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Please help thy subscriber!

Car helplines have evolved from being mere breakdown services to one-stop shops for lubricants, batteries, spare parts and insurance covers.

india Updated: Jul 10, 2003 16:21 IST

Car helplines have evolved from being mere breakdown services to one-stop shops for lubricants, batteries, spare parts and insurance covers.

With working on the other end of the city almost becoming a norm and the National Capital Region incorporating newer colonies, the maze of automobiles is getting thicker. And with the cars come the snags. Imagine being stranded on the Outer Ring Road with your vehicle refusing to budge, or getting a flat tyre on the North Campus ridge. There’s no need for an attack of nerves. Help is just a phone call away.

After Cross Roads, that started it all in 1999 and PACE that followed suit, the latest car helpline to set up shop in the city is Speeed 24 hours. With the passage of time, these helplines have evolved from being mere breakdown services to one-stop shops for lubricants, batteries, spare parts and insurance covers.

Crossroads today offers pollution check at your doorstep, free servicing four times a year and an accident insurance cover of Rs 1 lakh in a tie up with United India Insurance Company, says chief marketing officer Kavita Juneja. “Four years hence, we have a client base of about 60,000 satisfied subscribers in the National Capital Region.”

RACE, or Rapid Action in Car Emergency, founded by Amit Jain, also has a big subscription base. Plus, a tie up for phone-in help services with Hutch and Airtel subscribers. “Through this collaboration, we are the preferred helpline for lakhs of mobile phone users in the city,” says Jain. RACE are also the authorised service providers for Hindustan Motors, Indus Ford and a few car workshops in the city.

According to Milan Siral, director of RMK Car Helpline, the people behind Speeed 24 hours, they will add value by bringing in services such as challan payments and facilitating registration of new vehicles. “If one of our subscribers gets challaned, we’d send our man to pick up the challan along with the amount and deposit the same. We also facilitate the paperwork in transfer of vehicles and deletion of hypothecation when the loan has to be paid by our subscribers,” he elaborates.

A dimension that had been ignored by most helplines was provision of emergency facilities such as an ambulance and services to get your car out of a ditch. Speeed 24 Hours promise to fill this niche. “We’d provide an ambulance service to the nearest hospital, arrangement of emergency petrol at actual cost, wheel tube repair in case of two or more flat tyres at a time and dropping family members home after a major break-down,” says Siral.

elpline Numbers and Fees
Race: 23676767/Rs 365
Crossroads: 1922, 27225551, 27225552/Rs 365/Rs 555 and Rs 999 for different facilities
Speeed 24 Hours: 55606570 (Hunting Line) Mobile: 9810445406 /Rs 999

First Published: Jul 09, 2003 12:50 IST