Info sought: Do any of you have AAA (for your car)?

Do any of you have AAA (for your car)?

If you do, what has been your experience with AAA.

Worth it? Not?

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About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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97 Responses to Info sought: Do any of you have AAA (for your car)?

  1. JMGriffing says:

    Yes! What would you like to know?

  2. DoS.SemT says:

    I have it and it is worth the cost in my experience. They’ve been very good about getting service out. But it does depend on your risk of breaking down I suppose.

  3. revs96 says:

    I have it but have never had to use it.

  4. ContraMundum says:

    I have it, and I’ve used it a couple of times. Since it saves me about $10/night on hotels, I find that the card pays for itself.

  5. JohnH says:

    It is definitely worth it. I’ve had it for the past several years, and I’ve used it several times. It’s not just for roadside emergencies. You get discounts and other specials being a member. But the most I use it for is to help people I am with who have locked their keys in their cars. I’ve personally used it once for this reason, and I’ve used it another 5 times or so for others. The cost to unlock your car with a tow truck co. is around $100. The cost for AAA is about $60 a year. It pays for itself with that alone, plus the added bonus of discounts at various restaurants, hotels, etc.

  6. Gregg the Obscure says:

    I’ve had it for more years than I care to recount. It’s been valuable on many occasions. I seem to use it on average about every other year or so. Most recent use was last year for towing after my car was totalled.

  7. Southern Baron says:

    My family have always had it. The towing service etc is very handy. My battery died in a church parking lot (there are worse places I suppose) and they showed up and installed a new one on the spot, and if it goes out in under three years there’s no charge for the replacement. I like knowing I have it when I’m on a trip or just out in the area.

  8. M. K. says:

    I have AAA coverage and I think it’s definitely worth it – I can only think of three instances in the last fifteen years that I’ve called them for help, but I would’ve had a much harder time without them. (They also have some kind of reciprocal agreement with the CAA, which can come in handy if you’re driving in Canada – one of the times I had to call for help was north of the border, so I’m grateful for the CAA too.)

  9. jarhead462 says:

    Yes! well worth it. Saved my behind MANY times. Especially the 100 Miles free towing.

    Semper Fi!

  10. JMGriffing says:

    I’m going to agree with it being very worth it.

  11. Paul says:

    I have AAA and have had it for years. Fortunately, or unfortunately depending on your perspective, I have had to use a number of times in that period and AAA has been great every time.

  12. pm125 says:

    Yes, for years after learning the ‘hard’ way. The yearly dues are worth eliminating a level of worry from being stuck somewhere. I think there are 3 choices of towing distances. This year, a couple I know was towed (two in the truck limit) 110 miles to home. Also, ‘stuck in the driveway’ or ‘store parking lot’ stories. My mother had an ’86 which was tempermental in wet weather until she stopped driving last year. There’s never been more than an hour wait for the truck as I hear. You can go to the office for maps (members free), buy travel things, and there is a monthly paper. With cell phones, things are easier than having to wait for a police car to go by or hiking for a public phone in a strange area.

  13. Mary Ann says:

    In our area (Wisconsin) there are two member levels possible. We have up or downgraded based on our needs a number of times over the years—to our advantage and providing great peace of mind for us.

  14. dans0622 says:

    I’ve had it for about 4 years but have never used it for automotive service. I’ve gotten some discounts here and there but not enough to get my money’s value in return. I need to look into my auto insurance (not AAA) to see what they would charge if I add towing coverage. I’d like to drop AAA. I’ve heard they have some relationship to planned parenthood (my insurance company probably does, too, for that matter).

  15. I have had AAA membership for many years. I like it very much.

    As mentioned, it does bring discounts–although I suspect one might get the same discount another way. And going the Hotels.com or Priceline route likely saves more. Still, flashing it usually knocks a few bucks off a hotel room.

    Another benefit are the free guide books and maps, including “triptiks”–special-made maps based on the itinerary you supply. I must admit, however, I seldom take advantage of this, because you can find a lot of the same information online, and also because it takes a little advance planning. And the old triptiks are made obsolete by a GPS thingee, if you have it. But this may appeal to you.

    The great benefit is the emergency service. So many times I have called AAA regarding a dead battery, needing a tow, even because I ran out of gas! While the wait can be tedious, as far as I can tell, they get someone there in a reasonable time. I’m pretty sure they’ll reach you anywhere–but I haven’t tested it either in the middle of a desert or on the tundra of the vasty north.

    Also, everyone I’ve ever dealt with seemed to know his job; the calls get answered and returned promptly.

    They have some extra services I don’t get; I just buy the standard membership.

