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Flat Tire Coverage

SabrToothSqrl

Active Member
Dec 5, 2014
3,962
3,467
PA
Since most (all) Tesla's do not come with a spare at this point, and my wife's 3 is now out of warranty, which covers at least the towing part, it looks like some type of coverage for flats may be beneficial.

eSurance coverage, covers up to $75/tow for flats... does $75 actually cover a tow? We'd just have it towed to the house if it's close enough, and deal with the flat by taking just the tire to be fixed/replaced.

Are people just paying out of pocket if/when it happens?

is AAA worth it?

eSurance is extra $6.00/year for her car to add towing coverage for flats.

Thanks


Towing and Labor

In a nutshell (for ... well, emergencies)
Emergency roadside assistance, which you may also know as towing and labor coverage, is there to help when you're stranded. Broken down? We'll tow you. Blown tire? We'll put your spare on. Ran out of gas? We'll bring you some. Emergency roadside assistance covers up to $75 per incident to help you get rolling again.

Why you need it

Emergency roadside assistance is not only surprisingly affordable ... it's also super convenient. If you need help, you can either use our mobile app or call us to get help on the way. Anytime. Day or night.

Even better? There's no need to pay your tow truck directly and file a claim for reimbursement. We'll pay the provider directly (up to $75 per incident). So you can skip the paperwork and get on with your life.

What you should know
Emergency roadside assistance is vehicle-specific. Meaning, if you have multiple vehicles on your policy, you'll need to add it for each vehicle separately. Also, depending on your state, there may be a limit to how many times you can use your emergency roadside assistance per policy term. (This can range from 3-6 usages per term or, in some states, a $450 max per term.)
 

RayK

Safety Score 86 (Aggressive Turning? I'm parking!)
Apr 5, 2016
2,604
2,655
San Jose, CA
is AAA worth it?
I've had AAA Plus or Premier membership (plus two or three family members) for a couple of decades. Have only used the 100/200 mile towing service once and it was worth it (Vallejo to San Jose when the minivan broke down with wife, kids and in-laws). Had my RX-7 and BMW towed a couple of times and while they we not more than 15-20 miles, it was further than the 5 miles that the Classic membership offers.

Used their free maps for many years until GPS became an option for our cars. Used their travel service a couple of times, same with flat/tire change and dead battery services.

The current cost for Premier is $119/yr. plus $74 for each extra family member. Pricey when you consider that most of the time we don't require its services. We have AAA for the peace-of-mind.

edit: Also you often get discounts for having AAA at hotel/motels and car rentals. At least they claim we're getting a discount. Towing costs here in Silicon Valley are somewhere around $7-$10 per mile from what I understand. The $75 eSurance offers may only be about 7-10 miles but YMMV.
 
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stopcrazypp

Well-Known Member
Dec 8, 2007
11,998
7,766
Since most (all) Tesla's do not come with a spare at this point, and my wife's 3 is now out of warranty, which covers at least the towing part, it looks like some type of coverage for flats may be beneficial.

eSurance coverage, covers up to $75/tow for flats... does $75 actually cover a tow? We'd just have it towed to the house if it's close enough, and deal with the flat by taking just the tire to be fixed/replaced.
This depends heavily on your local costs. You can call/contact some local tow companies and see their rates.

Here in SF, $75 only gets you a local tow with 2 miles max, and then it's $5 per mile on top.
Towing Cost for Different Types of Vehicles | https://www.sfcitytowing.com

Note if your car is still under warranty, part of the cost is covered if towed to an SC:
"Flat tires are not covered under warranty; however Tesla will cover the cost of a tow, provided by Roadside Assistance, for the first 50 miles (80 km) to the nearest Tesla Service Center, while the vehicle is covered by a Tesla New Vehicle, Used Vehicle, or Used Vehicle Extended Limited Warranty. The cost of towing for a flat tire beyond 50 miles (80 km) and the cost of the replacement tire(s) are at your expense."
https://www.tesla.com/sites/default/files/downloads/Model_3_New_Vehicle_Limited_Warranty_NA_en.pdf

I've heard of sometimes Roadside has loaner wheels available, but that obviously depends on stock/availability, so you can't rely on that being available.
 
