Leasing a car in the United States is almost as common as buying one.
A lease plan offers you the opportunity to pay monthly and in bits, instead of paying all at once. You get to take the car home and drive wherever you want, subject to certain conditions and agreements.
For most lease deals, there are agreements about annual mileage, monthly payment, down payment amongst others. Some plans also offer certain benefits based on the discretion of the dealer.
This article discusses the roadside assistance benefit and whether leased cars enjoy this benefit.
Here’s the Short Answer to Whether Leased Cars Come With Roadside Assistance:
Most major dealerships and auto manufacturers offer roadside assistance as part of their warranty package for the first three years. This means they take on the financial costs of getting you help when your car breaks down by the roadside.
Do Leasing Car Companies Offer Roadside Assistance?
A lot of dealerships and auto manufacturers offer roadside assistance benefits as part of the leasing agreement.
This often covers little mishaps like locking yourself out of the car, running out of fuel or having a flat tire.
In such cases, all you need to do is reach out to the manufacturer or dealership and they’ll send help as soon as possible.
Should I Buy My Own Roadside Assistance?
The truth is, while roadside assistance is a pretty welcome initiative, it may not be enough in some cases. Some roadside assistance packages cover a wide range of not-so-severe issues, while others only cover a few issues.
For instance, some roadside assistance packages will not offer towing benefits if your car breaks down in an off-grid location.
So, before deciding to buy roadside assistance, look into your manual/brochure and see what the current one covers. If it looks too limited and stingy, do not risk it. That’s a sign that you need to get your own roadside assistance.
Now, while that sounds like a very expensive option, it really is not, if you have the right information.
Most people only know about roadside assistance benefits from elite memberships like AAA. And while it’s true that these memberships are very expensive, they cover a lot more than just roadside assistance.
If you want to get a cheap roadside assistance package, we advise you to reach out to your car insurance company. Insurance companies often offer roadside assistance at relatively cheap rates. You can even get some for as low as a dollar monthly.
Some auto repair shops also have roadside assistance packages and they often dish out cheap offers to loyal customers. If you have an auto repair company around, you can sign up for their roadside assistance program if they have one.
Basically, you should definitely buy your own roadside assistance if the initial warranty package doesn’t cover enough. And it doesn’t have to be an expensive choice either, as long as you know the right places to go.
Below are the major benefits offered by most roadside assistance plans:
- Towing to a repair shop (subject to agreed distance)
- Replacing a flat tire
- Replacing a dead battery
- Key retrieval services
- Gas delivery services
Our advice is: make sure whatever roadside assistance plan you sign up for covers most, if not all, of the above benefits.
What Typically Happens When a Leased Car Breaks Down?
It goes without saying that leased cars do not have any special protection against nasty breakdowns.
While they are often new and fresh, they are prone to breakdowns like every other car. Hence, there are some steps you should take if your leased car breaks down, as explained right below.
If your leased car breaks down, the first thing you want to do is keep calm and stay safe. Truth is, you’ll feel very tempted to freak out, but that really won’t solve anything. Just keep your car locked, your seat belts buckled, and let out a breath.
You may then put a call through to your dealership or insurance company and they will likely send help.
Help varies from towing to tire fixes to battery replacements; it all depends on what exactly the issue is. Some roadside assistance benefits even include rental cars for temporary use.
It is important to note that you might bear a ton of the financial costs unless you have a valid warranty plan that covers roadside assistance with the dealership or manufacturer.
Lucky for you, most leased cars are new and still have fresh and valid warranties, which means reduced costs. The costs may also fit under your maintenance plan if you already have one.
If the issue is a car crash and there is extensive damage, you may have to pay some serious damages regarding your lease agreement.. It is even worse if you are the guilty party in a collision as the other victim will also likely hold you financially responsible.
Summarily, minor breakdown of a leased car shouldn’t pose any serious problems as long as you are signed up for roadside assistance/car insurance plan.
Can There Be Any Added Cost for the User of the Car?
Like we mentioned before, you may have to pay for repairs for any damage to your leased car, except there is a valid warranty.
And, not only must there be a valid warranty, the warranty must be one that covers the damage in question.
In the same vein, if there is a roadside assistance package in place, it will only cover things stated in the agreement.
Also, there may be an added cost if the user is the guilty party in a collision accident.
So, even if such a user enjoys a comprehensive warranty, they’d still have to bear some costs on behalf of the other victim, except they have a proper insurance plan.