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Cars & Driving
AAA - Is it worth it?
By TuniePremium member Comments: 1995, member since Mon Aug 08, 2005
On Wed Feb 06, 2013 07:01 PM

I was looking into getting AAA. It seemed like a great idea. The price is good. Then I found out that you are limited to four roadside assistance calls per year. Have any of you ever used all your calls? Then what do you do in an emergency? How likely is it to run out of calls?

24 Replies to AAA - Is it worth it?

re: AAA - Is it worth it? (karma: 1)
By DefyingGravityPremium member Comments: 5265, member since Sun Jan 19, 2003
On Wed Feb 06, 2013 07:14 PM
I've had AAA since I was 16 and have never run out of my roadside assistance calls. I've used a max of 2/year. AAA is so fast at responding that it is MORE than worth it, and so cheap for the quality. My mom used 3 of her calls one year, but the car was really on its last leg the whole year.

If you do go over your max # of free calls, it's only like $50 per call or something like that, so it's not like they leave you high and dry, stranded on the side of the road. You just have to pay a price.
re: AAA - Is it worth it? (karma: 1)
By Dancing_EMTmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 3466, member since Wed Dec 08, 2004
On Wed Feb 06, 2013 12:52 PM
Edited by Dancing_EMT (115664) on 2013-02-06 12:53:54
I think you live in the US, so check the resources of your state. In FL, TX and IL, they all have state run response on the interstates. They'll come out, change a tire, give you gas (only like a 1/4 gallon or so, enough to get you to the gas station) and help move your car off the highway in the event of an accident. So, look to see if they have something similar where you live. In FL they're called "Road Rangers" and it was run by the highway patrol. So, if your state does have something like this and you're on the interstate when something happens, you might not even need to call AAA.

I've never heard of anyone who isn't happy to have AAA. I'm sure they have their problems like any other company, but as a whole, my parents and a few friends have it and love having it.

ETA: Look at your auto insurance, they might have a roadside assistance plan in there for $10 a month or something like that. I don't know how much ours is, but I know it's not expensive.
re: AAA - Is it worth it?
By TuniePremium member Comments: 1995, member since Mon Aug 08, 2005
On Wed Feb 06, 2013 07:59 PM
^Ugh my insurance company is already screwing me over, I'd rather not deal with them anymore. Plus even at $10/month (which is cheap, don't get me wrong), AAA is still cheaper. That works out to $120/year through the insurance company; AAA is $57/year. Does your insurance company offer more/better services?

The state run thing is definitely something I want to look into. I live in New York.... I have no idea how to even search for something like that though.
re: AAA - Is it worth it?
By Dancing_EMTmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 3466, member since Wed Dec 08, 2004
On Wed Feb 06, 2013 08:10 PM
www.dot.ny.gov . . .

I just googled "New York Roadside Assistance".

Also, I have no idea how much we're paying, my husband deals with all that stuff. ;)
re: AAA - Is it worth it? (karma: 1)
By Moonlitefairy06member has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 7177, member since Fri Apr 16, 2004
On Wed Feb 06, 2013 08:11 PM
Tunie wrote:



The state run thing is definitely something I want to look into. I live in New York.... I have no idea how to even search for something like that though.


Go to the New York Department of Transportation Website. A quick google search found me this www.dot.ny.gov . . . though it seems to only be for highways. I'm from NY and when I had a car there I used AAA. The only time I actually used it though, I was at school in MA and got a flat tire in the school parking lot. They came and changed it for me very easily. Campus police would jump start cars for you otherwise I might have needed them for that, but they (campus police) wouldn't change tires. My parents once had a tire burst in CT and were able to use AAA there too. I think it's worth it so you don't have to worry when traveling interstate or if you aren't on a designated highway or whatever.
re: AAA - Is it worth it?
By TuniePremium member Comments: 1995, member since Mon Aug 08, 2005
On Wed Feb 06, 2013 01:11 PM
Edited by Tunie (138112) on 2013-02-06 13:13:43
Thanks for that link, guys!! Okay so it really does seem like it would be worth it to get AAA, and I am also look into the HELP program as well.
re: AAA - Is it worth it? (karma: 1)
By PogMoGilliesmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 3157, member since Tue Apr 24, 2007
On Wed Feb 06, 2013 09:29 PM
AAA is also useful in that the coverage is with you, not your car. So if you're out with friends and their car has trouble, you can still get help.

