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Bottom line for us........ given the auto club restrictions on towing distances and their increasing cost we are far better to self insure and have the HT service as a backup. Even if we needed a tow tomorrow we would be well ahead of the game by self insuring.

For us it is not different than the decision to insure glass on our car. Strictly a financial decision based on risk and reward. No..we do not insure glass.
I'm fine with someone choosing to self insure for anything ian. Funnily enough, I have had to replace a windshield more times than I have had to call a tow truck. It is covered under my vehicle insurance but our deductible is more than the cost of a windshield. I suppose you could say by accepting a higher deductible, we are in fact self insuring for windshield replacement as well as many other small cost items.

We do have CAA for both my wife and myself. I agree with agent99, it is more about ease of use for us and a much higher peace of mind for my wife than for myself. I could break down and not get too excited if it was the middle of nowhere and I did not have any central number to phone, she would find that much more stressful.

That's why I think people have to consider not just 'value for money' in MONETARY terms.
 

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Same here. We have replaced windshields on our cars and on company cars far more often than we have had tows or flat tires. Slow leaks yes, but that is an easy fix since we buy our tires at Costco.

I would say that it is about 15-1 in favour of us replacing windshields over either a flat on the road or tow. Our payback on a glass rider is about two years. Not to mention the ding on the insurance rate. We are going into year 4 on the current windshield with 2 $25 filler repairs. Quite remarkable for us not to have a big crack or a broken windshield in this amount of time. But...I am no longer commute to work and we are away for part of the winter.

We got most of those cracked windshields while highway driving in the winter/spring.
 

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Discussion Starter #44
I've only EVER had three cracked windows in over 60 years of car ownership.

1. Caused by the door of an automatic car wash failing and breaking the tailgate window
2. A branch falling out of a tree on a windy day.
3. A kid who skipping stones at the lake somehow had one hit that same tailgate window.

2. was a claim on my insurance.
1. was paid by car wash.
3. was paid by kids dad.

Haven't had much need for tows either. But when we have, we did need to have a towing service. CAA/AAA. Not very cost effective, but still would like to know who you would call on road trip if you did not have a membership and you needed a tow.
 

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Cracked windshields are very common in Alberta.

Who would we call? Home Trust. Or a police car, park ranger, or road works employee would stop and help as we have often seen them do for others. Not very worried about it. Slosest we have come in 50 years is getting stuck in a the snow on a side road near Banff. Some came along, saw our issue, and helped us to get out.
 

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Not very cost effective, but still would like to know who you would call on road trip if you did not have a membership and you needed a tow.
You do realize you can call a tow directly?

Heck now that I think of it I had a breakdown crossing country few summers ago and the first local that arrived offered to go get the trailer before I even thought about calling a tow

Had lunch with a retired tow truck owner somewhere in Yukon on that trip. He complained people keep calling in the night because someone put his number on google. I removed his number from google on my phone

Nobody even replaces their cracked windshields in Alaska because it will just crack again before you get home lol
 

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When you get a new leased car every year it has to be returned with a clean windshield. That means no cracks, chips, whatever. Cracks are no issue on the vehicles that we own. At some point they have to be replaced as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #48
You do realize you can call a tow directly?
I am sure you can - If you know the number!

It is that number that I was asking Ian about. One that will work wherever a long distance trip takes me. Or a book full of them for every possible location :) Preferably without having to do an on-line search, because phones don't work everywhere and not all of us have continent wide data plans.

Some here say they can do with out a roadside assistance plan. I just want to know how they manage to get assistance then when they need it wherever they happen to be. Hoping for an answer ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #49
When you get a new leased car every year it has to be returned with a clean windshield. That means no cracks, chips, whatever. Cracks are no issue on the vehicles that we own. At some point they have to be replaced as well.
If you can afford a new leased car every year, then surely you can afford a few bucks for roadside assistance?🚔
 

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Some here say they can do with out a roadside assistance plan. I just want to know how they manage to get assistance then when they need it wherever they happen to be. Hoping for an answer
Nowadays most people have a smartphone and just google.. if you have cell reception you probably have data as well

Freebie roadside was useful in a foreign language country but I still wouldn't pay for it. Worst case a local will help
 

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Company car. I had auto club on my spouses car. Two small kids and I was often Out of town on business. Now retired. No longer need it, no longer want it, no longer have it.

Besides, being able to afford something does not mean it has value to me.
 

