Since 1902, The American Automobile Association, also known as AAA, has provided reliable emergency roadside assistance to its members across the United States. With 69 regional clubs supporting its members, it is easy to get the help you need in an emergency in a timely manner.

AAA offers three coverage plans for standard vehicle owners – Standard, Plus and Premier – with each plan increasing in the amount of benefits and services available. AAA covers you, not your vehicle, so you can get assistance whether you buy a new car or borrow one for the day. This is a great benefit if you own multiple cars. AAA also offers coverage for RV owners and depending on your state, AAA has RV specific plans available.

AAA is available nationwide, and they provide breakdown service no matter what state you are in, even sending help if you are traveling in Canada. If you're just joining AAA, a sign-up fee is required. You can add additional household members, such as your spouse and driving-age children for an additional fee. AAA has a limit of four service calls in a year, which is the average amount allowed by our other ranked road services.

Every AAA plan provides pre-paid 24-hour towing, ranging from 5 to 100 miles, and a fuel delivery service. The AAA Plus and Premier memberships cover the cost of fuel as well.

All plans include extrication and winching services as well as vehicle lock-out services. If the service representative can't open your car, AAA reimburses up to $50 to cover locksmith expenses. You'll also get battery services (including free diagnostic testing of your battery), tire services and mechanical first aid. With the latter service, they will attempt roadside adjustments to make your car drivable as long as it doesn’t require any extra supplies or parts.

While AAA has great service and coverage, to get the most out of this roadside assistance provider, you will need to upgrade to the Plus or Premier plans. If your car breaks down while you're on vacation and you’re over 100 miles from home, AAA will cover travel interruption expenses up to a $1,500 with the Premier Membership. This reimbursement will cover meals and lodging, car rental, and transportation expenses home or to your destination made within 72 hours of the incident.

Legal fee reimbursements are also available. If you feel you’ve been wrongly charged with a traffic violation and you’re found not guilty, AAA can reimburse attorney fees, ranging from $500 to $1,500, depending on your plan level.

AAA offers a variety of impressive extras, including several travel planning services to help make road trips and vacations safe, enjoyable and easy on the pocketbook. Their TripTik route-planning service is a great tool for mapping your exact route, and it works with trips of all lengths. It provides high-resolution maps as well as customizable narratives to personalize your route. You can create your route on AAA’s site or go to any full-service AAA Travel Center for assistance.

Paper maps and other travel materials, including AAA TourBook Guides, are included with every AAA membership. These popular guides list AAA-approved lodging and hotel ratings, restaurants suited for various tastes and budgets, popular attractions and events, historical and cultural information, and area maps. Online versions of their TourBooks are available on their site.

The AAA Travel Agency is a helpful service perfect for those too busy to book their own reservations, and it is available for an additional fee. You can also search the availability of travel-related activities directly on their site, including flights, hotel rooms, car rentals, restaurants, events, attractions and campgrounds. Cruises, Disney Destinations and interesting vacation ideas are also offered.

AAA is able to provide hundreds of retail discounts, providing members with savings that can make up for your annual fee and then some. They offer popular discounts at Starwood Hotels, car rental companies like Hertz, and 10 percent off every purchase at Payless Shoes as well as deals for automotive stores, entertainment, shopping and personal services. They also offer their AAA Prescription Savings Program, which can save you an average of 24 percent on prescription drug costs at more than 59,000 participating pharmacies.

AAA Summary:
8.4/10

With over 100 years of experience with roadside assistance services, it is no wonder that AAA is the largest and best-known emergency roadside assistance provider. It is unfortunate that you have to upgrade to their Plus or Premier plan to fully enjoy the benefits of AAA, but this motor club's reliable service network, impressive retail discounts and TripTik route planning service make AAA one of the best road services available.

 
 
 

AAA

Pros
AAA offers a multitude of unique discounts and benefits, and premium users can use TripTik to help plan and coordinate their trips.

Cons
You have to upgrade to get the most out of this service and a sign-up fee is required when you first join.

The Verdict
: 8.4/10

AAA has the nation’s largest roadside assistance network and is a great option for reliable service. AAA members also enjoy generous benefits and discounts.