  16. acardnal says:

    I used to have it but not now. Only used it one time to change a tire. After thinking about it, I did not think $55 per year was worth it for something I only used once in maybe ten years time. That’s $550 for a monthly magazine and a one-time tire change. Not worth it.

  17. Mike says:

    It is definitely worth having AAA. We do have it. The reason why it is so good is that we were stuck on vacation a couple of summers ago with our minivan up in the Rocky Mountains in Keystone, Colorado, which was our only transportation for a family of 6. We were nearing the end of our vacation and the van overheated, cracking the radiator. The van was un-drivable. We did not have AAA at the time but the cart girl at the golf course did and she was so kind in giving us one of her free tows down to Dillon to get it fixed. That saved us over $100.00 in towing fees as a non-AAA member. We have not been without it since. We learned our lesson and now I wouldn’t think of not having it. It just becomes a question of do I like being stuck and do I really want to pay more for a single tow than the cost of membership for a single year? The answer to both of those questions was no. It becomes kind of a scenario of you can pay me now or pay me later.

    My daughter is also a student at Texas Tech in Lubbock and the drives between there and home can be long and are often through some very desolate areas of the high plains of Texas. I don’t want her being without that level of help should the need arise.

    If you have a car with a roadside assistance like Lexus, Infiniti, Acura and others have, you can afford to do without AAA. If you are however, out of warranty on your car, like most of us probably are, or you don’t have some other roadside assistance plan, AAA is quite valuable.
    I think that having AAA is really a necessity, much like having adequate insurance for your car – not just liability insurance.

  18. gviele says:

    Have it, have had it, wouldn’t be without it for many reasons including travel arrangements and planning as well as emergency service several times.

  19. mrsmontoya says:

    The membership – definitely worth it – have had cars jumpstarted and towed over the years, very helpful. Recommendations (AAA-ratings) – also very good, that’s how we found our current very-reliable mechanic. The car insurence: affordable, and very hassle-free the one time I’ve had an accident and needed help. Finally – the customer service: always helpful and friendly.

  20. acardnal says:

    ALSO, my car insurance covers roadside emergencies, e.g. towing, battery, etc. And, some car makers cover road service, too. Hotel/motel discounts are only 10 or 15 percent. Not worth the annual AAA subscriber fee IMHO unless you are traveling a lot.

  21. sunbreak says:

    I’ve had AAA memberships for many years. It’s absolutely worth it. Over the years I’ve used it to tow my car when it wouldn’t work for some reason, jumpstart the battery, unlock a car once or twice when I accidentally left the keys inside. I’ve received discounts for hotel stays and car rentals and have received the travel books and maps many times. Plus, there are other benefits that sometimes people forget they have – e.g. the reimbursement for attorney fees if you fight an unjust traffic ticket (I’ve used that one too once).

  22. plemmen says:

    AAA Road Service is a great deal. Maps for travel, discounts for everything from motel rooms to sodas, emergency road service, highway bond in some states (for driving infractions,tickets). All in all, a good deal from my experience.

  23. Penny says:

    Even though we’ve been fortunate enough to only have to use the auto services a few times, it was well worth it. The most recent was on a cold day in the bank parking lot. The truck wouldn’t start and the mechanic was closed for the day but said we could leave it in the lot if we could get it there. AAA came out pretty quickly. They were very polite and went to work to see if they could get it started first instead of just towing it. The guy tried a few tricks and got it started then he drove behind us all the way to the mechanic’s just in case anything went wrong. Since he knew what was going on, he would also be aware of the possibility that the truck could just quit so he was less likely to ram into us if that happened (it didn’t). The discounts can be pretty good too but it’s great knowing there is someone you can call, who will come, if you need help.

  24. fichtnerbass says:

    We signed up for AAA when I took a job that required a 75 mile commute (one way!). Oddly enough, my wife ended up using the service three times and me zero, but it was worth the piece of mind for me since I wasn’t in a position to quickly come to her aid when the car broke down.

  25. Velle Mere says:

    Definitely worth it, especially in the “dead battery” and “keys left locked in car” departments.

  26. Regulargrandma says:

    We’ve saved a few bucks here and there on hotels when traveling, but if you are in the habit of locking your keys in the car, AAA is a godsend. AND, if someone you’re with locks their keys in the car, AAA still covers the locksmith service.

  27. edm says:

    It is worth it.

  28. Centristian says:

    I doubt that I could survive without AAA, considering how often I manage to lock my keys in my car. For that and for discounts at hotels, and the occasional need for a tow, I would say it is certainly worth having.

