Ready for winter | Help !

Break down at -30 oIt’s nothing fun! But if you can count on a roadside assistance service, the experience will be much less painful. For years, CAA was the only organization to offer such a service. Now, big box stores, insurance companies, not to mention car manufacturers also offer roadside assistance in the event of a breakdown.

Of course, the service offered by manufacturers only applies to their products. It is added free of charge to the purchase of a new or recent used vehicle, but is only valid for a limited time. This protection is generally modeled on the warranty period and is one of the most comprehensive on the market. It includes, in particular, compensation in the event of trip interruption and an unlimited towing distance to the nearest authorized dealer.

It gets a little more complicated when this protection has expired. The offer abounds, but before making your choice, certain checks are necessary before spending for such a service. Indeed, several credit card issuers, financial institutions, insurers and supermarkets offer a roadside assistance program, sometimes for free.

Patience is essential

Free or not, all these assistance programs are alike and promise a range of services ranging from boosting to unlocking the doors, not to mention the sacrosanct towing. Also, we must never forget that these service companies have a lot of members. It is therefore sometimes necessary to be patient before being lent a helping hand. Notice to motorists in a hurry, the organization of rescue sometimes takes time.

In appearance, this service offering is equivalent from one supplier to another. If that is your impression, take the time to read the fine print in the contract. Some only cover one vehicle and one user. Others will help you out even if you are in your cousin’s car… Some will tow your vehicle over a distance of 10 km, and this, at most three times a year. Others will undertake to help you out 10 times, over a distance of 250 km, but only on the condition that your vehicle is left in their workshop … It is therefore important to read the terms of each contract very carefully before engage you.

On second thought, you might come to the conclusion that these programs (which can cost up to $ 300 for subscription) are not worth the cost. Sometimes it is better to pay by the piece, if ever a problem arises.

Waiting for the tow truck

PHOTO OLIVIER PONTBRIAND, ARCHIVES THE PRESS

A troubleshooting kit, which includes booster cables, is very useful in the cold season.

But, by the way, have you been prepared for any eventuality? Are you sure that in an emergency, you would only break down on a busy road where you could have a coffee to warm up? If you answered yes to these two questions, chances are you don’t take winter very seriously. This is why, when a breakdown occurs, even the most conscientious of motorists feel caught off guard. Take care to line your luggage compartment with a snow brush, a good supply of windshield washer, non-slip plates, a bag of sand, a shovel, jump cables, sparklers (by the way, do you know how to turn them on?), an empty gas container, a flashlight (don’t forget the batteries), spare fuses, tools and a first aid.



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