Yes, AAA does offer free towing for customers who have the company’s roadside assistance coverage. AAA roadside assistance generally costs $67 per year and includes towing services up to 5 miles for basic plan subscribers (may vary by region). AAA customers can request roadside assistance online, or they can call 800-222-4357.
What AAA Roadside Assistance Covers
Towing services up to 5 miles for basic plan subscribers (may vary by region)
Flat tire services
Jump starts and battery replacement
While AAA’s roadside assistance covers towing and other services, it doesn’t cover the cost of repair parts, replacement keys, or major fixes due to things like engine failure or structural damage.
AAA roadside assistance costs about $38 to $171 per year, plus a one-time enrollment fee of $10 to $15, depending on the region and membership level. AAA roadside assistance is included with the cost of a AAA membership, and drivers can select a classic, plus, or premier membership plan.
AAA towing mileage limits vary depending on your state and membership level. Plus and premier memberships generally include higher towing mileage limits and more coverage overall than a classic membership. For instance, in some regions the classic plan covers up to $50 in locksmith services, while the plus and premier plans pay up to $100.
Memberships of all levels also include benefits besides roadside assistance, such as identity theft insurance and trip interruption coverage. For more information about choosing between roadside assistance options, check out WalletHub’s guide to the best roadside assistance.
Car insurance does not cover towing if you have a liability-only policy, but it might if you have full coverage. Many full coverage car insurance policies will reimburse drivers for towing that results from a collision, but won’t cover towing due to a mechanical issue or breakdown.
Some full coverage policies only cover towing if you pay extra for … read full answerroadside assistance, though. Sometimes called towing and labor coverage, roadside assistance is usually an easy and affordable add-on. You can add it to your policy for around $5 to $15 per car, per month.
Because towing coverage varies so much from policy to policy, it’s important to know exactly what is covered by speaking to your insurer directly. When purchased as an add-on, towing coverage typically includes:
Towing (up to a certain distance, in most cases)
Jumpstarts and battery replacements
Fuel delivery if you run out of gas
If you don’t have towing and labor coverage as part of your car insurance, you could also consider purchasing roadside assistance from a third-party, like AAA. Third-party providers offer the same roadside services you would get by adding on to your insurance policy, but some have extra perks. AAA, for example, offers free trip-planning tools, identity theft monitoring, and thousands of shopping, entertainment, and dining discounts.
AAA roadside assistance is worth it if a driver has multiple cars, an older car, or a car with frequent mechanical problems. AAA roadside assistance might also be worth it if a driver plans to make frequent use of AAA discounts or wants extensive roadside coverage.
AAA ranked 14th out of 22 companies in WalletHub’s analysis of 2021’s … read full answerBest Roadside Assistance. The biggest drawback is that AAA received an F from the Better Business Bureau due to a large number of unresolved customer complaints. However, AAA does offer above-average protection for a reasonable price.
Drivers can choose between three different levels of AAA roadside assistance, but they all include the same base services.
AAA Roadside Assistance Benefits
Battery changes and jump starts
Stuck vehicle services
Other AAA benefits include trip planning services like maps and guides. AAA also provides miscellaneous discounts and perks, including hotel and rental car discounts, free or discounted passport photos, legal defense insurance, and identity theft monitoring.
The details of AAA’s services depend on the level of coverage that you choose. Prices also vary by location, just like with car insurance premiums, and some regions have a one-time enrollment fee of around $10-$15. Drivers can add family members to their plan for an additional fee, often ranging from $30 to $65 per year.
AAA Roadside Assistance Plans
Average Annual Cost
Up to 7 miles
Up to 100 miles
Up to 200 miles
Locksmith for Car
Covered up to $50
Covered up to $100
Covered up to $100
Free delivery (member pays for fuel)
Free delivery and fuel
Free delivery and fuel
Extrication If Stuck
Two trucks/drivers if needed
Two trucks/drivers if needed
Tire Change, Jump Start, Battery Service, Lockout
Trip Interruption Benefit
Up to $250
Up to $700
Up to $1,500
AAA Basic and Plus members who are in a collision up to 100 miles from home qualify for the trip interruption benefit, while Premier members can receive the benefit for a wider variety of reasons. Basic and Plus memberships also include daily credit monitoring, lost wallet assistance, and bicycle assistance up to the plan’s towing limits. Premier members receive these perks, too, as well as $10,000 in identity theft insurance and coverage for motorcycles, RVs, and trailers.
Alternatives to AAA Roadside Assistance
The top alternatives to AAA roadside assistance are your car insurance provider, your cell phone company, and competitor auto clubs.
Car Insurance Provider
Adding roadside assistance to your car insurance policy is usually cheaper than purchasing a AAA plan. However, using it – especially more than once or twice a year – might cause your premium to increase, since it can be treated as a claim. That makes AAA a good option if you can’t afford for your premium to rise.
Cell Phone Company
Cell phone companies like Verizon and AT&T offer cheap roadside assistance for their customers. In general, these plans cost $3 a month and cover four incidents per year. Verizon and AT&T roadside assistance plans cover towing, fuel delivery, flat tire changes, lockout services, and dead batteries. Verizon also includes winching. If the coverage options are enough for you, these plans can be a good value.
Many rewards credit cards offer roadside assistance benefits, but they usually involve a flat fee for each service call rather than a subscription model like AAA.
AAA competitors like Allstate Motor Club and Good Sam sell similar roadside assistance subscription services.
It’s worth noting that some providers, including AAA, might charge a small one-time enrollment fee in addition to the annual price. However, these fees vary by state and are sometimes waived.
New-Car Roadside Assistance Plans
Drivers with newer cars might not need AAA if their car warranty includes roadside assistance. If roadside assistance is not included, drivers might be able to purchase it separately at the dealership. Most plans will cover the car for 2-5 years or up to a certain mileage limit.
Bottom Line: Is AAA Roadside Assistance Worth It
Yes, AAA roadside assistance is worth it for the average driver. Whether AAA roadside assistance is worth it for you depends on how much coverage you need and how much it costs in your state. The added perks and discounts are worth considering, too, though these bonuses will not cover the cost of membership for every driver. You can join AAA by applying online on their website or in person by visiting your local AAA branch.
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