Content of the material
- How it Works
- Pros and Cons of AAA Roadside Assistance
- Membership Towing Policy
- AAA Classic Membership
- AAA Plus Membership
- AAA Premier Membership
- RV/Motorcycle Roadside Assistance
- What does roadside assistance cover?
- Are Roadside Assistance Plans Worth It?
- What Is Not Included in AAA Roadside Assistance?
- If You Do Not Qualify for A Long Tow with AAA
- Where Can I Purchase a Roadside Assistance Plan?
How it Works
With the entry level plan, they will take your vehicle up to five miles. Not much of a distance, but handy if you are taking your vehicle to a nearby shop to have it worked on.
With the “Plus”, they can go up to 100 miles. This can be a great option if you need to sell or relocate an inoperable vehicle or a classic car you don’t want to add miles to. One hundred miles is not a lot, but it could be just enough in some cases.
The third tier is the “Premiere”. This is where you get the most miles. They can take a vehicle up to 200 miles. That can handy if you are moving one city or state over. If you are broken down in a far off place, this would also be useful to get to a nearby city. After you use your 200 miles once, you have three additional 100 mile tows for the year. You cannot have three different memberships and get 600 miles for example. If you have Premium, you can’t use all your tows at once. It’s per breakdown. Again, this is intended to be a roadside service. You can compare plans here.
Here’s what AAA says:
When your vehicle cannot be started or safely driven, it will be towed without charge to a destination of your choice up to five miles from the point of breakdown for Classic members and up to 100 miles for Plus members. With Premier, you can use one 24-Hour Roadside Assistance Service call per cardholder per membership year for a tow of up to 200 miles, and the remaining three service calls for tows of up to 100 miles.
Only one tow per mechanical breakdown can be made at AAA’s expense. – AAA.com | Towing
Pros and Cons of AAA Roadside Assistance
As was noted earlier, every AAA club offers slightly different roadside assistance packages, so you should check with your area’s club to get the details. Generally speaking, here are some pros and cons of AAA roadside assistance:
You can request AAA roadside assistance whether your vehicle is owned, leased or rented.
You can request AAA roadside assistance whether you are a driver or a passenger.
AAA roadside assistance covers not only vehicles but also specialty vehicles, motorcycles and bicycles.
AAA roadside assistance doesn’t automatically include your whole family. However, you can add a family member as an “associate.”
If you use your AAA roadside assistance within 48 hours of signing up, you will be charged a fee.
Membership Towing Policy
The services AAA provides are based on a membership plan and are restricted to the territories of the United States and Canada. Currently, AAA offers three types of membership: Classic, AAA Plus, and AAA Premier. The membership costs are as follows:
- Classic Membership: $53
- Plus Membership: $86
- Premier Membership: $114
New members also have to pay a $20 admission fee. One adult associate can be added to the membership for $31. Dependent associates cost $33 per person, with no restrictions on the number of associates as long as they qualify.
AAA Classic Membership
The classic membership provides 7 miles of free towing from the location of your vehicle. A member can call the towing service up to 4 times during a membership year. Discount on rental services allows you to continue driving while your vehicle is being repaired.
You can even request an emergency fuel delivery, which is free, but you’ll have to pay for the fuel delivered.
The technicians can inspect and jumpstart your battery, or offer you a brand new battery of sufficient power and capacity at a fair market price. Should you get locked out, the AAA covers up to $60 towards parts and locksmith labor.
The flat tire service includes inflating and installing the spare tire, if available.
The technicians will also perform minor mechanical first aid if the problem can be solved on location. The extrication service involves winching a vehicle that has become stuck.
There are situations that do not fall under the winching service such as snowbound or flooded streets. The classic membership provides 1 service vehicle and 1 driver for this task.
AAA Plus Membership
The mid-tier plan offers significant improvements over the Classic membership, primarily in the towing benefits. With the AAA Plus, you get a 100-mile towing range and up to 4 service calls during a membership year.
Apart from the discount, the rental service will up-class the rental vehicle for free.
The emergency fuel delivery now includes enough fuel to reach the nearest station – for free. The winching service includes up to two service vehicles and two drivers, as opposed to one of each in the classic plan. The locksmith budget is increased from $60 to $100, while the rest of the benefits remain mostly the same.
