Is AAA Membership Worth the Cost? Here's What You Need to Know!

Why Roadside Assistance Is a Great Idea

The services a AAA membership offers, including their iconic roadside assistance offering and other perks, make the relatively affordable membership worth the cost.

AAA roadside assistance is the best-known brand of this service, but auto insurance companies and even credit card and cell phone companies have roadside assistance available for nominal monthly fees. It’s hard to overestimate how important this can be if you get yourself in a jam. Towing services can cost a a fortune out of pocket, especially if you’re far from home.

And whenever you’re driving, a whole lot of minor but totally disruptive things can go wrong. Here are just a few scenarios where roadside assistance services can help. It only takes one of these per year to pay back the membership costs for most roadside assistance programs.

  • You get a flat tire.
  • Your car gets stuck in mud or snow.
  • You lock your keys in your car.
  • Your car has a dead battery and won’t start.
  • You run out of gas.
  • Your car displays alarming behavior, noises, or maintenance/emergency lights and can’t be driven without professional attention.

These things happen to drivers all over American roads all the time. When it happens to you, where will you go for help? A membership with a roadside assistance program can save money on emergency services and help you access them a lot faster and more safely than you would from the side of the highway.

What Can I Expect From Each AAA Service Benefit?

Although AAA Roadside Assistance Insurance does cost more than most other roadside policies, it’s clear that AAA offers substantially more benefits than many of their competitors.  To give you a better idea of what you’ll be getting for your money, let’s take a closer look at each of AAA’s service and benefits. 

Flat Tire

The AAA service provider will come out to your vehicle and put on your spare tire so you can continue your journey. However, if you don’t have a spare then the service representative will tow your car according to your membership’s towing benefit.

AAA will also take care of flat tires on your RV and motorcycle as long as you purchased the optional coverage for those types of motor vehicles. 

Fuel

Most roadside assistance programs will transport fuel to you for free as long as you ran out of gas during your drive. Of course, you will be charged the market rate for the gasoline but no charge for the service. However, under AAA’s Plus or Premier plan, you will receive a gallon or two of free so you can get the nearest service station.

Towing

According to Angie’s List, $109 is the average nationwide rate to tow a disabled car. Of course, that median towing rate can vary depending on the towing company and location. However, if you are a AAA roadside assistance cardholder then you may have your vehicle towed up to seven miles for Classic members or up to 100 miles for Plus and Premier members.

Those AAA clients that opted for RV and Motorcycle Roadside Assistance coverage may have their vehicle towed up to 100 miles per disablement. 

Some roadside programs will provide towing but only as a reimbursement benefit. This means you’ll have to pay for the tow and then submit your receipt to the provider for a refund. Always check the fine print on any roadside assistance program you’re considering. 

Vehicle Lockout

AAA will dispatch a provider help you gain entry if you accidentally break your car key in the lock or misplace your key fob inside the locked car

If the first attempt at getting into your automobile is unsuccessful then AAA will immediately send out a professional locksmith to assist. 

Your AAA Roadside Assistance Insurance covers locksmith parts and labor services as follows: up to $60 for Classic members; up to $100 for Plus members; and up to $150 for Premier members. 

Battery Jump Start

Turning your car key only to find the battery is dead can be a bit frustrating. That’s why AAA includes a battery jump start service. They also offer a battery replacement program as described below. 

Battery Delivery & Installation

AAA Mobile Battery Service is beneficial if your car battery is completely dead and can’t be jumped. In this case, you can avoid wasting time on a tow and instead have an AAA Mobile Battery Service technician come to the scene, test your battery and electrical system. If you so desire, purchase a fresh AAA battery that meets or exceeds your car’s original specs. All auto batteries come with a 3-year free replacement warranty. 

Keep in mind AAA only provides this mobile battery replacement service in select areas. You’ll have to consult with AAA to be sure you can take advantage of this benefit. 

Extrication/ Winching Service

Bad weather, like rain and ice storms, causes many drivers to lose control and end up in a ditch along the road. Should you find yourself off road, AAA Roadside Assistance Insurance does cover extrication and winching services. 

Rental Car

Once each year an AAA member can get a replacement automobile at a special discounted rate from one of AAA’s participating rental car providers. Plus members enjoy a complimentary upgrade (by one car class) along with their discounted rate. 

Concierge Services

AAA Premier cardholders may utilize 24/7 concierge travel assistance prior to departing on a domestic or international trip or while they are in the midst of their journey. 

AAA’s robust list of concierge resources includes:

  • Event tickets
  • Restaurant/spa/health club recommendations
  • Travel referrals
  • Destination and tour information
  • Gift basket and floral delivery
  • Business services
  • Golf tee time reservations 

Product Discounts

Unlike some other roadside assistance plans, AAA members get other perks such as AAA discounts for more than 100,000 locations across the U.S. Save on things like popular restaurants, entertainment, retailers, and travel specials. Purchases can also earn you reward points that can eventually be applied to future shopping. Most discounts are available at all membership levels. 