  29. wanda says:

    We carried AAA for a good number of years, mostly for our sons. It worked out very well, my one son had a car that proved tempermental and he needed the tow service several times. I am very glad we had AAA for them.

  30. lawoski says:

    I assume you are referring to AAA’s roadside assistance and not AAA’s auto insurance. I highly endorse the former. I have no experience with the latter.

    One benefit not yet mentioned is that AAA’s roadside assistance applies to you in whatever car you are driving, whether it is your car or not and without regard to whether you are the driver or merely a passenger. If you take a trip and your rental car breaks down or the car of the parish priest you are visiting has a flat tire, you can use AAA’s services for that car.

  31. Tom says:

    What are your needs? I find that roadside assistance through my insurance company is much cheaper, only a about dollar or two a month. I am usually able to get discounts through my ins. co. or other organizations as well. (A friend I went to grad. school with was later a regional manager at major car rental company, and told me they would give a discount to anyone who asked for one. That was years ago, however.)

  32. Fr. William says:

    It is absolutely worth it. I travel on driving vacations and save $10 per night which adds up quickly. I was also out shopping recently and my auto battery died. AAA had someone there within 15 minutes at no charge who tested my battery, started it, and recommended a dealer who gave good deals on batteries.

  33. Cantate says:

    I have had AAA for my car for 36 years. It has been very worthwhile. I have used it mainly for flat tires, dead battery start-ups, locking myself out of the car, and maps and triptiks, as well as towing when I blew a transmission, then later an engine. AAA is definitely worth the money I have paid.

  34. dans0622 says:

    “lawoski” raises a good point: the AAA roadside coverage is not for a car, it is for the person in whatever car he happens to be using.

  35. racjax says:

    Yes, highly recommended. We have the premier level which gives the 100 miles towing and free notary services. The savings for one incident of a long distance tow will pay for several years dues. Numerous flats, a dead battery, and even pulling our stuck truck out of our avocado orchard! Discounts everywhere. Plus the maps! I love maps that I can hold in my hands! I would always give my elderly father (RIP) a membership and he said that it gave him such a peace of mind even if he never used it.

  36. Ef-lover says:

    I have it, used it a few times. Yes it is worth it , even if you don’t have to make use of the road service, knowing you have it for when you need it is a relief.

  37. Shellynna says:

    Highly recommended. I usually go there to re-up my car registration. More secure than doing so by mail, and a heck of a lot faster than going to the DMV. I’ve also gotten map planning services from them (TripTiks). But the best experience I had was several years ago when I was lost at midnight in what I thought was a bad area of town. I was near tears when I called AAA. The dispatcher was on her way home anyway, came out to find me, and led me almost all the way home! I’m very ashamed to say that I never got around to contacting AAA’s offices to thank them for that, so I’m pleased to give them a shout-out here.

  38. george says:

    I have never been a member of AAA. My insurance covers necessary towing and I haven’t locked my keys in the car in decades. Last I remember (long time ago), AAA contributes money to anti-firearm-ownership causes (that info could be out of date) so I never had interest in joining them.

  39. Banjo pickin girl says:

    It’s worth it. It’s like OnStar or studded snow tires, you think you don’t want it but when you need it you really really need it. I used them for a dead battery (the dome light had come on for some reason and I didn’t notice it when I parked for the night). The AAA man not only had the battery pumper upper machine but he had a device which said there was a drain on the battery still so we looked around and then saw the dome light was on.

    It is especially essential for a person who travels alone. It helps eliminate the panicking not being able to think what to do feeling. You just call them and the nice phone lady knows just what to do.

  40. Banjo pickin girl says:

    I neglected to mention that Trip-Tiks are always more up to date than the online maps on road construction and detours. But I think anybody can make a Trip-tik online now.

  41. caite says:

    Agree it is worth it. I have used it a few times for a dead battery and the sense of security is nice, especially if you take road trips or do a lot of driving
    And if you use the discounts offered, not only on hotels, but a variety of things, it will more than pay for itself. Check them out!
    And when I go on a road trip, I still sends for their guides in book form. Sure you can get a lot of the information online now, attractions, hotels, etc. but I like the books too.

  42. Kypapist says:

    I got AAA in 1985 when I started a job at which it was not possible to “call in” if my car wouldn’t start or I had a flat tire. As a single woman who would have no one else to call it has proven invaluable. An interesting change over the past 30 years, has been that the first question they now ask, before what the problem is, is if you are in a safe location. I usually use it for flat tires or locked-in keys, but I did own a Volkswagen on which the gas pump would routinely go out. So I would call AAA and tell them the Rabbit died!

