The AAA Roadside Assistance is one of the most well-known and best roadside assistance services in the world and it’s remained that way because it brings a solid mix of packages and solutions to the market. You will have to join the AAA to take advantage of its plans and you must ensure that you keep your Auto Club membership card with you, or in your vehicle, at all times as this is the key to getting service when stuck on the road.
Membership is easy to apply for and there are three different types of membership plan with roadside assistance to choose from: Classic, AAA Plus and AAA Premier. Each plan offers you something different for your buck and will require that you pay an initial joining fee of up to $20 when you first start out. After that, you’ll pay an annual membership fee as well as your monthly roadside assistance fee.
AAA Roadside Assistance review: What's covered?
All of the plans allow for up to four service calls per year, and provide a mobile battery service, fuel delivery, and auto lockout services. Bicycle roadside assistance is a new addition common to all plans, while there's AAA discounts on auto repairs, and shopping, dining, entertainment and travel too.
Where they mainly differ is in the towing ranges on offer, which sees the Classic plan - the cheapest option - take you three miles for free, AAA Plus upping this to 100 miles, and AAA Premier providing for up to 200 miles for one tow and 100 miles for any further tows.
The AAA Plus and Premier plans both give you free fuel on emergency delivery too – Classic plan holders will have to pay for their gas – while Plus offers $350 of trip interruption coverage, Premier provides $1,500, and Classic offers no benefit in this regard.
With AAA, you're covered 24/7, and a great app that allows you to access your account, make callouts, and check the progress of your assistance.
AAA Roadside Assistance review: The fine print
Application process: AAA Membership compulsory with annual renewal
Packages and costs: Varies depending on location - for Northway locations: Classic: $64; Plus: $101; Premier: $133
24/7 recovery: Yes
An app for that: Yes! Android and iOS
The AAA plan options overall are designed to suit all levels of budget and coverage requirements. So Classic plan holders will find that they will pay more for extra fuel, towing and service recovery than Premium and Plus, but that they’ll save in the long term if they use the service rarely. Meanwhile, the Premium and Plus plans are likely to be a better fit if you drive regularly over long distances as they offer much more extensive support, especially if you’ve broken down miles away from home. If towing is a major concern for you, Good Sam is always worth looking at in that respect.
Also worth noting in the fine print is that membership eligibility, dues, fees, benefits and services can be changed without notice and that there’s only one membership per person. You will need to ensure that your membership covers the specific vehicle and that you really work your membership to squeeze out the benefits. There is a handy calculator on the site to help you see how much you’ll save in discounts as an AAA member, although if you're over 50, it's definitely worth considering the benefits that AARP can offer too, both in terms of roadside rescue and beyond.
AAA Roadside Assistance review: Costs and ease of use
First up, you'll need to be an AAA member, and that usually means paying an enrolment fee of up to $20. Then, in terms of roadside rescue specifically, what you'll pay ultimately depends on where you live and, of course, the plan option you choose. For the Classic plan, you can expect to pay somewhere between $38 and $74 annually, while for the AAA Plus option, it could set you back between $60 and $124. Premier is the most expensive plan, but also the one that provides the best coverage, and is likely to cost somewhere between $77 and $164, depending on where you call home.
Once you've signed up, additional members can be added too at a cost of up to $48 on the Classic plan, $80 on Plus, and $109 on Premier, but will again be location dependent. The AAA doesn't include RV and motorcycle roadside assistance as standard, so if you want this, you'll need to pay an extra premium on top, of between $35 and $85.
AAA Roadside Assistance: Customer reviews and support
The AAA tends to enjoy excellent reviews on Consumer Affairs with an overall satisfaction rating of 4 out of 5 stars, which is no mean feat at all. Satisfied customers commend AAA's excellent all round service, with one reviewer concisely summarising their experience as "quick, professional, courteous". Of course, there are some customers who haven't received the help they need in such a timely manner, but these are certainly few and far between when compared with the testimonials delivered on most other rescue services.
AAA makes it as easy as possible to get in contact in your hour of need, with the website having clearly labelled contact numbers for you to call for an emergency plus a log-in for self-service that you can use to get support and advice from your membership portal.
Should you choose AAA Roadside Assistance?
The AAA is a household name for a reason and it has obviously invested heavily into its roadside assistance packages too. It should be easy to find a plan option to suit your needs, and then when you do require the AAA's help, past users find its service to be excellent, and usually quick on the scene too. What you pay can vary quite significantly depending on where you live, but the motoring peace of mind you'll enjoy means it's usually money well spent.