DiscountsClassicPlusPremier
AAA Discounts & RewardsOver 10,000 discounts at Restaurants, Hotels, Retailers, Travel & EntertainmentOver 10,000 discounts at Restaurants, Hotels, Retailers, Travel & EntertainmentOver 10,000 discounts at Restaurants, Hotels, Retailers, Travel & Entertainment
CARFAX Vehicle Report20% discount20% discount1 Free Per Year + 40% off additional reports
AAA Approved Auto Repair10% off parts10% off parts10% off parts + Free 40 point inspection
Auto Club Driving SchoolDiscounted RatesDiscounted Rates
Full Vehicle Inspection$45 off 86 point inspection
Hertz Rental Cars10% Domestic / 25% International10% Domestic / 25% International10% Domestic / 25% International

AAA claims money saved from cardholder discounts can actually off-set the full price of membership fees. This may be true as long as you utilize AAA discounts frequently since they typically account for only 5% to 10% off a purchase.

Feel free to browse the discounts offered in your state at . 

If you are one to be diligent about using and tracking a discount card then you may find AAA’s auto club to be your best option. That extra cash in your pocket may very well help you earn back the AAA membership fee. Plus, it’s rare that you’ll find any other auto club program offer such a reward program. 

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Auto Club Mobile App Rating

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The Auto Club App allows users to access Auto Club services, including membership, insurance, travel, and roadside assistance. It also shows members the Cheapest Gas and Branch Offices.

Affinity group car insurance discounts in California

The California Department of Insurance has recently proposed regulations to mitigate the effect of affinity group discounts on insurance prices. Policyholders in California and elsewhere can often get discounts for being part of an affinity group. Affinity group discounts can apply to a policyholder’s occupation — such as lawyers and teachers — or their membership in an organized group, such as an alumni association. Among the largest affinity group discounts for some of the biggest insurance companies in California, the biggest discount was from Farmers, which discounted policies by 14% for a variety of professionals. Insurer Affinity group Discount 21st Century (Farmers subsidiary)American Medical Association membership4%AllstateSpecialized professionals3%Allied (Nationwide subsidiary)Accountants, dentists, educators10%FarmersAccountants, aerospace engineers, dentists, educators, scientists14%GeicoAccountants, dentists, educators, scientists11%MercuryEducators10%ProgressiveAerospace engineers, dentists, educators, scientists5%AAAAccountants, educators8%

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Final Word

AAA is much more than a trusted provider of free, round-the-clock roadside assistance. Members get a slew of free or discounted benefits, including discounted automotive services, exclusive or discounted travel products, and member discounts on in-house insurance coverage.

But these services and perks only have value if you use them. Many people maintain AAA memberships for the roadside assistance benefit and rarely or never take advantage of the organization’s other offerings. For those with unreliable cars, that’s certainly a cost-effective strategy. For members with reliable vehicles, it’s not.

Before you consent to pay $50 or more per year for yet another club membership, make sure you’ll get your money’s worth.

Is AAA Roadside Assistance Worth the Cost?

The average cost to tow a car is $109, according to Angie’s List. Therefore, you’re likely to recoup your membership fee if you take advantage of the discounts and make at least one service call. 

Beyond the monetary value of membership, Jordan pointed out peace of mind and easy access to mechanics (that don’t work on commission) are helpful membership perks. 

The annual membership fee is something you can plan for financially, unlike an unexpected car repair. “At least we know when we have to pay it, so we can budget for it,” says Jordan. That could be a huge plus if an emergency tow could derail your finances for the month. 

What do the different levels of AAA membership cost?

We’ve outlined the benefits, but what does a AAA membership cost?

If you’re interested in enrollment, AAA offers three different levels of membership. We’ll outline them for you here. Note that annual membership costs vary by club and/or state.

We’ve included a range of costs that cover most of the U.S. AAA auto clubs.

AAA Classic Membership

The AAA Classic Membership is the organization’s basic membership. It costs $38-$74 per year and comes with benefits such as:

  • Up to four tows per year (for a distance of up to five miles each)
  • Reimbursement of up to $50 for vehicle lockout
  • Fuel delivery (you pay for the fuel)
  • Flat tire service
  • Battery service

Additionally, AAA’s introductory membership tier includes 24/7 roadside service, rental cars for towed members, vehicle lockout services, extrication, basic travel insurance coverage, bicycle service, travel store discounts. The basic travel insurance coverage comes with two basic coverages: trip interruption coverage and travel accident insurance coverage.

This is a great basic service choice if you live, work, and play in a condensed area and don’t often travel with your vehicle. Don’t forget that there are also store discounts at any level of membership.

AAA Plus Membership

The AAA Plus Membership is your next option. It costs $60-$124 per year and comes with benefits such as:

  • Up to four tows per year (for a distance of up to 100 miles each)
  • Reimbursement of up to $100 for vehicle lockout, including necessary parts and services
  • Fuel delivery (fuel is free)
  • Flat tire service
  • Battery service

Other benefits are included as well. This is a great membership choice if you travel further for work or take trips regularly. Higher membership levels provide coverage for stolen luggage and hotel expenses if your car is repaired on a road trip.

