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Canadian Tire Roadside Assistance vs CAA: Which is the Best Option for Canadian Drivers?

By Arthur Dubois | Published on 12 Jul 2023

CAA vs Roadside Assistance

    In today’s world, when our lives are constantly on the move, it’s wise to prepare for any unforeseen circumstances. In Canada, you never know when your car might break down, leaving you stranded at the side of the road. That’s why having roadside assistance makes such a difference. 

    Now, with so many options available, how do you know which one best suits you? In this article, we will compare Canadian Tire Roadside Assistance and CAA to help you make an informed decision. That way, you can choose the one that suits your needs best.

    What is Roadside Assistance?

    Various organizations offer roadside assistance to help drivers in case of a vehicle breakdown or any other roadside emergency. It offers peace of mind and ensures that you never get stranded without help.

    When it comes to traveling on Canadian roads, you must prepare for unexpected situations. Roadside assistance is like having a guardian angel by your side, ready to come to your rescue whenever you need it. Whether you’re driving through the bustling streets of Toronto or exploring the vast landscapes of British Columbia, help is just a phone call away.

    Imagine you’re driving through the picturesque Rocky Mountains, enjoying the breathtaking views, when suddenly your car’s engine starts making strange noises. Panic sets in as you realize you’re miles away from the nearest town. This is where roadside assistance comes to the rescue. 

    With just a simple phone call, a trained professional will be dispatched to your location. They can boost your battery, change a flat tire, add gas to your tank or tow you to safety. They’ll ensure that your journey continues smoothly so you can continue to soak in the beauty of the Canadian wilderness.

    Canadian Tire Roadside Assistance Overview 

    Canadian Tire Roadside Assistance offers its plan holders a comprehensive suite of emergency roadside services 24/7. Key services include towing, battery boosting, fuel delivery, lockout assistance, flat tire change, and extrication/winching services.

    Uniquely, Canadian Tire offers unlimited towing to any Canadian Tire Auto Service Centre for service or repair. However, this doesn’t count against the limit of service calls established in the purchased plan. This perk makes Canadian Tire Roadside Assistance a beneficial choice for those who frequently use Canadian Tire mechanics. Furthermore, it covers all of Canada and the continental United States, making it a robust solution for travellers and commuters.

    CAA Roadside Assistance Overview

    CAA Roadside Assistance also offers an extensive array of emergency roadside services to its members around the clock. Key services include emergency towing, vehicle extraction, locksmith services, fuel delivery, battery service, bike assist and flat tire changes.

    The CAA program stands out for its provision for a safe return home. This service can come in especially handy when the member’s vehicle has been towed or the member suddenly can’t drive. This offers an additional layer of lifesaving support in certain circumstances. Plus, certain regions even offer an accident benefit fund. Covering all of North America, CAA Roadside Assistance presents a robust solution for both local and long-distance travelers. Overall, this makes it a compelling choice for individuals who require frequent or comprehensive roadside assistance.

    Canadian Tire Roadside Assistance vs CAA: Services Offered

    When choosing a roadside assistance plan, consider the range of services offered and how they align with your specific needs. In this comparison, we will evaluate the offerings of two major service providers: Canadian Tire Roadside Assistance and CAA.

    Canadian Tire Roadside AssistanceCAA Roadside Assistance
    Services offeredTowing, battery boosts, fuel delivery, flat tire change, ditch extricationTowing, battery boosts, fuel delivery, flat tire change, ditch extrication and bike assist
    Unique offerTowing to any Canadian Tire Auto Service Centre for service or repairSafe return home service
    Area coveredCanada and continental U.S.North America

    The Winner: CAA Roadside Assistance

    While both Canadian Tire and CAA offer a broad range of services, CAA Roadside Assistance dominates between the two. Although Canadian Tire’s unlimited towing to the company’s garages helps regular customers, CAA’s services offer more universal value. The safe-return-home service and accident benefit fund add an extra level of security and coverage for members. Furthermore, CAA’s additional provisions for bike and motorcycle assistance cater to a wider audience. The slight edge here goes to CAA for its well-rounded and comprehensive suite of services. Generally, they apply to a wide variety of potential roadside situations.

