Pros / Its premium plan has the highest towing mileage limit of any program.
Cons / You must be an AAA member to get roadside assistance.
Verdict / AAA is nearly synonymous with roadside assistance, and its plans and services provide some of the best value available.
AAA has one of the strongest collections of benefits relative to its price, making it one of the best values for roadside assistance services. There are no age or location restrictions, though you need to join AAA to use the company’s roadside assistance.
We compared AAA’s basic and premium plans to those offered by other roadside assistance companies, looking at pricing and covered services. AAA Classic, its most basic plan, costs $56 a year, which is about $5 a month. This is the second-cheapest basic plan we reviewed – only Allstate has a lower price. AAA’s basic plan only covers one person, and it costs an additional $34 to add someone to your subscription.
AAA Classic includes 5 miles of free towing, which is standard for basic roadside assistance plans. In a city, that should be sufficient to get you to a repair shop. If the distance exceeds 5 miles, you are responsible for paying the additional mileage.
This roadside assistance service also sends help if you get locked out of your car. The Classic plan includes reimbursement for up to $50 worth of locksmith services. According to Angie’s List, the average cost of a car locksmith is about $65, though pricing may vary depending on your vehicle. Also, if you run out of gas, AAA delivers some to you, but you have to pay for the cost of the fuel.
The Classic plan includes other benefits that aren’t common to most roadside assistance services. For example, you get automatic membership in the Hertz Gold Plus Rewards club, which gives you discounts on car rentals. You also get identity theft monitoring as an AAA member, which is a great value since ID monitoring itself can cost as much as membership in a roadside assistance service.
The AAA Premier plan is more expensive, though its price is about average compared with all the roadside assistance services we reviewed. It costs $119 a year, or about $10 a month. You must pay an additional $74 if you wish to add someone else to your plan.
AAA Premier is one of the best programs in terms of the services it includes. For example, it has some of the most generous towing limits, with one free tow of up to 200 miles and three free tows of up to 100 miles each. Even one long distance tow makes it worth the cost of a year’s membership.
Locksmith reimbursement in the Premier plan increases to $150 and extends to cover home lockouts as well as car lockouts. The Premier plan also includes free fuel in addition to free delivery.
If you’re in an accident and get stranded 100 miles or more from home, you can use AAA Premier’s trip interruption coverage. With it, you're reimbursed up to $1,500 for food, lodging and car rentals.
AAA Premier includes other benefits such as windshield repair reimbursement, lost baggage coverage, travel insurance and one-day free car rental if you need a non-collision related tow. All AAA roadside assistance plans are limited to four free service calls a year, no matter which plan you choose.