Adding Your Spouse or Other Family Members To Your AAA Membership

Another great benefit of AAA membership is that you’re allowed to add “associate” members to your membership at a discounted AAA rate. Any associate member on your AAA account is entitled to all of the benefits of your membership level.

An associate can be anyone in your immediate family, including:

  • Your spouse
  • Another adult living in the household (i.e., partners or other relatives)
  • Children living at home
  • Children away at college

This is a great benefit that will ensure all of your immediate family members are safe while on the road. In addition, they get the other benefits of AAA membership, such as shopping and auto insurance discounts.

How To Save With an AAA Membership

If you buy an AAA membership and want to take immediate advantage of the savings, here’s how to get some of them:

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  • Go to the Deals page: You can search “All Deals” or “Local” to find restaurants and other discounts near you.
  • Visit the AAA Dollars Online Mall: When you shop there, you can earn AAA Dollars toward renewal dues.

Having said all that, you may sign up for a membership and find that you’re not taking full advantage of it or that it’s not meeting your needs.

Common Questions about (AAA) Auto Club

What information do I need to get a AAA insurance quote?

To get an AAA car insurance quote, you’ll need basic contact information, vehicle information, and information on the drivers.

How to add a vehicle to AAA Insurance?

If you want to add a vehicle to a AAA Insurance policy call 800-924-6141 or visit a AAA branch. AAA requires a separate payment of annual dues and an admission fee for new members.

What are the benefits of AAA Roadside Assistance?

You’ll have 24-hour assistance with AAA roadside assistance with a lock-out, a flat tire, a jump start or breakdown on the side of the road.

Is AAA good car insurance?

Yes, AAA has excellent ratings, a low complaint ratio and a good history of providing superior car insurance coverage.

What is AAA gap insurance?

Gap insurance is a form of insurance that covers your remaining balance if you experience a loss but owe more on your car than it is worth according to market prices. If you have a total loss, you may end up paying two car loans with gap insurance. Never buy gap insurance from a dealership because it’s sure to be overpriced.

Does AAA offer SR22 insurance?

You’ll have to ask your agent if they are willing to file an SR22 on your behalf. An SR22 is not a form of insurance, it’s proof of insurance that needs to be filed by an insurer about your policy.

Do you have to be Triple A member to buy insurance?

Yes, AAA car insurance is only available to members. You have to have an annual membership to use benefits. If you don’t want to pay a membership fee, compare other car insurance options for free here.

Do I have to be with my car for AAA to tow it?

You can use your AAA service as a member, even if you are a passenger in someone else’s vehicle.

Is AAA policyholder savings dividend worth it?

According to AAA, you receive money back just for insuring through the Auto Club. These dividends are not guaranteed but have been paid out for more than 20 years. In 2018, the average auto policyholder dividend was $186, in 2017, $182 and in 2016 $179.

How much is Triple AAA car insurance a month?

Membership costs for AAA are between $60 and $100 and depend on how many benefits you elect. Your car insurance is determined by a series of factors that include your age, driving history, your residence, garaging address, your car’s value, etcetera.

How are AAA Life Insurance reviews?

Overall, they are better than average. AAA has a low complaint ratio.

How much are AAA life insurance rates?

Life insurance rates vary according to many factors, which include age. Life insurance only becomes more expensive as you get older.

Does AAA Home insurance have discounts?

You can save as much as 20% or more if you bundle your home and auto with Arbella.

What coverage does Arbella offer to renters?

Yes, you can save if you bundle home and auto policies. Other homeowner discounts with AAA include a protective device, mature homeowner, age of the home (the newer the less expensive), renovated home, roof type (fire-resisting roofing brings you a deep discount) and loyalty discounts.

What is AAA’s extended replacement cost coverage?

You can save as much as 20% or more if you bundle your home and auto with Arbella.

What coverage does Arbella offer to renters?

Extended replacement cost coverage extends beyond your home’s value (between 10 and 25% usually). This is to offset costs you didn’t consider when you set out to rebuild your home after a loss.

Methodology

The car insurance quotes displayed are based on an analysis of Insurify’s database of over 40 million quotes from 500 ZIP codes nationwide. To obtain representative rates, Insurify’s data science team performs frequent comprehensive analyses of the factors car insurance providers weigh to calculate rates including driver demographics, driving record, credit score, desired coverage level, and more.

Insurify’s analysis also incorporates the Insurify Composite Score (ICS) assigned to each insurance provider. The ICS is a proprietary rating that weighs multiple factors reflecting the quality, reliability, and health of an insurance company. Ratings used to calculate the ICS include Financial Strength Ratings from A.M. Best, Standard & Poor’s, Moody’s, and Fitch; J.D. Power ratings; Consumer Reports customer satisfaction surveys and customer complaints; mobile app reviews; and user-generated company reviews. 

With the above insights and ranking methods, Insurify is able to offer car insurance shoppers insight into how various insurance providers compare to one another in terms of both cost and quality. Note, actual quotes will vary based on unique attributes including the policyholder’s driver history and their garaging address.

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