Who belongs to the "AAA" motor club?

Jim Mcc

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I've been a member of Allstate Motor Club for years, but the price is too expensive now. My membership expired in December, and I'm wondering if it's worth switching to AAA? For all you AAA members, what do you think? Do you recommend the plan? What do you like best about it? Or dislike about it? Thanks.
 

DaveF

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Had been a member for a few years in the 90s. Not anymore. Their free maps service has been obsolete for years. And roadside service is offered through my car insurance.
 

Scott Merryfield

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We still have our AAA membership. The roadside assistance makes it worthwhile, as I do not have to worry about my wife getting stranded someplace if she is driving alone. Whenever we have needed assistance, the response has been quick. Plus we get discounts at a lot of places. Granted, there are other ways to get the same discounts, but it works for us. The local AAA branch was also handy when we needed photos for our passports. They charged just a nominal fee, if I recall properly.
 

Jim Mcc

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Is it true that if you need a tow, you're only covered for up to 5 miles? If you need to be towed further, how does the charge work? Thanks.
 

Gregg Loewen

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$1 a mile...i think I have their premium service, I am covered for up to 70 miles per tow. this service is invaluable in my opinion. when I first got it...I locked my keys in my vehicle 2 xs in the first week.
 

Jim Mcc

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Gregg Loewen said:
$1 a mile...i think I have their premium service, I am covered for up to 70 miles per tow. this service is invaluable in my opinion. when I first got it...I locked my keys in my vehicle 2 xs in the first week.
Thanks. Do you mind if I ask what you pay per year?
 

Aaron Silverman

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The exact price may vary depending on where you live -- there are different clubs under the AAA banner for different regions, although the basics are pretty much the same. I've had a membership for probably 20 years. I can't compare it to any other roadside assistance groups, since I haven't used any of them, but the peace of mind is definitely worth it. I've had to call them maybe a half-dozen times, which on top of the occasional tourist discount, like Disney tickets, has probably made up for the membership fees over the years. The local office here has little events now and then for learning about all their services (and they hand out cookies!); you might check your local office to see if they do those.
 

Hugh Jackes

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I am a member for a number of reasons.
[*] I like the confidence of roadside assistance service for my teen-age daughter.
[*] I used their driver's training for her too.
[*] I transferred title of my old car to my son in AAA's office rather than having to go and deal with the mutants at the DMV.
[*] My son's car (the one I transferred to him) has 192k miles on it and he plans to drive it across the country in June.
[*] I renewed the registration on my car in their office when I woke one morning, a Saturday, and realized I had forgotten to send the check to the DMV and today was the deadline.
[/list] I actually considered cancelling and using the roadside assistance on my insurance, it was my insurance agent who actually advised me that roadside assitance calls count as claims against the policy and can lead to an increase in your premium. AAA doesn't do that to you if you use their service. The 12-month rate for my wife and me is $73 and, in Califronia at least, teen drivers are free.
 

Scott Merryfield

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DaveF said:
Had been a member for a few years in the 90s. Not anymore. Their free maps service has been obsolete for years. And roadside service is offered through my car insurance.
While GPS's have made printed maps less necessary, I still personally find them useful when we travel, and I will always order a set when we are taking a road trip vacation. A GPS will not always provide the most optimal route, nor give you the best detours if you run into construction or an accident. I can also plan the next day's route easier sitting in a motel room looking at a printed map than trying to navigate a map on a GPS or tablet (which may not work if I cannot get Internet access at that time). Turn around time for AAA mailing maps is pretty quick -- we usually get them in 2-3 days when ordered online.
 

Aaron Silverman

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Holy crap, you can renew your registration and transfer title in a AAA office??? Heck, that pays for the membership right there. :) I wonder if we can do that in Florida.
 

Scott Merryfield

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Aaron Silverman said:
Holy crap, you can renew your registration and transfer title in a AAA office??? Heck, that pays for the membership right there. :) I wonder if we can do that in Florida.
I think that is probably dependent on the state you are in. We cannot do that here in Michigan. Instead, we get to "enjoy" the experience of visiting the DMV (called Secretary of State here in Michigan). Luckily, most things can now be done online or via mail.
 

Malcolm R

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AAA Plus membership here in northern New England, which includes towing up to 100 miles, is $79/year. Basic membership is $55.
 

ghostrydyr

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only good in the state your a member , out of state out of luck,lol,, free towing to their repair center you get it fixed there,you can get the motor home package that covers all states i think, AAA is a not for profit business, however that works, I worked for them and they are all about profit, with all the new nav star and and a cell phone its not a great deal unless you drive a 72 pinto,,
 

Scott Merryfield

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ghostrydyr said:
only good in the state your a member , out of state out of luck,lol,, free towing to their repair center you get it fixed there,you can get the motor home package that covers all states i think, AAA is a not for profit business, however that works, I worked for them and they are all about profit, with all the new nav star and and a cell phone its not a great deal unless you drive a 72 pinto,,
Not true. I have used the AAA roadside assistance in both South and North Carolina without any issues, even though Michigan is our "home" state. We have just the basic membership. In one case, the out of state call was not even for a car I owned, but instead a rental car.
 