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jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Moderator
Nov 28, 2018
14,217
17,961
Riverside Co. CA
I have a similar response as @RayK

I have AAA premier I pay for every year. I have had it probably 20 ish years now. I havent had to use it with my teslas at all, but have used it in the past with other cars. The peace of mind knowing I can get towed up to 200 miles is worth it to me. I have only used it once for a long tow, but I dont mind paying for it.

I used to have home and auto insurance with AAA as well, but they raised rates on teslas enough to show they didnt want to cover them, and I keep home / auto / umbrella with one company, so swapped to another company for that. I kept them for towing, though.
 
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My AAA premier service has been well worth it. Especially the time an old Volvo of mine broke down on a dirt road, 8 miles from pavement and 90 miles from the nearest Volvo dealership. Fortunately I had cell service. The flatbed tow truck arrived after about an hour. I was impressed that the driver could even find me. He quickly loaded the car on the truck, and took me to my house, about 12 miles out of the way to the dealership so I could follow him to the dealership in my other car. I've had about 4 other occasions to rely on AAA service over 20 years. It is so worth it! Not to mention the discounts at hotels, etc
 

jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Moderator
Nov 28, 2018
14,217
17,961
Riverside Co. CA
My AAA premier service has been well worth it. Especially the time an old Volvo of mine broke down on a dirt road, 8 miles from pavement and 90 miles from the nearest Volvo dealership. Fortunately I had cell service. The flatbed tow truck arrived after about an hour. I was impressed that the driver could even find me. He quickly loaded the car on the truck, and took me to my house, about 12 miles out of the way to the dealership so I could follow him to the dealership in my other car. I've had about 4 other occasions to rely on AAA service over 20 years. It is so worth it! Not to mention the discounts at hotels, etc

While I havent used it with my tesla, I have used AAA towing over the years, and it has saved me several times. When I was young, I couldnt afford "nice" cars, and had an endless procession of "barely limping along" cars. At least 5-6 times over the years, I got stuck somewhere, where I needed a tow to somewhere (some mechanic, home, etc), where I was 10-40 miles away.

AAA always came through for me. Probably one reason why I have no problem paying for it, I have very fond memories of seeing a tow truck driver coming to pick me, wife and car up from "somewhere" at times when I might not even have had enough money in the bank to pay for a tow.
 

jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Moderator
Nov 28, 2018
14,217
17,961
Riverside Co. CA
I called eSurance, yeah, it only covers up to $75.00. Which I explained would cover a nice lunch, not towing... why offer such little assistance? I'd rather pay $20/year for something that covers something than $6/year for essentially nothing.

$75 would basically be a tow truck arriving and putting your car on the flatbed, and "maybe" 5-10 miles of towing, max. They probably offer it because most people look and see "oh and towing is an additional (small figure) and they just add it, not knowing that it wont actually do much for them if they need it.
 
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afadeev

Member
Feb 28, 2019
942
1,171
NYC
I called eSurance, yeah, it only covers up to $75.00. Which I explained would cover a nice lunch, not towing... why offer such little assistance? I'd rather pay $20/year for something that covers something than $6/year for essentially nothing.

I think it's worthwhile to look at the bigger picture here.
What happens when you get a flat, and what it would take to get you back on the road?

If the flat is repairable (puncture inside the tread), then you can fix it and get rolling again. You could wait (and pay) for a tow, or you could be prepared and carry a tire patch tool and an air pump with you. More info here: My first Tesla Roadside Assistance experience

If the flat is not repairable (puncture in the sidewall, you drove on a flat too long and compromised the sidewalls), then you will be shopping for a new tire. The question is - what shop can get them on your wheel the soonest? Earlier this year, there was a nationwide shortage of 20" Model 3 - size Michelin PSS tires, but a few shops still had them in stock. You may need to call around, and a Tesla service center may, or may not be, your desired destination. This is where having a full-sized spare may be a good idea, if you are taking your Model 3 on a long trips.

If you do need a tow, figure out how far you may want to have your car towed. For me, AAA is a backup towing service of choice because it has the widest network of tow truckers across US and Canada.

HTH,
a
 
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