a value added benefit to the consumer for purchasing our client’s products and services. ARS began to diversify by providing some of the first roadside assistance programs to the VSC and extended warranty markets.

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Driven Solutions

Driven Solutions
Thomas Boughton, President

Please provide a little bit of the history of your company and how it became involved in offering roadside assistance programs.

Driven Solutions has been providing automotive products & services for over 65 years. The company currently operates under two names: Dominion Automobile Association (DAA) in Canada, and in the United States as United States Auto Club, Motoring Division (USAC/MD). Driven is the only fully licensed auto club operational in all 50 U.S. states and Canada, including the U.S.Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.

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National Motor Club

National Motor Club
Matt Krzysiak, Chief Executive Officer

Can you give me a little bit of the history of your company and how it became involved in offering roadside assistance programs?

National Motor Club has been providing motor club benefits since 1956. As the automotive industry was exploding, the founders of the National Motor Club saw the need for automobile owners to receive assistance as they traveled the new Federal Highways as well as the traditional two-lane routes across the country. Going into our 57th year we are proud to be a continuous safety net for our members in the automobile, RV, and Commercial vehicle spaces.

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Road America

Road America
Kevin NeSmith, Director of Client Services

Please provide a little bit of the history of your company and how it became involved in offering roadside assistance programs.

Road America has been providing emergency roadside assistance to motorists since 1978. In 2003, it was acquired by the MAPFRE Group, which operates an extensive international assistance network through its MAPFRE Asistencia division, the direct parent company of Road America. MAPFRE Asistencia is a leading international conglomerate providing emergency roadside assistance and general assistance services worldwide throughout 84 countries and 44 business units to 1500 corporate clients. As a division of MAPFRE, Road America gives large corporations proven financial peace of mind, long-standing business partnerships and a reputation for performance.

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This article was written by:

- has written 779 posts on P&A Magazine.

Toni McQuilken is the managing editor for AE Magazine and P&A Magazine. She has a decade of editorial experience in the trade publishing world, across several industries, including print and graphics, as well as hospitality and technology. To contact her, e-mail tmcquilken@mgigmedia.com.

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The views expressed by the authors and those providing comments are theirs alone, and do not necessarily reflect the views of P&A Magazine or any employee thereof.

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