Car Accessories

Is AAA Worth The Cost

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Car with problems and a red triangle to warn other road users

Image: xiao yu/Shutterstock

If you drive a vehicle and haven’t heard of AAA, then you definitely need to get on the ball, as they say. There are a few reasons for which you might want AAA coverage, but before we go into that, let’s talk about what AAA is and why you might want to consider adding it to your vehicle’s disaster preparedness arsenal.

What is AAA?

As you may have guessed, AAA is an acronym standing for American Automobile Association, which was formed in March of 1902, just after the turn of the century. The Chicago Illinois based group banded together as a direct response to the condition of the roads and highways, which were unsuitable for automobiles in general. Eventually, this club merged with several others, forming the network that we now know and love today.

Services AAA Offers

AAA offers several services, the level of which will be determined by the type of membership that you purchase. The current membership levels include:

  • Classic
  • Plus
  • Platinum

At the lowest membership level you will only be paying around $49 per year. That’s right, this is an annual investment, not monthly, putting it light years ahead of your insurance company. At the basic level a number of services are offered which include towing, discounted rental car rates, emergency fuel delivery and even a battery jump start if you should need it.

The above services, while offered at the basic level are even more enhanced when you get into the higher memberships. For example, at the mid-range level you will have a towing range of 100 miles, and at the highest end, you can get up to 200 miles on a single tow. In addition to that, you will find that the battery jump start service is taken up a notch as you may be offered a free battery should yours be in poor condition. Finally, fuel delivery becomes free at the highest level, definitely making it worth the investment if you are on a long road trip. 

Is it Worth It?

While AAA definitely has its perks, there are certain downsides that you will need to take into account. For example, consider that you are only paying annually, and consider that each area has its own AAA club that operates semi-independently. While AAA will get to you, sometimes the waiting period is a bit longer than you might like. Other than that, things do tend to go smoothly with them, though once again, it all depends upon the area.

In the end, because of the potential service issues you may want to consider seeing if your insurance provider offers similar services. Does it hurt to carry AAA coverage? Considering it is only a small pittance to keep it up on an annual basis, it’s not a horrible thing to have, but in the end, you should always make sure you have a backup.

There are two things you'll never find Hayden without: coffee and a smile, and usually the lack of coffee results in a lack of a smile. Hayden is also addicted to Skittles and Starbursts, but only the original flavors.