I’ve been driving for the past 4 years and luckily, I haven’t had a problem with my car being stranded on the road. However, I have gotten flat tires which have required me to pay visits to vulcanizers on the road side.

In the US, most road users have the option of roadside assistance thanks to a company called AAA, a company which provides roadside help for vehicle owners. Owners in the US have the option to sign up as members of AAA and could call the service for assistance when their cars broke down. Users can also use the AAA mobile app to request for help.

AAA Company

In Ghana, there are not a lot of options when it came to calling roadside assistance through a mobile app but it looks like First Call decided to fill that space.

First Call is a registered Ghanaian company which seeks to give convenient and reliable breakdown assistance for users. At the moment, they run in Accra and Tema and attend to vehicle breakdowns 24 hours a day.

What Are The Benefits

The First Call App company offers users the following services when they sign up:

Roadside Assistance

  • Replacement of a flat tyre (with the user’s spare tyre)
  • Jumpstart battery
  • Limited fan belt repairs (subject to availability of fan belt)
  • Limited overheating issues
  • Limited electrical malfunctions
  • Fuel Assistance (subject to availability of fuel)

Accident Assistance

  • If you are involved in an accident, the company will guide you through the experience and aid you in putting together the proper documentation towards any insurance claim.

Towing

Approved partners for First Call will tow your vehicle that could not be repaired by their mobile mechanics by the roadside to one of their approved partner workshops or a workshop of the user’s choice.

Ancillary Services

First Call has collaborated with key partners for the provision of some ancillary services:

Ambulance services: If a user is involved in an accident and requires medical attention, an ambulance service that will come to their aid and take them to the nearest medical centre or hospital.

Taxi services: First App offers users a taxi service for users who need to carry on with their day or need a ride home after their vehicle has been towed away.

Security Services: If a user’s vehicle breaks down at an unsafe place, a security guard can be arranged while their car gets repaired.

Interesting!

 

How Does It Work

First things first, you have to download the First Call Rescue Me app on Android or iOS phone and register to sign up.

First Call Login Screen

Once you through with the sign-up and made your subscription payment, you can use the app when you’re need it. If you need help when you’re stranded, you just login and send a rescue request with your location or call the 24/7 call centre on 0501586062/0501586051.

You will then get a notification from your mechanic that they’re on their way.

 

You provide the mechanic with the service code from the app and then they get to work on your vehicle. If the mechanic is unable to repair it within the reasonable time he/she will send a request for a tow truck for your car to be sent to a workshop of your choice or any of our approved workshops.

How Is Much Is All Going To Cost You?

So the First Call app has different packages depending on your vehicle. But you get three different options with First Call:

Basic Option: Users get a maximum of three (3) call outs inclusive of one (1) towing request plus the following:

  • Breakdown Assistance
  • Towing
  • Ancillary Services (Which adds additional cost)

Depending on your car, this is the price breakdown for the Basic Option:

  • Salon Car: 150 GHS
  • 4 x 4: 180 GHS
  • Pick Up: 180 GHS
  • Mini Van: 180GHS

Essential Option: A maximum of six (6) call outs inclusive of two (2) towing requests

  • Breakdown Assistance
  • Towing
  • Ancillary Services (Which adds additional cost)

Depending on your car, this is the price breakdown for the Essential Option:

  • Salon Car: 300 GHS
  • 4 x 4: 350 GHS
  • Pick Up: 350 GHS
  • Mini Van: 350GHS

Premium Option: A maximum of twelve (12) call outs inclusive of four (4) towing requests including Accident Assistance

  • Breakdown Assistance
  • Towing
  • Accident Assistant
  • Ancillary Services (Which adds additional cost)

Depending on your car, this is the price breakdown for the Premium Option:

  • Salon Car: 550 GHS
  • 4 x 4: 600 GHS
  • Pick Up: 600 GHS
  • Mini Van: 600 GHS

Good Concept, But Will It Gain Traction?

Ghanaians can be very informal when it comes to things like roadside help. Most people have their mechanics or tow drivers on speed dial in case of emergencies while some others just ask around for contacts and connections.

But will people willing to change their behaviour and use a mobile app for roadside assistance? That all really depends on how effective the app is. The features outlined seem great but if a user is stranded and tries the app and it doesn’t work, that could make a very bad impression.

I haven’t tested the app because I haven’t had any emergencies which would require me to use it or pay for any of the packages. But if the app does work as advertised and delivers on what the company promises, then Ghana might have its first version of AAA.

We’ll just have to wait and see if people are willing to try it for themselves. We probably will have to check in with First Call a couple of months down the line to see whether their stranded on the side of the road with their business or if they’re cruising towards success.

Update: This article has been updated to correct that error that users need to physically go to the First Call office to finish up registration. Further checks show this is not the case and users can fully register through the app. Apologies for this error.

Joseph-Albert Kuuire
Joseph-Albert Kuuire is the creator and editor of TechNovaGh.com, an online digital platform focusing on technology in Ghana. Email: [email protected]

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