My husband and I both have it, mostly for peace of mind. The one time I really needed it, I was up a canyon driving to a mountain school and drove off the road. They hauled me back up and made sure I was safely on my way again.
re: AAA - Is it worth it? (karma: 1)
By rosalinde Comments: 1973, member since Fri Jun 19, 2009
On Sat Feb 09, 2013 04:54 PM
It's worth it. And I have yet to see anyone who drives a reliable car (as opposed to a wreck that even Pimp My Ride won't touch) who needs those 4 calls a year. I've been a member of my country's version of the AAA for the past 10 years and I've called them in a grand total of 4 times.
But the peace of mind is just as important, knowing that I'll get quick professional help, at least to the point of where I'm safe if not actually back on the road and driving again.
re: AAA - Is it worth it? (karma: 1)
By Chaconnemember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 6359, member since Thu Jul 12, 2007
On Sat Feb 09, 2013 09:17 PM
I've personally been a member for almost 50 years and my father for 10-12 years earlier than that. I don't use it often...I think my last service call was maybe a dozen years ago. I have been towed by them a couple times with previous cars, and it is nice to know that a 1-800 call will get you some help. I've used their map service more than the roadside service. While GPS is useful, it is still easier (for me) do do planning on a paper map. We have dual membership and since my wife drives by herself quite a bit, I particularly value that she can get help. She has arthritis so couldn't change a tire herself (I'm not sure she even knows or ever knew how.)

Jon
re: AAA - Is it worth it? (karma: 1)
By cthompson1474member has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 306, member since Sat May 19, 2012
On Sat Feb 09, 2013 09:22 PM
I have used AAA before. I like them a lot and have had excellent experiences with them in terms of how quickly they get there, customer service, kindness, and knowledge.

I have used them for battery changes, locking keys in the trunk, running over a curb and having the thing under the car that protects the engine fall off on the road, and again for locking the keys in the trunk. :)

The only reason I quit using them is because I get free roadside assistance with my new car. When it runs out I will go back to AAA.
re: AAA - Is it worth it? (karma: 1)
By Tansey Comments: 2367, member since Fri Mar 27, 2009
On Sat Feb 09, 2013 02:41 PM
Edited by Tansey (209516) on 2013-02-09 14:42:44
AAA is absolutely worth it. I've had it for about 12 years and I've probably called them about twice a year. I called them about a month ago when it was about zero and my very reliable car refused to start. Turned out it was a frozen fuel line and the nice guy AAA sent out had me on my way in minutes. I've called them in the past for flat tires and dead batteries and they've been prompt, polite and all around wonderful. In addition to the roadside assistance, many hotels offer discounts to AAA members, as do some amusement parks, plus many other places and services. We got discounted passes for either Disney World or Universal Studios when we went 2 years ago. I forget which. I got AAA cards for each of my kids once they started driving. I drive a lot of miles every month and wouldn't ever want to be without it.
re: AAA - Is it worth it?
By kandykanePremium member Comments: 16415, member since Mon May 01, 2006
On Sat Feb 09, 2013 10:43 PM
Not worth it to me. I already have free roadside assistance on my insurance and I get other discounts for my hotels, etc. It would just be duplicate service.

But if you don't have coverage elsewhere, it would definitely be worth it.

kk~
re: AAA - Is it worth it?
By rosalinde Comments: 1973, member since Fri Jun 19, 2009
On Sun Feb 10, 2013 11:14 AM
When I bought my current car (Toyota) they offered me three years of their service for free. For a moment I considered cancelling my AAA (no need to have double, right?) but then I read the terms & conditions of the Toyota version, and they'd only come for break-downs.
Guess what: with the exception of one time when my ancient Volvo's starter engine failed, my calls were because of my own stupidity (left the lights on so a dead battery, locked the car keys in, punctured my tire) > all stuff that seriously stranded me, but for which the AAA turns up and Toyota wouldn't have.
re: AAA - Is it worth it?
By Josianemember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 1643, member since Sun Nov 06, 2005
On Sun Feb 10, 2013 06:43 PM
I think it's worth it. I drive an old car and I'm always afraid it'll break down on the highway or something. I'm also known for forgetting my keys in my car and locking the door. Also, with the low temperatures of winter, it's a good thing to know that they can come and boost my car. I also like that if I go to the US, I'll have the same services (I'm with CAA but if I go to the States, AAA will help me the same way. I'm sure it also works the opposite way around) I haven't' used it this year but if I had had CAA the year before, I would have needed them a dozen times.
re: AAA - Is it worth it?
By CrayolaPremium member Comments: 1549, member since Sat Feb 26, 2005
On Sun Feb 10, 2013 11:20 PM
This past summer while on a road trip my husband and I unfortunately struck a deer at 2:30 in the morning. We have CAA (American equivalent) and got a free tow. It also so happened that because we were stranded more than 160 km from home, we were reimbursed for our hotel and food (up to $600) while we waited for our car to be fixed. Definitely was a horrible experience, but CAA did make it a little bit easier.

