This has come up again since RACV are resisting the removal of a lane of traffic on Princes Bridge to give cyclists more than the part of a busy footpath and the mere sliver of roadspace they have now:
What alternatives are there to RACV road service? Because if you disagree with the RACV’s stance on transport issues, why help fund their lobbying?
With thanks to Brad McCluskey, combined with a previous list of mine, here are some contenders (quoting their basic plans, which I suspect is what many would want as a basic safety-net), and the annual fee:
For comparison, RACV roadside care costs from $92.
- Ultratune $69.50
- Budget Direct $69.95 — appears to resell Ultratune’s service
$79— see comments; it looks like this is $99 if you don’t hold an Allianz insurance policy
- 24/7 Road Services $55
- Australian Automobile Club $59 — note they do lobbying on some issues which you may not agree with
Also some companies offer breakdown assistance on a per-job basis, with no joining fee. It could be cheaper if you very rarely need to call, but it could be expensive if you use them regularly:
- Melbourne Roadside Assistance — no prices quoted
- Mobile Car Care — note “throughout the Melbourne metropolitan area 6 days a week” — at least $99 per call out
- Express Mobile Mechanics — at least $110 per call
- Ace Mobile Mechanics
Are there any others?
I’ve been signed up to 24/7 Road Services now for some years, but have never had to actually call them.
RACV being the biggest, probably have the most assistance vans, but also might be busier and slower at peak times to respond. I have seen a lot of Allianz vans around recently. Perhaps they just have a more eye-catching design than most. Have people tried some of these alternatives?
Always check the fine print of course. Some companies won’t sign you up to an annual plan if your car is too old. Some plans limit the number of callouts you can make and/or have different tiers of service plan. And some have limited or no coverage outside metropolitan Melbourne.