New research has found people prefer to call a friend than road assistance.
New research has found people prefer to call a friend than road assistance.

Massive driving cost you’re wasting money on

WHEN you break down or your car won't start, the panic can quickly set in.

Are you in the middle of a tunnel? Holding people up at an intersection? Will it make you late for an important meeting?

Most importantly, who do you call to get help dealing with this dreaded situation?

For most people, help could be at their fingertips but they choose not to take it.

Instead they'll call a partner, family member or friend to help them out instead of roadside assistance.

New research has revealed we could be wasting $400 million on the service we're not even using.

A finder.com.au survey found more than a fifth of drivers with roadside assistance could be wasting their money.

Their survey of 1430 drivers with the service found that 23 per cent - the equivalent of more than three million Aussies - wouldn't even call their roadside assistance if their car broke down.

With the average policy costing $133 a year, that equates to nearly $400 million going down the drain.

Among drivers with and without roadside assistance cover, a quarter say they'd prefer to call their partner, family or friend if they were stranded on the side of the road.

Strangely about 13 per cent of those who didn't have roadside assistance said they would call roadside assistance first.

Only four per cent of drivers would call their insurance company first, and one per cent would call the police.

What's even more impressive is small group believed they could fix their car themselves.

There's also another small group - about four per cent - who have no idea whether they have roadside assistance or not.

Women are more likely to call a partner than men.
Women are more likely to call a partner than men.

Finder also found women are far more likely to rely on a spouse, with 22 per cent of female drivers saying they'd call a partner, compared to only 9 per cent of males.

In fact, women overall are more reliant on family or friends with one third saying this would be their first call if their car broke down compared to 19 per cent of men.

Males are also far more likely to try to fix their car themselves, with five per cent compared to one per cent of women.

Generation Y is the most likely group to phone a friend or family, with 42 per cent choosing to do so first.

Meanwhile, a massive 85 per cent of Baby Boomers are most likely to call roadside assistance compared to only 43 per cent of Gen Y.

When it comes to states, South Australians are the most likely to call roadside assistance, with 73 per cent saying this would be their priority.

This is compared to Western Australia, where only 58 per cent of drivers would do this.

Western Australians are also the most likely state to call a partner or spouse first, with a massive 22 per cent doing this if their car broke down, compared to only 10 per cent of South Australians.

Tasmanian drivers are the most likely to have no roadside assistance at all, with 28 per cent saying they don't have it, compared to only 15 per cent of South Australians.

The price of roadside assistance through some of Australia's major providers varies from anywhere between $80 and $230.

Finder car insurance expert Bessie Hassan said roadside assistance was designed to ensure that if your car broke down, you'd be able to receive help, and almost always for free.

"Many Australians seem to be avoiding roadside assistance as their first point of contact, perhaps due to misconceptions about cost or a reluctance to endure potential waiting times," Ms Hassan said.

"Even if you do pay for roadside assistance, there may be some circumstances in which you'll be charged a further amount, for example if they replace a battery or fill up your tank.

"Many insurance brands offer forms of roadside assistance within or on top of comprehensive policies."


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