We are Canadian and was traveling in the US when the accident happened.
re: AAA - Is it worth it?
By TuniePremium member Comments: 1995, member since Mon Aug 08, 2005
On Thu Feb 14, 2013 09:33 PM
You all have convinced me - I'm getting it! Like others have said, it is good for peace of mind. I also thought about it and realized that AAA does not have to be my first line of defense - I do have other people I can contact if I need help, AAA can be my backup when no one else can come to my rescue.

I looked into the HELP program and unfortunately it is not available in my area.

My parents got me a car emergency kit which had an offer for a year of roadside assistance for free, but it seems kind of sketchy, so I'm going to go with AAA and know that I will be able to get the help I need when I need it.

I really appreciate everyone's input on this. I don't have enough karma to hand out at the moment but I promise I will be back. :)
re: AAA - Is it worth it?
By YumYumDoughnutPremium member Comments: 8688, member since Sat Jul 10, 2004
On Thu Feb 14, 2013 09:43 PM
Don't forget to look at all the discounts that come with AAA. A lot of motels+hotels offer a AAA discount which is perfect if you travel during the year!
re: AAA - Is it worth it?
By TuniePremium member Comments: 1995, member since Mon Aug 08, 2005
On Thu Feb 14, 2013 09:50 PM
^ Yeah! Although I really have no idea how any of that works. However, there is an AAA office right down the road, so maybe I will stop by tomorrow and chat with someone.
re: AAA - Is it worth it?
By Tansey Comments: 2367, member since Fri Mar 27, 2009
On Thu Feb 14, 2013 10:31 PM
Tunie wrote:

^ Yeah! Although I really have no idea how any of that works. However, there is an AAA office right down the road, so maybe I will stop by tomorrow and chat with someone.

When making hotel reservations, I always ask if they offer a discount to AAA members. The answer is always yes.
re: AAA - Is it worth it?
By Felsamember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 4038, member since Thu Nov 09, 2006
On Fri Feb 15, 2013 01:55 AM
I have the Canada version which sounds a lot like the one in the USA.

I was teaching my brother to parallel park one day when something blew under the hood. Within second smoke and steam were pouring out from under my hood and there was liquid all over the ground. I used them for that and they towed me to a mechanic. I also got a flat in the city where there was no one around. I have no idea how to change a tire so I had to call them.

They also give me discounts on movie tickets. I save like $2.00 a ticket or something. Another thing is if I fill up at a certain gas station I swipe my card and it keeps track of the money spent and I get a discount on my membership for next year. Also I use it for discounts on hotels and stuff too.

So in my opinion it is totally worth it!
re: AAA - Is it worth it?
By schuhplattlerPremium member Comments: 3037, member since Sat Dec 23, 2006
On Fri Feb 15, 2013 11:44 AM
Ask around locally before you resort to AAA. In the DC area, I needed AAA once, and it took over three hours.
re: AAA - Is it worth it?
By imadanseurPremium member Comments: 16604, member since Thu Dec 04, 2003
On Fri Feb 15, 2013 12:16 PM
I have had AAA for 10 years. I've never waited for more than an hour and a half. Best thing ever, and kept me safe many times!
re: AAA - Is it worth it?
By SarahdncrPremium member Comments: 634, member since Wed Jul 29, 2009
On Sat Feb 16, 2013 10:42 PM
Edited by Sarahdncr (214611) on 2013-02-16 22:53:48
I've been a member for 32 years, so you know where I stand with this. Since I like to travel a lot, just having the piece of mind that my Premier RV membership will cover a tow for free up to 300 miles to anywhere I want to send the car to is worth it for my peace of mind, while I am on-the-road. I use my membership mostly for discounts when I rent a car or for staying at a hotel, their discounts are actually pretty good. When I have moved, their TripTic's and maps are really good---and all free with a membership.
re: AAA - Is it worth it?
By Reidfidleirmember has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 3478, member since Sun Sep 28, 2003
On Sun Mar 10, 2013 10:10 PM
I remember waiting about 1.5 hours to 2 hours for AAA before with my mom as a kid.
Personally I have it, because I've always had older cars. The car I have now is pretty reliable, but now I have a baby, and that just makes a lot of things complicated. Besides, I have locked my keys in the car enough times that I know better than to not have it haha!

I will say though that about 7 years ago I was with my friend (who had AAA) and her tie rod broke, and she called AAA. Since the drivers were rude on the highway and she could barely get to the breakdown lane and was sticking out so when they asked if she was in a dangerous situation she said yes, and 3 yes 3 AAA tow trucks showed up in 15 minutes!!!

SO ya, I think they're good. :)

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