Tag Archive | "Auto Road Services"

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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Auto Road Services Inc.


Scott Grove, President

Can you give me 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.

How do you distinguish your product offerings from your competitors? What makes you different?

Auto Road Services Inc. is a custom provider of program to fit any client’s needs and budget requirements. We currently operate over 90 custom made programs for our clients. We respect the clients desire to offer a different program than other competitors and we can provide that expertise and commitment to our clients to be responsive to our client’s needs. We are not a “cookie cutter” provider, we are a nimble and highly experienced provider of custom programs. We also offer the lowest cost to our clients due to the lowest claim costs industry wide.

Where do you focus your sales efforts when it comes to selling this service? EG: direct sales via dealers/agents; bundled with service contracts, etc. What would you consider your primary sales channel to be?

Since we have been in the industry so long and have such a great reputation, we get a lot of new F&I clients by referral. We sponsor and attend conventions and seminars to network with our current clients and potential clients for two reasons: We keep abreast of the industries we serve by keeping informed on the market and products by attending the conferences and we are also a general sponsor the VSCAC/F&I conference in particular. Our programs are most always bundled with products and services through the F&I markets.

How important is technology to your business? Where could technology add even more efficiencies to your products and processes?

Technology is extremely important throughout the process of providing roadside assistance to motorists who are stranded. Customer data, location, service provider contact and fulfillment of the service is heavily dependent on technology. We are developing methods to reach out to the motorist before, during and after the service call to make the experience a positive impression for our clients. These events are an opportunity for us to show the customer excellent customer service on behalf of our client.

Where do you see the most growth potential for roadside assistance products in the future? What changes, if any, do you believe the product will see in the next 5-10 years?

The most potential growth is in the F&I arena, the auto industry is in growth mode after some very difficult years. Consumers expect the opportunity to purchase F&I products to protect their investment. In the immediate future, the process of providing programs and executing a claim or emergency roadside service will become more streamlined due to the advances in web based technology; Our call center computer will be able to link with the vehicle, diagnose and provide location and mechanical cause of the breakdown with one phone call. In the next 5-10 years the car will call and arrange service without any action by the driver.

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