Lyft Adding Roadside Assistance for Regular Cars

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky

Despite its status as a ride-hailing application, Lyft is branching out into the world of roadside assistance. This is an interesting direction for the company to take when its core audience is likely to be people who tend not to drive all that often. But a potentially useful service if you’re not already a AAA member or have a particularly stalwart friend with some automotive know-how.

An extension to Lyft Pink, the new service is already being embedded into the standard app and offers basic roadside assistance. This includes things like emergency fuel delivery, unlocking vehicles, changing a popped tire, jumpstarts, and even some light off-road recovery. Users have the option to pay $71 bucks a pop or to become a member for $100 annually – the latter of which results in customers getting four “free” service events.

Though that doesn’t encompass four separate occurrences where someone had to drive to help you. It’s broken down by the individual services rendered. For example, if you ask Lyft Pink to winch you back onto the pavement and realize that you also need some fuel and a jumpstart before you can head out, that’s three events.

For those interested, Lyft is currently offering a free one-month trial which then defaults to $9.99 per month if you forget to cancel. Though the service also ropes in priority pickups (when you’re hailing rides) and a year of GrubHub orders that forego the additional delivery fees. This is presumably being done to make the service more appealing to a clientele that’s already used to having someone else do the driving for them.

Though the whole thing remains odd considering how vocal companies like Lyft have been about reducing vehicle ownership. Maybe someone working there finally realized that limits who they can market to. Regardless, packaging roadside assistance into the app is a clever way to ease users into additional services. Just being able to track the progress of the rescue vehicle on your phone will probably be comforting to some people when the status quo has involved calling a number, giving your location, and waiting around blindly until your automotive savior arrives or has to call you because they’re lost or you gave bad directions.

Pricing is more-or-less on par with AAA, though the latter does offer cheaper roadside assistance plans in addition to more expensive ones offering additional services, perks, and discounts on various vehicle-related purchases. Lyft also has a premium “All Access” service for $199 annually. However, it doesn’t seem to be all that useful if you’re interested in car and scooter rentals. Basically, it all comes down to what you’re hoping to get for your money and how much you enjoy/dislike Lyft’s interface.

[Image: Kevin McGovern/Shutterstock]

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Matt Posky
Matt Posky

A staunch consumer advocate tracking industry trends and regulation. Before joining TTAC, Matt spent a decade working for marketing and research firms based in NYC. Clients included several of the world’s largest automakers, global tire brands, and aftermarket part suppliers. Dissatisfied with the corporate world and resentful of having to wear suits everyday, he pivoted to writing about cars. Since then, that man has become an ardent supporter of the right-to-repair movement, been interviewed on the auto industry by national radio broadcasts, driven more rental cars than anyone ever should, participated in amateur rallying events, and received the requisite minimum training as sanctioned by the SCCA. Handy with a wrench, Matt grew up surrounded by Detroit auto workers and managed to get a pizza delivery job before he was legally eligible. He later found himself driving box trucks through Manhattan, guaranteeing future sympathy for actual truckers. He continues to conduct research pertaining to the automotive sector as an independent contractor and has since moved back to his native Michigan, closer to where the cars are born. A contrarian, Matt claims to prefer understeer — stating that front and all-wheel drive vehicles cater best to his driving style.

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4 of 10 comments
  • Bobbysirhan Bobbysirhan on Nov 22, 2022

    What percentage of people use Uber and Lyft instead of owning cars outside of urban ghettos? Both services are popular with my friends, but primarily for airport transportation and avoiding driving under the influence. Everyone still has at least one car or truck.

    • See 1 previous
    • Spookiness Spookiness on Nov 22, 2022

      It's not uncommon in cities and inner suburbs, even the ones that aren't "ghetto." I know people who couldn't justify buying a car, or reduced the # they owned, or just had one that got on in years and just didn't bother replacing it.

  • Doc423 Doc423 on Nov 22, 2022

    AAA needs to take notes as far as being able to track the progress of the rescue vehicle on your phone. Have sat out there in the boonies for 3 hours waiting on the AAA wrecker.

  • Jkross22 this is how difficult it can get....
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