  43. pledbet424 says:

    Yes, it is worth it. When I need it, they are very, very prompt at getting car towed. I have only needed it twice in 10 years, but waited about 15 minutes from call to hookup.

  44. JKnott says:

    Definately worth it all around. I receive it for a Christmas present every year and consider it one of the best presents! Good service, peace of mind and other perks.
    Gee Father, you might think about sending this post, with all the great comments to AAA for a free membership!

  45. Mom of 3 says:

    I have had AAA since I started driving. It is so worth it, even if just for the free maps, travel/campbooks and travel discounts. Around here, you can also skip the DMV and pay for your registration at the AAA office.

    Most of the time the tow truck drivers that they send out are professional and they are usually very fast. But then again, I think the main reason I love it is because I’m always locking my keys in the car. :-)

  46. frjim4321 says:

    Yes.

    I have AAA-Plus.

    I think it is VERY much worth it.

    Just for the maps and trip-tics. Yes, in this age of GPS there is something reassuring about a map. I’ve always loved nautical and aeronautical charts as well as road maps and there is something about being able to find your way easily without going through a complicated menu tree.

    I recently used the towing feature due to an accident. No problem.

    The web interface is great for trip planning. With enough travel the AAA discounts pay for the membership.

    Fr. Jim Blue

  47. trad catholic mom says:

    We used to, but we dropped it. I used it enough to make it pay when I was young, single and drove an unreliable car. Now we never use it so we dropped it. Their additional services aren’t of use to me, I pay my registration online and I have no need for their triptik service. I actually laughed when my mom told me they triptik’d their last driving vacation because they own new GPS devices anyway. I get discounted insurance through Costco.

  48. trad catholic mom says:

    I forgot to say, we have free roadside assistance through our Costco auto insurance program. We have never had to use it in the many years we have had it though.

  49. disco says:

    I’ve had AAA since I’ve had my drivers license. Even when I was in school and didn’t have a car most of the year I kept it. The discounts are great for travelers and families. I use my discount at the reebok outlet where aaa gives you 20% off on top of all sales. I have played the hero many times for friends who were locked out or broken down. My last car broke down all the time and the towing was a godsend.

  50. poohbear says:

    I have had AAA for over 20 years, as I have mostly worked 2nd and 3rd shifts and wanted to know I would be able to get a reputable towing company in the middle of the night if needed. I have used them for flat tires, dead batteries and towing at all hours of the day and night and they are always prompt and very nice. Plus, if you have AAA and are in someone else’s car, you can still call then as it is you, the person, who is covered.

    I don’t use the discounts very often because I usually don’t think about it, but I do use their trip planning services all the time and have no complaints.

    Highly recommend.

  51. Laura R. says:

    I’ve just recently used the car-buying feature of AAA and had a great experience — was able to negotiate the price and terms by phone and internet, and had the car delivered to my front door. It saved me having to go to a dealership and try to haggle; I had three dealerships competing for my business! Hint: this works best at the end of the month.

    I have had AAA for years and have used it a few times for towing and jump-starting a dead battery, but I’ve considered it well worth it to have for the peace of mind.

    Ironically, the new car they’ve helped me buy comes with roadside assistance so, come renewal time, I’ll have to decide whether or not to keep it for the near future. I don’t do all that much driving, but I would never want to be without a service as good as AAA.

  52. APX says:

    My parents had their affiliate, CAA, which from my experiences, they got their money out of with the number of times my mom locked the keys in the truck when at the lake. I can’t imagine the call-out fee for a tow truck to some remote northern lake where the nearest town is two hours away. When I think of all the vehicular and driving mishaps I’ve had acting like my car had 4-wheel drive…I’d have wasted a lot less money.

  53. cwillia1 says:

    If you break down WHO will you call? I pull out my AAA card. WHO can get there the quickest? AAA manages this and they can tell you when help will arrive. How much will you have to pay? You certainly are in no position to bargain. AAA handles that too. What if something goes wrong? I’m sure AAA will make it right. Do YOU want to deal with small claims or the BBB?

    Now if you like to change your own tires and your neighbor is happy to give you a jump when you need it because he doesn’t have a job or your wife can come pick you up if you call her and you can deal with the problem the next morning instead of going to work, well fine. You don’t need AAA.

  54. robkphd says:

    I have it. I use it. Where I am, I can take care of a lot of DMV business at their offices – definitely worth it for that. The roadside assistance is worth the piece of mind. I may have other roadside assistance from insurance or somewhere else, but AAA is the go to card. I use the travel guides and maps for road trips in the US. I find their insurance a bit expensive, though, so I go with someone else for that.

