While Australians are known for their capacity to help, sometimes you need a little more knowledge and support to help you in case of a breakdown.
After purchasing an expensive new car, buyers could be forgiven for overlooking roadside assistance.
After all, you should expect a few years of uninterrupted performance from a brand new vehicle! However, the reality is that many breakdowns are caused by bad luck and human error, not mechanical fault.
Here are six reasons that you may still need to have roadside assistance. even if you have a brand new car.
1. Flat tyres
Flat tyres account for around 4% of NRMA call outs per year, which translates to about 100 flat tyre call-outs per day.
Although it’s not hard to change a tyre when you know how, they often occur in dangerous places at inconvenient times, like in heavy traffic or on uneven surfaces. Having access to a patrol to do the heavy lifting will save you a lot of time and stress and a potential dry cleaner bill.
2. Running out of fuel
Last year, the NRMA helped 12,467 people who ran out of fuel, including 219 who ran out of LPG.
Whether it’s on a remote country road, a busy motorway, or around the corner from your house, hearing the dreaded sputter as the engine runs dry is the stuff of nightmares.
NRMA Members left in unfamiliar territory can book service through the my nrma app, which uses your smartphone's GPS to tell the dispatcher exactly where you are stuck, even if you don't know. It also contains real time fuel price info for all service stations in NSW and ACT so you can plan your journey to not run out of fuel in the first place.
Whether a result of being new to a vehicle or simply being distracted while filling up, one in ten motorists have filled up with the wrong fuel (ouch). It’s a surprisingly common mistake that's more likely to affect drivers of new cars. Knowing what to do can save you thousands.
As a general rule, regardless of your vehicle’s fuel type, don’t start the ignition if you realise you’ve filled up with the wrong fuel. Instead contact the NRMA immediately, who will arrange towing to a licensed mechanic for further assessment.
4. Accidental lock outs
Last year, NRMA responded to 69,453 calls from Members who had locked themselves out of their cars.
This human error makes up around 10% of all call outs for roadside assistance and affects old and new cars. Accidental lockouts usually happen when you’re in a rush and if children or pets are involved they can be extremely stressful. NRMA Road Assist covers all Members for key lock-ins and, depending on your level of coverage, it also provide assistance towards a locksmith.
5. Flat batteries
Flat batteries led to 22% of all NRMA call outs last year.
They usually occur in inappropriate locations at inconvenient times. Although most new cars these days include technology which helps prevent car batteries running flat, they can still go flat for reasons that are unrelated to age, including lights left on or radios playing when parked. Reputable roadside assistance providers will diagnose, fix the issue or replace the battery if needed.
6. It can help your pet
A little known feature of NRMA Premium Care roadside assistance is that it automatically includes Pet Plus coverage, which includes pet transportation and accommodation for your cat or dog, access to vets and an individually numbered pet tag to help return your pet safely.
If you travel often with pets, knowing they will be looked after in the event of a breakdown is a good feeling.
Check the fine print of free roadside assistance
Many new cars these days come with roadside assistance free for a certain period. While this service is often provided by the NRMA, it’s worth checking the fine print to make sure you are happy with the level of protection you have.
Also, manufactures don’t notify owners once the roadside coverage is due to expire so you may end up not covered.
If you have any doubt or would like to find out more about NRMA roadside assistance or the benefits of Membership, check the mynrma website or call 13 11 22.