AAA Premier Membership
The Premier membership plan is the best AAA has to offer. On an annual plan, you’ll receive 4 service calls, three 100-mile range tows, and one 200-mile range tow for the household.
The benefits of the Classic and Plus membership include an increased budget for locksmiths services of $150 and a 1-day complimentary midsize rental car. The rest of the services are of the same tier as the Plus membership.
RV/Motorcycle Roadside Assistance
The RV/Motorcycle roadside assistance service is available as an option with any of the standard membership plans. The annual cost is an additional $41 and provides up to four extra service calls for motor homes, motorcycles, camping trailers, camper vans, and any non-commercially used trailer.
The service has a $500 limit per call and an annual limit of $1,000. Expenses beyond these amounts will have to be covered by the member.
What does roadside assistance cover?
Roadside service covers you during your travels in a vehicle. You’re covered in all of the following situations:
- Driving your own car
- Driving someone else’s car
- You’re a passenger
Your service with AAA roadside assistance extends to your travels throughout the US or Canada, with mechanics and representatives available 24/7.
Once you become a member, your benefits include the following:
- Towing: You get towing to your nearest gas station, AAA approved auto repair shop, or preferred mechanic. The amount of miles you get vary, depending on which membership option you choose. Members are responsible for the payment of extra expenses beyond that limit. The AAA Classic Membership provides 5 miles per breakdown.The AAA Plus Membership provides 100 miles of towing per incident. Lastly, the AAA Premier Membership provides up to 200 miles of towing per household. It also gives you 100 miles of towing for three extra service callouts.
- Flat tire service: If your tire pops or goes flat, you get them inflated or changed on request.
- Emergency fuel delivery: If you’re stuck without fuel, you get a fuel delivery. The amount is enough to get you to the nearest gas station.
- Car battery service: If your vehicle's battery breaks or fails to start, you get jump-started or an emergency battery replacement.
- Mechanical first-aid: If your vehicle isn’t running, you get on-the-spot minor repairs. This excludes auto part replacements or supplies.
- Locksmith service: Did you lock your keys in your car? Roadside assistance helps you to regain access inside your vehicle.
Are Roadside Assistance Plans Worth It?
Absolutely. If you find yourself stranded, the benefit of having a roadside assistance company ready to come to your aid is well worth the reasonable yearly fee. Depending on your plan, you could avoid needing to pay anything out of pocket for a tow or other emergency service.
What Is Not Included in AAA Roadside Assistance?
Most auto insurance carriers offer 24/7 roadside assistance coverage, but every program has its own services and restrictions. All roadside coverage is “add on” coverage, which means state law does not require it. The AAA program offers a lot, but it doesn’t cover everything:
AAA’s roadside assistance is not car insurance. It is an insurance product that you purchase separately from your auto insurance.
AAA’s roadside assistance does not extend to a disabled vehicle whose driver is intoxicated due to alcohol or drugs.
While AAA services the U.S. and Canada, it does not offer roadside assistance in Mexico.
AAA will not recompense you for repair work done by your favorite mechanic if that mechanic’s repair shop is not in AAA’s network.
Car Insurance with Roadside Assistance Plan
If You Do Not Qualify for A Long Tow with AAA
If you are not already a member, your vehicle is running normally, and / or are traveling more than 200 miles, you will then need a long distance towing service provided by a transport company. A majority of vehicles being moved (running or not) are being relocated, therefore will go for a longer distance. Surely after decades in the business AAA knows this. So, that’s why they have these limits. Also, inoperable vehicles such as barn finds or previously damaged vehicles cannot be moved as this is a roadside program.
Where Can I Purchase a Roadside Assistance Plan?
You can purchase a roadside assistance plan through an auto club or an insurer. Auto clubs are easy to find and usually offer more extended coverage, like higher towing limits and extra benefits. In contrast, some auto insurers provide less expensive basic options.
Triple AAA membership plans are designed so that every tier offers a good balance between price and perks. The federation has a few rules, but they’re set to protect the driver, their car, and the principles of the AAA, rather than mislead the member with fine print.
If you’re not already a member, I strongly advise joining the club and ensuring your safety on the road!