  55. chcrix says:

    I haven’t called them often, but it has been convenient when I have.
    Once I called them to bust into my car (no I didn’t forget my key, but the fob stopped working). Sobering to see how quickly a car can be broken into without damage.
    Once I called them when I hit a curb too hard and had a blow out. Ordinarily I would just change a tire myself. But as Murphy would have it this was on a hot day when I was business suited up going to give a presentation and I did not need to arrive needing a shower. Quick service for the tire change.

  56. Tina in Ashburn says:

    I highly recommend AAA too.
    ~~replaced dead battery in my own driveway a few times, very reasonable and fast
    ~~towing charges are way reduced …like either zero or 5 bucks or whatever depending on the distance
    ~~if you can remember to ask, there are AAA discounts everywhere, hotels, car repairs, clothing stores, museums, etc. You just hafta remember to ask
    ~~the books and maps aren’t as good as they used to be but are still useful when in an unfamiliar area and you need a reliable recommendation on a restaurant, hotel, or ideas for what to see
    ~~any AAA office in any town is a resource for any travel guidance
    ~~the members-only online map is incredible, identifying traffic, detours, construction, campgrounds, places of interest, you name it, and you can save planned trips as TripTiks and print out everything. I’m a big Google maps user for simple directions, and of course GPS, but this AAA map is over and above anything you can find. With the computer in the RV, I used the online map function everywhere we went to avoid otherwise unknown road problems and find recommended paths to destinations.
    I’ve had AAA for years and years, and mostly just used the travel books and maps. Then in 2009 we took our RV trek across the states and that membership paid for years of little use! I went to the office and this wonderful kid, whose family had traveled in an RV even, helped me sooo much planning our route, safe roads, stopovers, things to do. His detailed help was invaluable. He even recommended various routes out West vs. roads that would be too rough and windy for an RV towing a car. I used the books once in awhile for a restaurant recommendation tho in an RV you do-it-yerself typically. When we got to Phoenix, the axle on my son’s jeep snapped while we were riding in it. The tow truck was there fast, put the jeep on the longbed, and took us to my son’s preferred shop for the price of a tip. The tow would have been hundreds otherwise.

    One downside is that during a snowstorm, I have never succeeded getting any help as tow trucks are all overwhelmed by a billion calls for getting out of ditches, battery jumps, needing gas…forget it if you are in a high-population area at a crucial time, and have a common low-priority need.

    Yea, the fee it is so worth it. And like some have mentioned, just the peace of mind is encouraging. There’s more, but that’s all I can think of at the moment.

  57. AnnAsher says:

    We used to have it but have cancelled. Our insurance provided road side assistance. My husband liked the nifty trip ticket map books … But they’re unnecessary in our digital age.

  58. Christbearer316 says:

    I can only speak for my wife and I but our experience has been supurb.

  59. Girgadis says:

    If you’re looking for roadside assistance that arrives promptly (we’ve never waited more than 15 minutes for AAA help to arrive, no matter where we called from) you won’t be disappointed.

  60. Weetabix says:

    Used to have it, but let it go. My insurance will pay for a tow, a lockout service, and a gas delivery. My phone has maps. If you used hotels enough for the hotel discount to matter, it might be worth it.

    My experience with them was good when we had it, they’ve just been replaced by other services included in things I already pay for.

  61. Charles says:

    I have found that I seldom need it, but appreciate it when I do. Has the use I’ve made of it equaled the amount I’ve spent? Perhaps not. My vehicles have been fairly reliable. But perhaps the peace of mind is worth the cost.

  62. robtbrown says:

    jarhead462 says:

    Yes! well worth it. Saved my behind MANY times. Especially the 100 Miles free towing.

    Semper Fi!

    Doesn’t USAA have about the same thing?

  63. Charivari Rob says:

    I’ve had it for years.

    Actually got more use out of Amoco Motor Club yeaars ago, when I owned junkier cars.

    Yes, it’s good for travel discounts, so I get a little back on the member fee. I think I’ve actually used it at least twice in 12 years for breakdowns. Saved me some money on those tows.

    It’s insurance.

    I don’t need it for sake of the car right now, for my current car is still in warranty period and manufacturer has a roadside assistance program.

    The primary reason I keep it is for my wife. We only have the one car and my wife cannot drive for other reasons, anyway. The benefits, however, are for the member, not the car. So – whereever she goes, with whomever (and however likely or ready they are or are not for car trouble) – she has support.

