As we age, we need to take care of not only ourselves but also our critical assets such as cars, trucks and RVs. Insurance is great when we experience a fender bender, but roadside assistance is essential in an emergency. Many insurance companies charge extra for tows or tire changes. In instances like these, AAA, or “Triple A” (formerly the Automobile Club of America) can get you out of trouble fast!
|Varies by region; national average is $56 for basic coverage|
How easy to return or replace?
|No free trial; nonrefundable cancellation|
How easy to put to use?
|Auto coverage: up to 24hours; RV and trailer coverage: up to three days|
Cost or difficulty to cancel?
|Call customer service to cancel. Cancellation is nonrefundable|
Ease of access
|24/7/365 by phone, email or website|
What services are included?
|Towing, tire services, battery replacement and lock-out assistance|
Limits to coverage
What services are excluded?
|Mileage allowances vary; check specific packages for details|
Cost or difficulty to upgrade?
|Upgraded memberships are offered after one year of good standing|
Types of payment accepted
|Automated or direct deposit withdrawals, phone and mail payments|
AAA offers great discounts and value for seniors not only through its nationwide emergency roadside assistance program, but also through coupons for cruises and other holidays. However, the company is increasingly migrating to computer billing and membership monitoring, which may not appeal to all seniors. As a member ages, their long-term membership can result in cash savings for family members and upgrades to better tiers of service at little to no additional cost.
Important note: AAA maintains that poor roadway conditions are to blame for most accidents, and has partnered with Congress to allocate more federal funds to road safety improvements. AAA also offers Roadwise Rx, a free CarFit clinic, senior driving expositions, and a variety of refresher courses.
Roadside assistance can be of additional value if a senior is living and traveling alone. AAA will text and call the member in distress to ensure that mechanics and towtruck drivers made it to the emergency location. Response times do fluctuate drastically during peak travel times, which can prove detrimental as well as inconvenient to those who are in poor health or unable to wait for long periods of time. The vast AAA network of first-responders and call center representatives does ensure, however, that members will never be left truly alone while they wait for rescue.
AAA is the undisputed leader in roadside assistance. It offers three distinct membership categories, each featuring a tiered number of towable miles as well as allowances toward battery replacement, lock-out assistance and tire servicing. AAA has been around since 1902 and boasts the largest network of mechanics and tow-service providers in North America.
While many add-on services require a year of good-standing membership, the scalability of RV, motorcycle, bicycle and trailer assistance makes the long-term benefits offered by AAA the highest value in this industry. Finally, members also profit from deep discounts on travel, holiday packages and restaurant deals.
Frequently Asked Questions:
What if I move?Will I still be covered?
Members are covered anywhere in the United States and Canada. Be advised, however, that automatic renewal may be negatively impacted without an address update and additional fees (and discounts) may apply based on your geographic location.
Are commercial drivers covered?
Members are covered regardless of their license stipulations, but only in their private vehicles, watercrafts, trailers or RVs. To be clear, commercial vehicles and trailers are not covered.
What if my vehicle is stuck in mud, snow or worse?
All members are eligible for free winching services, but the tow truck(s) must be able to access the stuck vehicle from a regularly serviced road.
Overview: AAA offers three standard options for emergency roadside services: Classic, Plus and Premier. All three plans offer a scaled number of towable miles, battery servicing, tire removal and replacement, gasoline replenishment, vehicle winching, lock-out services and bicycle coverage. TheClassic plan averages $56, but the exact price depends on the region where the member lives. The price increases to around $100 for the mid-range plan and exceeds $130 for the top-tier plan.
Package Details: The Classic and Plus plans are most clearly differentiated by the number of towable miles, with the former offering only five miles and the latter allowing up to 100 miles. The Premier plan is in a class of its own, with an additional service call (up from four to five), up to 200 miles in free towing and free battery replacement.
Add-on Services: AAA provides additional coverage options with each membership level, as well as RV and motorcycle assistance after one year of good standing membership. Long-time members can also pass along discounts to family members if they enroll. AAA encourages online enrollment and offers discounts for enrolling online.
Contract Details: Membership plans are good for one year, and with AAA’s convenience billing, members can elect to have their accounts or credit cards automatically charged so there is no disruption to service. You cannot receive a reimbursement for a canceled membership. It is important to note that with automatic convenience billing, many members may be charged 90 days before their memberships expire, which can be a hassle as cancellations can only be completed by phone with a customer service representative.
Warranty: AAA does not guarantee a specified response time, but does offer reimbursements for incurred costs up to 90 days after the incident or service call.
Accreditations: AAA is the industry leader and has received an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau.
Company Details: AAA was founded in Chicago in 1902 as an automotive club focused almost exclusively on racing safety. AAA, originally known as the Automobile Club of America, grew to encompass nine regions only a few years later, and continued to focus on safety. From the 1940s through the 1980s, the company began to incorporate the manufacturing of travel guides and maps as well as ensuring automobiles stayed on the road longer due to economic recessions. More recently, AAA has begun a campaign targeted at long-time driver safety with Presidential partnerships encouraging the creation of more senior-friendly roads and driver licensing procedures.
AAA Mid Atlantic, Inc.
1801 Market St., Ste. 180
Philadelphia, PA 19103-1602