Cameron Yee

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So I've read some people warning about using your insurance company's towing services, suggesting that using it would contribute to an increase in premiums. I'm not sure if there's any truth to that, but it does seem a bit like a "don't poop where you eat" kind of thing.
Quote:
And roadside service is offered through my car insurance.
 

Stan

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Probably jinxing myself saying this, but I haven't used them since the 90s. It looks like they're not that expensive, but cars now are so much more reliable, we've probably all got cell phones and can call a friend for help, it's just a waste of money to pay AAA. They do provide good service. A friend of mine has four vehicles, dating back to the 70s so batteries go out, she needs a jump start, parts fail, etc. and she uses them several times a year. But unless your driving a 72 Pinto like ghostrydyr mentioned, not really worth the expense.
 

gene c

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I've had my car insurance through CSAA since 1981 and have been a member of the AAA towing service for almost as long. I have no idea if it adds to insurance premiums or not. My feeling is they are going to get the money they need/want one way or another so...AAA might be a little more expensive than some other options (I think it's about $84 a year for the premium service / 100 miles) but you don't have to call an independant tow service, pay the guy in cash and then submit a claim like some other towing services. But the main reason I've stuck with them is the high level of service. Everytime I've need to use it I call the 800 number on the card, an actual person comes on the line to help and the driver shows up when estimated, usually sooner, and you can get updates on the arrival time. In 30+ years they've never really let me down. When your car does break down, the last thing you need to worry about is whether the driver is going to show up or not. With AAA they will. At least they always have for me. I'm sure there are other services that are also very good but I'm going to stay with AAA. And the DMV services are almost worth the price by themselves. I had a 1970 Fiat 124 for about 18 years that I used to take on long weekend trips all the time, as well as many trips up the coast into Oregon so having a good, reliable tow service was kind of manditory :blush: . I sold it last year but I'm keeping the tow service. As you get older, some things seem a little more important than they used to. BTW, I drove up to Santa Rosa last weekend (200 mile round trip) and picked up a nice pair of Dynaudio Audience 80 speakers. Driver, truck and speakers made it there and back without the use of the AAA motor club but it was nice to know I had it.
 

Scott Merryfield

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Stan said:
But unless your driving a 72 Pinto like ghostrydyr mentioned, not really worth the expense.
We've used the service numerous times, and never for a clunker car. We've had a flat tire in a rental car with no handle for the jack, dead batteries (which can happen in a car just a few years old), been locked out of my car when the remote entry didn't work and the locks were frozen, and been stuck in a mud hole near Asheville, North Carolina (long story). My wife certainly wouldn't want to change a flat tire herself if out alone. As the saying goes... "stuff happens". In the 25-ish years we've had the membership, we have probably used the service six or seven times.
 

DaveF

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Originally Posted by Hugh Jackes
I actually considered cancelling and using the roadside assistance on my ,insurance agent actually advised me that roadside assitance calls count as claims against the policy and can lead to an increase in your premium. AAA doesn't do that to you if you use their service.
The money I've saved not paying for AAA more than offsets that risk. It's insurance, and depends on your needs and risk perception. I've never had to call a towtruck from the side of the road. When I had AAA, I never used the towing service. So that became an easy $50/yr savings.
There are some other possible cost savings. Some auto service places offer 10% discounts, which is pretty big if you're buying new tires. They also offer driver safety courses cheaply, to take points off your record, which can be worth the AAA cost.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Merryfield
While GPS's have made printed maps less necessary, I still personally find them useful when we travel, and I will always order a set when we are taking a road trip vacation. A GPS will not always provide the most optimal route, nor give you the best detours if you run into construction or an accident. I can also plan the next day's route easier sitting in a motel room looking at a printed map than trying to navigate a map on a GPS or tablet (which may not work if I cannot get Internet access at that time).
Turn around time for AAA mailing maps is pretty quick -- we usually get them in 2-3 days when ordered online.
For planning: I've done both paper maps and digital, and I prefer the digital solution in all cases. I've got a Road Atlas in the back seat pocket that hasn't been opened in three years, since getting iPhones.
And I'd bet that TomTom and Google Maps are as accurate, and possibly more up to date, than AAA maps. Driving alone, it's safer to have the device recalculate routes for me on the fly. If my wife is navigating, it's actually easier to have a digital device with GPS locate current location, and route from there, compared to searching a regional map for the last exit seen and start from there. And I don't have to remember to order maps three days ahead. Wherever I go, I've got the maps.
As with everything, this is a matter of preference and map skills. :)
 

ghostrydyr

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Scott Merryfield said:
Not true. I have used the AAA roadside assistance in both South and North Carolina without any issues, even though Michigan is our "home" state. We have just the basic membership. In one case, the out of state call was not even for a car I owned, but instead a rental car.
not try to be a liar here,,:huh:,, ,,,,nc and sc are within the same network , go to fl or tx and see how it works out for you,,unless they have changed their policies in the last 2 yrs, most of the same rules apply except for those states that are connected,which are few and far, unless you get the motor home package.. aaa is a franchise, so to speak, every state and franchise has different programs and different policies,some work together as one some dont, its really strange to me how they are aaa and are not, its by state and who is afilliated with who,,i worked in the automotive side and people would get upset because their aaa from ca/tx /almost everywhere,,, or whatever was useless here in NC/SC , what AAA stands for and what it actually is,,is 2 different things,depending on which state you are a member and who they are connected to,:D
 

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