  64. jflare says:

    I am a AAA RV member, meaning that I am eligible for roadside assistance plus towing for up to 80 (?) miles if needed. I have used my membership on several occasions.
    It’s well worth it.

  65. JayDeee says:

    I agree with Tina in Ashburn. I have AAA and when you need it, it’s worth it. I needed a near-100-mile tow once, on a Sunday afternoon in the middle of nowhere when there were no garages open nearby at all.

  66. DanW says:

    I have had AAA Minnesota/Iowa since 1994. I get AAA Plus for about $90 a year and it is well worth the price.

  67. oddfisher says:

    I’ve had it for years==used them for towing, jumpstarts, new battery, (which they came to my home and replaced for free when it wouldn’t take a charge), and emergency roadside tire changes. The service has always been excellent.

  68. oddfisher says:

    The battery wasn’t free==the replacement was.

  69. tzard says:

    I used to use it and cancelled it when we were in some financial difficulties. I’m beginning to see that as a risk – especially now that I have a teenager who could have a card. I’m considering renewing.

    Our Insurance has free towing too – but as I understand it, using that service is registered as an insurance claim and can increase your rates. (if it’s an accident, it’s a claim anyway, but if it’s just a breakdown….) That’s what I’ve heard, but I could be wrong.

    As someone said, you always know who to call – one number. Nowadays, you can’t find a payphone, let alone a phone book to check the yellow pages.

    Lastly, we did use their insurance – but found better rates and more personal service elsewhere. AAA travel bureaus are good and handy. AAA here can also register your car for you, saving you waiting in line at the Government office.

    All in all, a good deal IMHO.

  70. heway says:

    Have had since the 60′s when working the night shift. Then had 3 boys – this was wonderful. Now have the Plus program which covers Rv, trailer,etc. Going through Arizona about 7am on way to Colorado wedding -blew rt front and then rt back tires – needed more than a tow. When you are our age you are happy to have someone else change your flat…love it!

  71. AnAmericanMother says:

    We have two layers already, with the dealer’s roadside assistance on our extended warranty, plus the towing/ starting/ lockout service provided by our automobile insurer (with a one-hour guarantee). We got to try it out when our old Expedition died somewhere between Colonial Heights, VA and the VA/NC border on I-85. The tow truck was there in 30 minutes, towed car to nearest dealer, for free.

    We can register our autos/tags here on line, and of course MapQuest and GPS have taken the place of the trip service.

    My advice would be to check the availability and scope of service under your auto insurer before deciding.

  72. FranzJosf says:

    AAA is one of the few “it seems too good to be true” bargains that actually is what it says it is. They are not selling the Brooklyn bridge. At the moment, I do not have AAA because my insurance company (Progressive) has something similar, which is also reliable, but I have had AAA in the past. My parents have had AAA for 20 or 30 years. They’ll rescue you in pelting rain or snow, they’ll get you good deals for motels on a road trip, they’ll plan itineraries that are actually do-able, as opposed to merely looking good on paper yet are unrealistic. AAA is not a scam.

  73. Angie Mcs says:

    I have had AAA as a single person and with a family for over 40 years. I have probably used it about 10-12 times during that timespan. Not that often, but each time I had to call them I was so grateful that I had spent the money, just in case. AAA has helped people in situations which are unpleasant at best, and even life threatening, such as driving off an isolated road during an unexpected ice storm, landing in a ditch, and running out of gas so you have no heat and no one around to help. As a single woman it isn’t always comfortable to accept help either, and I have two daughters who were covered as they started to drive and go out evenings. Here in the Midwest we have nasty winters which cause all sorts of problems with ones car and it’s good to know someone will be coming to help. Of course if the weather is terrible it will usually be a very long wait since AAA will be getting a lot of calls. Other than car troubles, we have often gotten AAA discounts in hotel rooms. And sorry to admit, but there has been an instance where the AAA card was accepted by a policeman so that no one had to drive without a license until the issue was resolved!

  74. AAA was a blessing when my alternator died last summer as I was driving through Indiana on my way back to New York. The AAA operator took care of all the nasty stuff that is rough when one is far from home in an unfamiliar area. But I would never take an AAA operator’s recommendation for a motel again. The two that were suggested to me were tiny dumps, and the first was full anyway. I finally took out my Internet-enabled phone and located the nearest Motel 6 and then called a cab and went there.

  75. tealady24 says:

    We’ve had it for a few years now, and have never utilized it (knock on wood), but driving on all my little country Pennsylvania roads, I’m glad it’s there.