    Canadian Tire Roadside Assistance vs CAA: Membership Plans and Pricing

    When comparing roadside assistance providers, look at the range of membership plans and their respective pricing. Both Canadian Tire and CAA offer multiple plans with varying price points and services. As a result, customers can select an option best suited to their personal driving needs and budget.

    Canadian Tire Roadside Assistance Membership Plans and Pricing

    Canadian Tire Roadside Assistance offers six main plans: 

    • the Silver Vehicle Plan for city commuters’ vehicles, regarding of who drives them ($74.99+tax/year)
    • the Silver Member Plan for city commuters, even when they are passengers ($74.99+tax/year)
    • the Gold Vehicle Plan for vehicles during longer commute, regardless of the driver ($114.99+tax/year)
    • the Gold Member Plan for longer commutes up to 200 km ($114.99+tax/year)
    • and family plans for city commutes (Silver Family Plan, $169.99+tax/year) and long-distance travels (Gold Family Plan, $289.95+tax/year) for up to five people per household

    Each plan varies in services, such as the number of service calls (three to five), towing limits (10 to 200 km), fuel delivery (delivery only or with up to $5 of emergency fuel). Other features include battery boost, flat tire change, lock-out service and ditch extrication with winching. The unlimited towing to any Canadian Tire Auto Service Center stands out for not counting against the service-call limit. Yet, that distance is limited to 25 km for Silver Member Plan holders and 200 km for Gold.

    Silver Vehicle Plan$74.99+tax/yearAdd a second vehicle for $39.99+tax/year
    Silver Member Plan$74.99+tax/yearAdd a second member for $39.99+tax/year
    Silver Family Plan$169.99+tax/yearIncludes up to five people in the same household
    Gold Vehicle Plan$114.99+tax/yearAdd a second vehicle for $74.99+tax/year
    Gold Member Plan$114.99+tax/yearAdd a second member for $74.99+tax/year
    Gold Family Plan$289.95+tax/yearIncludes up to five people in the same household

    CAA Roadside Assistance Membership Plans and Pricing

    CAA provides four membership tiers with each coming with a unique set of benefits and services: 

    • A La Carte ($20/year)
    • Basic ($75/year)
    • Plus ($119/year)
    • Premier ($149/year)

    The Basic plan includes four service calls and towing for 10 km per call. If you run out of gas, CAA will deliver it but you pay for the fuel. Meanwhile, the Plus plan provides the same number of service calls but with an extended towing distance of 200 km per call and free emergency fuel delivery. The Premier plan offers the highest coverage with five service calls and the most extensive towing distance – 320 km for one call and 200 km for four calls, along with free emergency fuel delivery.

    All tiers from Basic onwards offer Mobile Battery Service, with the Premier tier offering an added benefit of member pricing on CAA Premium Battery purchase plus 20 CAA Dollars®. Bike Assist® service is also common across these tiers, with the Plus and Premier tiers extending coverage to motorcycles.

    A La Carte$20/year
    Plus $119/year

    The Winner: Canadian Tire Roadside Assistance

    While both providers offer comprehensive coverage, Canadian Tire Roadside Assistance emerges as the more cost-effective option. This arises from its clear and inclusive tiered system, particularly its unlimited towing to any Canadian Tire Auto Service Centre. However, CAA offers broader coverage, including bike and motorcycle coverage in its higher tiers, which may benefit some customers. In the end, the best choice depends on the individual’s specific needs and budget.

    Canadian Tire Roadside Assistance vs CAA: Customer Service and Speed

    When deciding on a roadside assistance provider, two critical factors come into play: customer service and speed. In this comparison, we’ll focus on CAA and Canadian Tire Roadside Assistance, based on real user experiences sourced from Reddit.

