PROS / AAA provides an identity theft restoration service for premium plan members, an uncommon feature that investigates identity theft for you if you are a victim.
CONS / It requires a $16 enrollment fee, on top of the regular membership plan costs, when you first join.
VERDICT / AAA deserves its outstanding reputation, as it has one of the largest roadside assistance networks and offers generous benefits and discounts.
The American Automobile Association, better known as AAA, is one of the leaders for roadside assistance. This company is the recipient of our Top Ten Reviews Gold Award because of its numerous membership options, wide coverage for all types of vehicles and many trip-planning benefits. Additionally, it provides bicycle coverage, restoration services in case of identity theft, and reimbursement options for legal fees – features that aren't available from many similar companies. There are no age restrictions with this roadside assistance company, and residents of all 50 states can enroll.
AAA provides three membership plans for automobiles: Classic, Plus and Premier. These plans provide free towing for up to 5, 100 and 200 miles respectively. However, you must be a member of AAA to enroll in its roadside assistance services. This is an additional $16 fee each year. Furthermore, adding a second household member to your AAA plan, such as your spouse, is an additional $34. All these additional fees are drawbacks to this service, as many similar companies don't charge any fees aside from the membership plan costs.
All of these plans offer your basic roadside assistance services. This includes jump-starting your battery and helping you change a flat tire. On the Classic plan, you can have fuel delivered to you, though you are charged the current pump cost. On the Plus and Premier plans, there is no charge for fuel delivery.
Additional services include lockout assistance, which helps you get back into your vehicle if the keys are locked inside. AAA also offers winching and extrication services, but coverage for this service is more limited, varying by the time it takes and the type of vehicle. With the Classic membership plan, you can place four service calls per year without any additional charges. This is the number of calls that most of these services offer. Five was the highest number of service calls per year that we saw on a standard plan.
Residents in all 50 states can enroll in AAA. Once enrolled, you can receive coverage throughout the entire United States and Canada. There are no age restrictions on membership either. Some companies charge additional fees for individuals under a certain age.
AAA provides strong coverage not only for automobiles, but also for RVs, trailers and utility trailers. The Plus RV membership plan provides towing for these additional vehicles up to 100 miles, while the Premier RV plan provides towing up to 200 miles. All plans, including the RV plans, include bicycle services.
Premium Cost & Benefits
The two premium AAA plans provide numerous benefits in addition to towing far distances without any additional charge. For example, if your car breaks down while you're on vacation and you're over 100 miles from home, AAA covers travel-interruption expenses up to $1,500 with the Premier membership. This reimburses you for meals and lodging, car rental, and transportation expenses home or to your destination that you accrue within 96 hours of the incident.
Reimbursements for legal fees are also available. If you've been wrongly charged with a traffic violation and you're found not guilty, the service can reimburse you for attorney fees, depending on your plan level. You can also get varying discounts on air travel and car rentals with some plans.
AAA offers a variety of impressive extras, including several travel-planning services to help you make your road trips and vacations safe, enjoyable and easy on the pocketbook. You can also take advantage of the TripTiks route-planning service, which is a great tool for mapping your exact route for an upcoming trip.
This emergency roadside service provides hundreds of retail discounts, potentially saving you money well beyond what you pay for your annual fee. You can get discounts at popular hotels, car rental companies and automotive stores, as well as on entertainment, shopping and personal services.
With the premium plans, you receive complimentary identity theft restoration. This service helps victims of identity theft by working with investigators to correct the issue. This is an excellent service that most roadside assistance companies do not offer.
Help & Support
We were not impressed with the customer support we received from AAA. We sent emails to the company with questions regarding its membership and plans and never received any response. When speaking with representatives on the phone, we received answers to our questions, but the representatives were not friendly and did not go out of their way to assist us. However, there is a FAQs section on the company website that addresses many of the questions you may have on AAA benefits and services.
AAA has earned its solid reputation by providing quality roadside service for over a century. It's no wonder that it's the largest and best-known emergency roadside assistance provider. As a member, you can take advantage of an extensive list of services, but to get the full benefit of those services, you'll need the Plus or Premier plan. You can receive discounts at hundreds of venues throughout the country and take advantage of the TripTiks service to plan your next trip. With all of these options, AAA is one of the best roadside services available.