  76. MaryW says:

    I have AAA, the premium level, and highly recommend it for many of the reasons mentioned in the above comments, but mostly because I’m a 70+ female and when I’m out and about, or traveling, there is a great sense of security in having this service. Cost-wise, it figures out to be about $0.30 a day; so very well worth it.

  77. Traductora says:

    Worth it. Even one tow will pay your membership.

  78. Faith says:

    Use to have it, but found another service where I could use any garage for help, not just those associated with AAA. This was because waiting for AAA to come help took AT LEAST 3 hours to come. The other service we could use anybody, but we had to pay up front. Then send the bill to the insurance co. for reimbursement.
    However, I’m going to Europe in a few weeks and needed to get some Euros. My bank is a credit union and doesn’t have this service. So I joined AAA and bought the Euros, plus their American Express. They do have some some good trip info.

  79. robtbrown says:

    Faith says:

    So I joined AAA and bought the Euros . . .

    Get ‘em while you can.

  80. adeoamata says:

    I’ve used my membership enough to make it worthwhile- for jumpstarts after batteries died in the cold (or after I left the lights on…), for controlled break-ins when I’ve locked my keys inside, for a tow when a brake line blew, and most recently for a tow out of a muddy backyard. It’s nice to have a card in your pocket for embarrassing and/or serious vehicle mishaps.

    Perhaps this is of limited utility, but Amtrak does knock a bit off their ticket price for AAA members if booked early enough. (I’ve not managed to get any other discounts for being a member.)

  81. jameeka says:

    1) how reliable is your car?
    2) how handy are you ( including back up devices, such as cables, battery chargers, extra keys, spare tires) ?
    3) how is your “LAD”, as you like to refer to it?
    If any of these are iffy–> get AAA. as above mentioned well worth it for even the one time they save you.

  82. EXCHIEF says:

    We have it only for the emergency towing coverage since the 3 drivers in our house travel a bit and we live in a very rural area with sometimes very heavy winters. Thank God we have not had to use it but it is there if we need it…just like we subscribe to the regional ground/air ambulance service. That we have used twice in 8 years and it has saved us thousands of dollars.

  83. off2 says:

    I’ve been a member of AAA since 1964. Still worthwhile. Used them twice last year. Exceptional service both times.

    On the other hand, I loath the left wing lobbying of the Southern CA chapter. Nor do I like the thick glossy magazine.

    As to insurance – am currently with AAA. I reprice the coverage every few years. Still get form letters from State Farm asking why I left. And I told them in detail.

  84. Mamma B says:

    Very worth it! I have had AAA since 1983. I am a rural hospice nurse so it is great for peace of mind when I get called out to a death at 3 AM in the middle of nowhere. I can change my own tires and carry jumper cables but I still like having AAA.

  85. Jael says:

    Totally worth it! I’m going there tomorrow to get a free maps of a state and cities I’ll be visiting soon. (Their “Indian Country” map, which is frequently updated, is indispensible when traveling in the Four Corners states of the SW). Sometimes I use their travel agent when I have tricky international plans to make. Excellent service. Not to mention service for flat tires, dead batteries, etc. And I like the AAA discount at various hotels and other venues.

  86. Jael says:

    p.s. AAA will mail maps to me, but I’ll be in their building tomorrow so may as well pick them up in person.

  87. Michelle F says:

    I’ve had AAA since the late 1990s, and I think it is well worth the cost. I got it when the truck I had at the time was old enough that it was susceptible to breaking down at any time, and I had to call them to tow me a few times before I was able to get a newer truck.

    I’ve also had my newer truck towed a few times, but I have also used AAA for:

    > dead battery
    > keys locked in vehicle
    > road-trip planning (using their website & getting maps)
    > discounts on motel rooms and other services/products

    So AAA can be worth the cost if you have an old, unreliable vehicle, or you do a lot of traveling. This is particularly true for women. I like the fact that I can call someone trustworthy for help when I am broken down on the side of the road, or the battery is dead, etc.! (They have an 800 number that works all over the USA, so it doesn’t matter where you are.)

    I know I plan to stay with AAA for the rest of my life!

  88. Phil_NL says:

    If you’re without roadside assistance, get it. The sheer annoyance factor would make it worth it, unless you’re half a car mechanic, and happen to have the right equipment handy (in other words, never). Especially since cars have the nasty habit of showing all kinds of quirks if they have been parked at an airport for a long while; getting to sort out a car failure while jetlagged is probably on par with doing so in the middle of a blizzard.

