The American Automobile Association, also known as AAA, was founded over 100 years ago. AAA has become known for their quality roadside assistance, thanks to having over 50 individual AAA clubs to ensure you receive assistance no matter where your car needs service. Whether you choose AAA for their comprehensive roadside assistance network or for the hundreds of retail discounts included with the service, you'll find that AAA is a leader in this industry for good reason, and we’re pleased to give them the TopTenREVIEWS Bronze Award in our review of roadside assistance services.
AAA offers two coverage plans for standard vehicle owners – their AAA Basic and AAA Plus memberships. They also offer two plans designed for RV owners – the AAA Plus RV and the AAA Premier RV memberships. Be aware that if you're just joining AAA, a sign up fee is required. Your plan covers you, not your vehicle, so you’re covered whether you buy a new car or borrow one for the day. Additional household members, such as your spouse, can be added a small fee, and driving-age children can also be covered. AAA is available nationwide, and they provide national coverage with each plan. To ensure that the quality of their services remain high, they limit service calls to four a year.
When you sign up with AAA, you can rest assured that every roadside service imaginable is covered. Every plan provides pre-paid 24-hour towing, with mile reimbursements ranging from five to 100 miles, and a fuel delivery service, with the AAA Plus membership covering the cost of fuel as well. All plans also include extrication and winching services, as well as vehicle lock out services. If they can't open your car, they will reimburse you 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.
If your car breaks down while you're on vacation and you’re over 100 miles from home, AAA will cover car travel interruption expenses, ranging from a $600 reimbursement with the Basic Membership to a $1,000 reimbursement with the Plus Membership. They will cover meals and lodging, car rental and transportation expenses home or to your destination within 72 hours of the incident. Legal fee reimbursements are also covered, ranging from $500 to $1,500. With this service, AAA will help with the cost of legal fees if you feel you’ve been wrongly charged with a traffic violation. And if you’re found not guilty, they will reimburse your attorney fees.
AAA offers a variety of impressive extras, including several travel planning services to 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 route 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 are available for dozens of locations in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean and internationally. These 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 can also be found 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. They provide a fun map widget that asks you to click where you’d like to go, with AAA recommending an agent and packages.
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% 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, where you can save you an average of 24% on prescription drug costs at more than 59,000 participating pharmacies.
Another unique service they offer is passport photo services. At a AAA office, they will take regulation-sized photographs of you for a small fee. If you are a member of their Plus plan, you will receive two free sets. These photos can be used for International Driving Permits and Visa applications, as well as passports. Check with your local full-service AAA office for availability and pricing.
AAA also provides car insurance, a driver’s training program, traffic safety materials and 24-hour travel emergency insurance with their RV plan. With this plan you receive access to the following services when you’re traveling 100 driving miles or more from your primary residence: Medical referrals, emergency medical transportation arrangements, lost tickets and baggage and emergency airline and hotel reservations. AAA-sponsored credit cards and traveler’s checks are also available.
You can reach a customer representative at AAA through a toll-free number. They also provide links on their “Contact Us” page to information about where to find the nearest AAA branch, or AAA travel and insurance agent. FAQs are also provided, answering hundreds of questions in a searchable database.
AAA is a top contender among roadside assistance services. Known for their reliable service network, and impressive retail discounts you won’t find with any other service, as well as for their free TourBooks that give you travel tips and maps for hundreds of locations worldwide, AAA is a roadside service that sets industry trends.
AAA is one of the longest serving roadside assistance providers in the country.
A sign up fee is required when you first join.
AAA is a great option for reliable service because it has the nation’s largest roadside assistance network.