Pros / The average down payment is very low.
Cons / The contracts are long and difficult to read.
Verdict / AA Auto Protection sells a lot of vehicle service contracts, but the contracts are a roadblock to understanding what you're signing.
If you thought maybe AA Auto Protection was affiliated with AAA, an organization popular for its roadside assistance, then you're not alone. Certainly, the sequential use of three A's, the benefits of roadside assistance and the general association with automobiles is a bit confusing. However, to clear this up, AA Auto Protection provides a few disclaimers on its website, though they're not easy to find, and even explains how the name is derived from the AAA credit rating. Brand confusion aside, AA Auto Protection is an extended vehicle warranty broker that sells 17 contracts under five levels of coverage. However, be prepared to read, because the contracts are long and difficult to read.
AA Auto Protection's quoting process received a B+ grade. The tool says the quote is fast, easy and free, with no sales pressure. It also calls the quote "instant." The quotes were emailed to me, but it was anything but instant, as I didn't get the quote for two days. This was the reason why it didn't receive a higher grade. In addition, the service only called me twice, and I wasn't bombarded by emails in the following weeks. So there certainly isn't any pressure to buy. I like that there is a promise not to sell, rent or share your personal information – a promise not explicitly guaranteed by most services.
The average price per mile covered for the quotes I received was about $0.05. This is in line with the market average. Some services, like Autopom and CARCHEX, had plans costing just $0.01 or $0.02 per mile covered, on average. And while most of the quotes had terms around 50,000 miles, I also got quotes with terms of 125,000 miles – the highest quoted coverage term I received by any company. In addition, the average down payment was just 2 percent of the total plan, making it very affordable to start.
AA Auto Protection has five levels of coverage and 17 contracts overall. For example, the full coverage plan has four contracts, each administered by different companies. Each level of coverage progressively gets less comprehensive until the plans cover just the engine, transmission and drive train assembly.
The biggest downside to AA Auto Protection is the length and readability of the contracts. The average length is 20 pages. Some are as long as 37 pages. And to make it worse, the estimated average words on each page is around 1,500. (I didn't count the words on each page of each contract but counted the words on a number of random pages to estimate the average.) This means you can plan on reading close to 29,000 words if you want to understand what you're buying, as you should. By comparison, most services sell contracts with about 10,000 words and the shortest contracts are around 5,000 words.
While AA Auto Protection offers roadside assistance, or rather the contracts the service sells provide roadside assistance, the rental reimbursement is unimpressive. You are reimbursed up to $30 per day for a rental car, but only for a max of $150. This isn't enough to cover the cost of most budget rental cars and only gives your car five days to be repaired before the rental car is completely your responsibility.
AA Auto Protection has a good quoting process, but it wasn't as fast as I'd like. The quotes were priced on par with other such services and the coverage options are plentiful. However, the contracts are very long and not easy to read.
- Total Available Plans
- Mileage Restrictions
- Max Payment Schedule