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Discussion Starter #52
Nowadays most people have a smartphone and just google.. if you have cell reception you probably have data as well

Freebie roadside was useful in a foreign language country but I still wouldn't pay for it. Worst case a local will help
Amuses me that someone would have a phone plan with data that works anywhere they might drive. But won't pay $60 ,or whatever it is , for annual roadside assistance. Just in Canada that phone service must cost what? Maybe $700. Then add a plan that will work South of border. More $$$.
If you want to save money, get a pay as you go phone.
 

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I used to have pay as you go, partly because we were out of the country for 4 months or more of the year. And then Kudoo made me an offer to ditch the pay as yo go for a $20 unlimited plan. Don’t have data because I do not need it. Prefer an iPad to a phone. We have taken one phone on extended trips with the intention of buying a SIM card but we never felt the need.
 

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If you go to that extreme but still have a phone to call CAA.. you could also call anyone in the world who has internet and is willing to google the number..

Since roadside assistance is given away for free by many clubs, insurance, credit cards, emergency packs etc etc you have to compare what you get on top of free service for the $60 imo.

I always have data anywhere I go as it replaces countless expenses. In most countries data cost is negligible to free (Canada about $500/year is by far overpriced)
 

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Discussion Starter #56
Since roadside assistance is given away for free by many clubs, insurance, credit cards, emergency packs etc etc you have to compare what you get on top of free service for the $60 imo.
Well, that IS exactly what this thread is (or was?) about. My first experience of the roadside assistance given away free by HT was that it was worth every penny I paid for it! On the other hand, my wife's CAA assistance worked really well and we were very happy we had it.

There are places to save and others not. Visit Starbucks 1 less time a month, and you have free $$ for free CAA roadside that works :)
 

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Discussion Starter #57
One factor not discussed, is that many new cars come with free roadside assistance while under warranty. Our Subaru has that, so we don't need CAA/AAA when driving that car (Not tried yet). When in USA, we do need a phone with USA service, but not necessarily data. (another subject!) However, those manufacturer's roadside services likely use CAA/AAA if out of a major city. Adds a step with associated delays. I have used it in Canada with Mercedes, and a CAA truck showed up (after a while). They only work for the one car whereas CAA works for any car the member is driving or in.
 

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I've only EVER had three cracked windows in over 60 years of car ownership.

1. Caused by the door of an automatic car wash failing and breaking the tailgate window
2. A branch falling out of a tree on a windy day.
3. A kid who skipping stones at the lake somehow had one hit that same tailgate window.

2. was a claim on my insurance.
1. was paid by car wash.
3. was paid by kids dad.

Haven't had much need for tows either. But when we have, we did need to have a towing service. CAA/AAA. Not very cost effective, but still would like to know who you would call on road trip if you did not have a membership and you needed a tow.
Agent99, I am not trying to be rude but you need to get out more.

On one occassion (pre-cellphone days) I got stuck in a dry wash in the desert in southern California. I'm talking off-road and too far to walk to the nearest road. You're on your own in that kind of situation. Eventually, some hours later, another off-roader came along and managed to pull me out.

On another occassion I got a flat tire on a back road on an Indian Reservation in Arizona. Even standing on the jack iron to try and remove the wheel nuts wouldn't budge them (or so I thought). A local came along and drove me to the nearest gas station some 30 miles away. I then rode back in their tow truck. Turns out the rental vehicle was a European make with the threads reversed. My attempts to take off was in fact putting them on!

My point is, that not everyone breaks down at the side of the highway and having a list of tow truck numbers wouldn't even help if you had one when you have no cellphone service anyway. At the end of the day, you have to learn to rely on yourself and others in such cases.

In the first case above, if no one had come along that day, I would have had to sleep in the vehicle and start an early morning hike out to the road while hoping not to succumb to heat and lack of water.

I have CAA but I know the limitations of it as well. It's not always just about knowing who to call.
 

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There are places to save and others not. Visit Starbucks 1 less time a month, and you have free $$ for free CAA roadside that works :)
I agree roadside assistance is way better than Starbucks

I drink my coffee black and Starbucks consistently sells both the worst + overpriced coffee I have ever experienced. How they manage to sell such poor coffee for $6 a cup must be all for the sugar and artificial flavoring

During quarantine I discovered some small-batch roasted-to-order beans online. 50 heavenly cups for the cost of 4 Starbucks
 

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Our new GM vehicles have satellite tracking so they work everywhere.

I have a GM app that tells me the location of our vehicles at any time. There is a blue button to push on the Onstar and they will respond in an emergency.

The included plan pays for accommodation and meals, if you are stuck at a garage waiting for parts or service. It is a good plan to have.
 
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