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By responding to more than 33 million roadside assistance calls a year, AAA has become a household name.
AAA not only provides assistance for stranded motorists, it also offers discounts on car rentals, vacation packages, cellular service and more. Depending on where you live and the level of coverage you choose, annual AAA memberships can range from about $52-$170.
To determine whether the cost of AAA membership is worth it, consider how you might use it and whether the services offered are things you actually need.
AAA membership costs
AAA has a three-tiered membership structure. The pricing depends on where you live and which plan you choose.
AAA Classic membership. Cost per year: $52-$74.
AAA Plus membership. Cost per year: $85-$124.
Classic benefits, plus:
AAA Premier membership. Cost per year: $118-$170.
Same as Plus benefits, with:
Your membership rides with you, whether you're the driver or the passenger. It covers anyone in your household designated as an associate to the membership.
These are just the most common benefits of AAA membership. Depending on your region, membership might offer additional services like driving lessons, auto loans and car-buying services.
AAA discounts and extras
The discounts that come with AAA membership vary. Popular discounts include:
Cellular service (carriers vary).
Prescriptions and vision care.
Electronics from select companies, up to 35% off.
Car and moving truck rentals, 20% or more off.
Amusement parks, museums and other entertainment.
Movie tickets, dining and flower delivery services.
AAA certifies auto repair shops that meet its standards for equipment, customer satisfaction and technician expertise. Members get 10% off repairs, up to $50, at these locations. Most repairs are guaranteed for two years or 24,000 miles, whichever comes first.
AAA still offers paper maps to its members, but its storied TripTik travel planner — you may remember the detailed, customized spiral-bound guides — has moved online. AAA travel professionals can help plan the route and assist with car rental and hotel reservations.
AAA auto insurance
Membership is often required to purchase AAA insurance, but discounts for being a member often cover the fees.
Many AAA clubs have their own insurance company offering home, renters, life and auto insurance, but not all. In some regions, the club acts as an insurance agent, connecting customers to partner insurers willing to provide the insurance discounts associated with membership.
Rates for AAA auto insurance depend on where you live, your driving history and other personal factors, as with any company. However, AAA’s insurance agents will look over any of your existing policies and provide advice as part of the membership.
So, is AAA worth it?
If all you want is no-frills roadside assistance coverage, paying for AAA’s discounts and other benefits may be overkill.
For those who don’t road-trip often or have a car covered by a manufacturer’s warranty, apps like Urgently, Honk and Blink can serve up roadside assistance without a membership. You pay only when you need assistance. Check your car insurance company’s offering as well, which could be as little as $10 a year added to your other coverage.
Because you can get roadside assistance from many other companies, consider AAA’s full offerings before deciding on membership. The benefits, discounts and costs associated with each tier vary by territory, so spend some time on the membership site of your local AAA.
You may find that another service meets your needs well enough, or that the discounts alone make AAA worth it for your family.