  89. philothea.distracted says:

    We have it and I would recommend it. It costs us $79 a year here for 2 drivers. I have used roadside assistance for a tire change and a tow. My husband has been towed at least once. It gives me peace of mind that I can get a broken-down car back to a mechanic without having to carry a large stash of cash on me. We don’t have credit cards. We have also used our membership for discounts at Holiday Inn hotels and on Amtrak. The last time I used roadside, I had my iPhone and used the AAA app. Two taps and I was speaking to a live operator who already had my ID # ( you program that in when you set up the app) and had my location via my phone’s GPS pegged within one block of where I was. It was not an emergency, I had a flat in town, but it gave me great peace of mind that the app seemed to perform well.

  90. GOR says:

    I had it for years until an incident about 1985. I was driving in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan when my radiator sprung a leak in the Hiawatha National Forest. I got a lift to a store and called AAA from a call box in the parking lot (no cell phones as yet…). The following conversation ensued:

    Me: “My radiator sprung a leak. I need a tow.”
    AAA: “What is your location?”
    Me: “About 25 miles south of Sault Ste Marie on Hwy 28…”
    AAA: “Is that in the United States?”
    Me: “Last I checked Michigan was still part of the Union!”
    AAA: “Just a moment…”
    AAA: “Sorry, we don’t have any towing contacts in that area.”
    Me: “$%*&%… Towing is the only reason I have AAA, but not any more!”

    I haven’t had it since and with cell phones, roadside assistance, towing insurance etc. I don’t see the need for it.

  91. Holy Cow! I had no idea that my question would rouse up so many comments!

    Thanks for the input.

  92. Peggy R says:

    I’m late to the party. Yes, also at our end. We get hotel discounts. We get a travel guide and fold up map (can you close them up, though?) for each state we plan to pass through. The guides list hotels, restaurants, tourist sites, gas and rest stops, national park info, pricing ranges, etc. Excellent to have along. AAA helps arrange international driver’s licenses for tourists too. We haven’t had a breakdown requiring roadside assistance. We got Mom to get it too as she likes to drive on weekend trips and is not so young any more. We feel better about that.

    We also switched our home and auto insurance to them and saved money. State Farm raised our home owners a significant percentage and could not give us a reason. We said, buh-bye.

  93. Jim Dorchak says:

    I travel a good bit for my job. My office is in my car as an appraiser and consultant. I drive 10s of thousands of miles every year. AAA has been great for me.
    Also since I have teen agers I use AAA alot since they have the skill of creating problems with automobiles. AAA has saved them a few times as well which is great since I am not there always to help them when they are stuck on the side of the road. I like AAA and have just renewed.

  94. lucy says:

    Have had it all my driving life – 32 years. Love it. Have relied on it heavily during times when I had small children in the car and was located in a less than great area. I’ve always had great service and fast service.

  95. Mark R says:

    Worth it? Yes! My wife and I are pretty much innocents who are not good at arranging things and AAA has been a big help to the both of us. I imagine it would be a big convenience to a busy priest. Your AAA card also qualifies you for discounts at a few businesses. The two things I would caution about are frequent requests to upgrade one’s membership (the minimum suffices for us) and their frequent sending of surveys.

  96. I had it for about a decade until many (~36) years ago, and thought it worthwhile, until late 1976 when I became a Navy Officer Candidate, and became eligible for USAA (had to be OC or officer for the latter at that time, which is no longer the case). It came in handy on several occasions. Not sure I would have it now, USAA is a better deal for most anyone who is either in the US armed services, or an eligible dependent of a parent who is either active or retired. Cars are much more reliable now (if properly maintained) than were their equivalents in the ’60s-’80s, unless you are driving quite an old model or poorly maintained one. The travel guides, Triptiks, and discounts don’t provide enough savings to us to offset the increased premiums. Plus, I don’t think they are a mutual company. USAA is and after 36 years of membership, we have a Subscriber’s Savings Account that contains close to $5,000 that provides operating reserves for the company and is cashed out 6 months after you cease coverage with them, plus every year they have a surplus they refund a cash dividend directly to my bank account. My auto insurance premiums for one year are $286.00 on a 2009 Toyota Corolla S (manual transmission) driven 12,000 miles a year, which includes free towing/roadside emergency service.

    They now offer service to officer and enlisted and their qualifying dependents. That info probably won’t be of great use to you, Father, but anyone with military connections reading this thread (including Jarhead), might find it useful.

    Pax et bonum,
    Keith Töpfer

  97. I need to add something here, especially since I already commented favorably. AAA was given “dishonorable mention” by Life Decisions International for having “worked with or funded” Planned Parenthood. This makes it “not a boycott target per se” but some may choose not to use its services anyway, especially if alternatives are available. I just haven’t had time to locate such an alternative for myself.