AAA Membership --- Is it worth it?

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rlegions
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AAA Membership --- Is it worth it?

Postby rlegions » Sat Jun 23, 2007 9:07 pm

Hi everyone I'm new to the site.

I have reading the blog for a while and generally tried to follow the advices on it.

I don't know if anyone has mentioned it, but is AAA membership worth it? Recently, I decided I might need because my car is unreliable even through so far I have no problem with it. I just looked up the membership. cost and cringed at the $49 annual fee for an individual. I understand there are discounts come with the membership. Even after the discount is it still worth it?

Thanks in advance for anyone willing to share your thought on this issue.

kgazette
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Postby kgazette » Sun Jun 24, 2007 7:44 am

I have a AAA membership, and I completely think it's worth it. One thing you have to keep in mind is that the membership covers YOU, not your car. So anytime you're driving any car, or even RIDING in any car, you can call AAA if you need a tow or whatever. That's the thing I really love about it. I often forget about the discounts - I think the membership is worth it on its own. I like the peace of mind of being able to call them if I ever need to.

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meduzagirl
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Postby meduzagirl » Sun Jun 24, 2007 7:55 am

I also have an AAA membership. I don't usually use the discounts, but it's definitely worth it. I've needed a couple of tows in my life, and being able to call them and have them take care of it was a relief. When I drove cross country last year, it was good to have the peace of mind that if something happened to my car, they'd be there to help. They're also really handy when your friends lock themselves out of their cars. :roll:

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Postby morydd » Sun Jun 24, 2007 10:01 am

AAA has gotten us in to our car 3 times in the last 6 years. That alone is worth it. My wife commutes about 25 miles through the heart of Chicago on a daily basis in a 10 year old car with almost 170K miles on it. To me, it's worth every penny even when we don't use it. I pretty much look at it as another form of insurance. I'm willing to pay for it when I'm not using it, because the rare occasion that we need it is worth much, much more.
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SJean
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An Alternative to AAA

Postby SJean » Sun Jun 24, 2007 11:52 am

I must mention that if you are considering AAA, you should also at least consider Better World Club as an alternative. In a 1 minute glance, I'm not sure what is a better value, but BWC is generally considered more environmentally friendly.

My dad still pays for my AAA, but next year I'm going to have him look at switching.

http://www.betterworldclub.com/

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Postby consultantjournal » Sun Jun 24, 2007 3:16 pm

Many people realize that, if you have a cell phone, there's no reason to sign up until you need it. If you find yourself locked out, out of gas or broken down, just call in and sign up on the spot -- and they'll send a tow truck.
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kgazette
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Postby kgazette » Sun Jun 24, 2007 7:32 pm

consultantjournal wrote:Many people realize that, if you have a cell phone, there's no reason to sign up until you need it. If you find yourself locked out, out of gas or broken down, just call in and sign up on the spot -- and they'll send a tow truck.


I've never heard that! But does it work at 3am? Because that would be my concern!

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Postby consultantjournal » Sun Jun 24, 2007 8:53 pm

I have two friends who've done it. Why not randomly call AAA's customer service line in the middle of the night and see if they answer? You can always say you dialed the wrong number.
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Dylan
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Postby Dylan » Mon Jun 25, 2007 5:42 am

I’ve been a member of AAA for a while. The additional perks are not what they used to be as you can often find similar, sometimes better, discounts on the web. But I still think the roadside assistance is worth the value.

The idea of waiting to join until you need them is an interesting one.

squished18
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Postby squished18 » Mon Jun 25, 2007 6:21 am

I think that where you would get value from AAA is on a road trip. When you're in unfamiliar territory, it can be a pain to track down a tow.

However, for local stuff I would recommend just looking up a large established towing company in your area and putting their phone number in your cell phone. In my area AAA (CAA in my case) just has a contract with a local company to service their tows. So I just phone the company they would be phoning anyways. I think I actually get better service when I phone on my own, because the CAA orders just get faxed through and are rather impersonal.

Signing up at the last minute does work for CAA. I've done it. It just takes a little longer, but when what's time to someone waiting an hour for a tow anyways? :)

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Postby jdroth » Mon Jun 25, 2007 9:37 am

My wife has insisted that we maintain a AAA membership for the past decade or so. I think she decided not to renew it this year. In that time, we've only tried to use it once.

On a hot summer day, we drove three hours from Portland to Bend (in Central Oregon). Our car died south of town, in the middle of the freeway, during rush hour. We pulled to the shoulder, but there was very little clearance. We called AAA. They told us that we'd have to wait until 8 or 9 p.m. They were sending somebody up from SOUTHERN Oregon. That was insane. They might as well have just sent somebody from Portland.

A police officer stopped to tell us we needed to pull off the road. We explained the situation. He frowned, but understood we were doing the best we could. Ultimately, I tried the car again and it started (after about half an hour of resting). We called and cancelled the AAA tow. The truck hadn't even left to get us yet.

We weren't impressed.

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Better World Club

Postby KMK » Tue Jun 26, 2007 8:06 pm

I'm a member of Better World Club, too. But I haven't used them for anything yet- so I can't comment on their efficiency. One interesting option they offer (I don't know if AAA does, but I doubt it) is a similar but cheaper service for bike commuters, for flats, etc.

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Postby MikeVx » Wed Jun 27, 2007 9:47 pm

I keep AAA primarily for the emergency towing (I got burned by their insurance, never again) which is handy when your tire blows out on the 401 halfway to Toronto.

Given that, when I'm going on a long trip somewhere, the TripTiks and TourBooks are a handy combination. I get detailed maps of anywhere I might want to stop, and hotel/motel listings for those stop-when-tired nights that long driving trips produce. Also the books give rough ideas of lodging cost, making it easy to pick what suits (usually low cost if I'm driving across several states, you have to be conscious to appreciate fancy digs, when tired, softer-than-a-cinderblock will do.)

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Postby consultantjournal » Wed Jun 27, 2007 10:24 pm

Wal-Mart used to offer free roadside assistance with every oil change, as long as you went every 3 months.
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Postby squished18 » Thu Jun 28, 2007 12:38 pm

MikeVx,

What was your poor experience with their insurance?

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