    CAA’s Customer Service and Speed

    Several users have lauded CAA for its impressive response times and effective service. Instances where CAA tow trucks arrived within 20 minutes during rush hour were common, according to the anecdotes. Additionally, the professionalism and calm demeanour of CAA’s service staff have significantly added to the positive customer experiences.

    On some occasions, CAA experienced delays during periods of high demand, such as during extreme weather conditions. However, these instances seem to be outliers, with the general sentiment leaning towards reliable and prompt service from CAA.

    Canadian Tire’s Customer Service and Speed

    Opinions on Canadian Tire‘s service varied more significantly. Some users have raised concerns over what they perceive to be a decline in the company’s customer service quality. They have also reported long waiting times for customer service phone lines, leading to less positive experiences for some users.

    Despite these feedback points, note that individual experiences can vary significantly based on different situations and expectations.

    The Winner: CAA Roadside Assistance

    Taking user feedback into consideration, CAA seems to come out ahead. The overall consensus leans towards CAA for its more consistent and positive customer experiences, particularly regarding response times and professionalism of the service staff.

    Canadian Tire Roadside Assistance vs CAA: Who is the overall winner?

    When it comes to roadside assistance, the best choice can vary greatly based on individual needs and circumstances. After assessing services, membership plans and pricing and customer service and speed, the CAA emerges as the overall winner.

    CAA offers a broad array of services, competitive pricing structures and a reputation for excellent customer service and quick responses. This combination makes it an ideal fit for many drivers who seek comprehensive and reliable roadside assistance.

    However, the optimal choice may differ for others. For instance, Canadian Tire Roadside Assistance could work better for those who frequently have their vehicles serviced at Canadian Tire. Its offer of unlimited towing service to any of its garages without limiting future service calls can be incredibly advantageous.

    Bonus: Three Credit Cards to Get Free Roadside Assistance

    After comparing the Canadian Tire and CAA roadside assistance services in our previous sections, let’s pivot a bit. We’d like to explore other avenues of gaining roadside assistance. Notably, specific credit cards offer such services as part of their benefits package beyond the programs we discussed earlier. These three cards offer this advantageous feature:

    BMO CashBack World Elite Mastercard

    The BMO CashBack World Elite Mastercard serves as more than just a credit card. It offers a multitude of benefits, including the BMO Roadside Assistance program’s basic coverage. Whether you’re dealing with a flat tire or a drained battery, this service makes sure you never get stranded on the roadside. The card’s appealing cash back rewards structure is a great bonus, making it an attractive option for many cardholders. It offers lockout service and a single tow, a $69/year value.

    TD Cash Back Visa Infinite* Card

    The TD Cash Back Visa Infinite* Card uniquely combines the benefit of cashback rewards with complimentary roadside assistance. Cardholders automatically receive a Deluxe TD Auto Club Membership, providing access to emergency road services, lockout protection, and even trip interruption benefits. These include $25 for personal transportation, winching services and delivery of five litres of gas. For individuals who value the blend of rewards and roadside security, this card serves as an excellent choice.

    [Offer productType=”CreditCard” api_id=”6334640861728a40bc5d854b” id=”221335″]

    Triangle World Elite Mastercard

    For those familiar with Canadian Tire Roadside Assistance from our previous discussion, the Triangle World Elite Mastercard provides this service. Cardholders automatically receive a Gold Plan membership, ensuring they have access to the diverse range of services this program offers. In addition to roadside assistance, the card also earns Canadian Tire Money on four percent of cardholders’ purchases, providing an added advantage. This adds up for frequent Canadian Tire shoppers, while garnering extra value on gas, groceries and other purchases.

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    Arthur Dubois is a personal finance writer at Hardbacon. Since relocating to Canada, he has successfully built his credit score from scratch and begun investing in the stock market. In addition to his work at Hardbacon, Arthur has contributed to Metro newspaper and several other publications