PROS / On the premier plan, the company tows your vehicle up to 100 miles without additional charges.
CONS / Rather than sending lockout assistance, AARP reimburses you for locksmith charges, which is much less convenient and not guaranteed to be in full.
VERDICT / AARP is a great roadside assistance service for individuals over 50, though it has a few other limitations beyond that.
AARP is an excellent roadside assistance company for individuals 50 years or older. This roadside assistance company provides comprehensive coverage, numerous discounts and travel perks. Additionally, it offers coverage for all 50 states and Canada, and it provides all the standard services you need when traveling in your vehicle, though some of these services have restrictions other companies do not.
To enroll in roadside assistance, you must be already be a member of AARP. To be a member, you must be 50 years or older and pay a membership fee of $16 a year. This $16 is on top of the roadside assistance plans you choose. You can add another household member, such as your spouse, to the plans for an additional $10 per year and up to four dependent children, ages 16-25, who are living at home or away at school for an additional fee. However, the primary individual on the plan must be at least 50 and a member of AARP.
There are four roadside assistance plans to choose from. The standard plan includes towing for up to 5 miles without an additional charge, tire change services, fuel delivery and jumping dead batteries. The premier plan offers the most coverage, including up to 100 miles of towing without any additional charge. The plans cover all your automobiles, and you can add emergency roadside service for your RV for an additional fee each month, though this option is only available with the premier plan.
Instead of providing lockout assistance when you're locked out of your vehicle, this roadside service reimburses you a certain amount for the charges you pay for a locksmith. This is less convenient than lockout services being included with your plan, since you have to pay for the charges upfront and then wait for a reimbursement, which could be partial or full, depending on the circumstance.
One of the best benefits AARP offers its members is access to Pathfinder Trip Routing. With this routing service, you can input your destination and Pathfinder generates a route, complete with points of interest, hotels and driving directions. You can also request maps of the states and countries you wish to visit. You get discounts on hotel rooms and car rentals from companies such as Avis, Budget and Enterprise, as well as at various retail stores.
If you have any questions or concerns about this service, you can speak with a representative via email or telephone. The company responded to our email inquiries within a few days and addressed our concerns, but we called and spoke to representatives on more than one occasion and did not have pleasant experiences. We were on hold for long periods and had to navigate extensive phone trees, and once we finally spoke with representatives, they seemed unable to answer many of our questions and were difficult to understand. Overall, our experience with AARP's customer support was disappointing.
AARP offers quality benefits and roadside assistance for its members with 24/7 service. Benefits like discounts and the Pathfinder Trip Routing service make this a good road service for those who are over 50 and qualify for membership. Its locksmith reimbursement is inconvenient compared to the lockout assistance of the best overall roadside assistance companies, but it certainly gives you some other nice options and benefits.