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Old 05-24-2021, 11:32 PM
1,470 posts, read 1,680,270 times
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In my experience, I've found them to be worth it. They've bailed my butt out many times over the 43 years I've been a member. I've also received some discounts using the card but I mainly have it for auto issues; dead batteries, flat tires, locking myself out of the car...I'm pretty sure I have coverage through other sources but it's always the Triple-A card I grab when there's a problem.
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Old 05-24-2021, 11:37 PM
15,452 posts, read 26,781,422 times
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In Arizona, you make an appointment with the local MVD online. If my appointment is at 2 pm, I am usually out by 2:20 pm.
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Old 05-25-2021, 03:11 AM
Location: Pa
251 posts, read 208,596 times
Reputation: 537
We love AAA travel services and the great information they provide online and at local offices. We are trip planners and do extensive planning before a vacation. Since retirement we spend 3-4 months a year traveling (before Covid). We really missed the detailed information they provide during our recent month long trip to Ireland and Scotland.

The TourBook guides for each state, Province and large cities are fantastic for this purpose. We look for the “Gems” ie places not to be missed noted for each state listed in the guides. We find the gems really help you break through all the “stuff” you will find on the internet. The TourBook also gives you an idea of how much time you need to spend on site for the locations listed. Great tool to figure out what you want to see and how much time to spend in the area. Do I spend 1 or 2 days in the city??…well this feature alone really the planning process. That is the starting point before we visit Trip Advisor and other on line sites. Yea we use Garmin and Waze when driving but having a paper map is great backup and giving you an overview of where you are going. Just more to think about as you travel and check out our beautiful country.

Last edited by TLC1957; 05-25-2021 at 03:26 AM..
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Old 05-25-2021, 03:45 AM
Location: Seattle
56 posts, read 18,639 times
Reputation: 119
Originally Posted by Chas863 View Post
I haven't read ANY of the responses to your post, but reading your post reminds me a lot of my own views on AAA membership which I have pondered numerous times over the years. I don't mean to offend anyone, but here is a summation of my views on AAA membership.

AAA membership is great for the people who seldom plan ahead for anything going wrong. They seldom are prepared for any type emergency. They never think about how old the battery is until the car won't start. They never think to check the air in the tires until they get in the car and find that one of the tires is flat... and they don't have a spare. In short, they are never concerned about anything going bad... until it does. Then they call for help.

You sound like the type who tries to be well prepared and anticipate possible problems in advance... then take some action to prevent or deal with the problem if it should arise. That's how I see myself, so AAA just isn't worth it for me.

I know several people who are AAA members and they seem to delight in telling how stupid they are about maintaining their car or taking even the simplest of precautions. They enjoy telling how they ran out of gas in Timbuktu and AAA brought them some gas, or how they locked the keys in the car (for the third time since January) and AAA paid for a locksmith to come open their car door. Or how it was just a total shock to them that the 7 year old battery in their car wouldn't start the car that morning when it was 13* below zero.

So if you're one of this type, then AAA is a bargain. But from reading your post, you don't sound like this type, so I'd suggest you keep your money in your pocket or spend it on something like going out to dinner or some other thing you enjoy.
I tend to agree with you, and admit that I have considered joining several times too, mainly for the reduced hotel rates. I have personally avoided making the commitment for the same reasons that you have outlined as I tend to carefully pre-plan all of my trips. But I still think that it may be a good bargain in some respects. Here are my two cents...

If you join the rewards packages of the hotel chains that you're interested in prior to traveling, you will typically find that they at least match the rate, or offer better rates than AAA.

That said, there are times when you can't pre-plan a long road trip precisely and find that you need to stay in a hotel along the way that you did not plan for, for example, when your just too tired to drive another 100 miles to the city that has your preferred hotel chain. Or if you have an unexpected emergency. This is where an AAA membership might just save you some money and is the reason that I am considering joining AAA.

I have noticed that if you're in a situation that requires you to deviate from your plan- the hotel will allow you to state that you have an AAA membership, even if you don't have the membership, to qualify for the reduced rates. On more than one occasion, when I asked about a US veteran's rate the desk at the hotel said that he would provide the AAA rate. I am not sure if this was due to my asking for a veteran rate or not, but I have gotten the AAA rate several times when asking about a veteran's discount.

On a final note- if you or your partner is a vet, I would highly suggest paying the 35 extra per year to get veterans' license plates! This has saved my butt on several occasions. I have been stopped out of state twice for speeding at a speed trap after crossing a border where the state speed limit is 10 MPH slower and received a warning on both occasions. Quite often the police are former veterans and will give you the benefit of the doubt that would not be typical of non-vets. I do road trips quite a bit and the extra 35 bucks provide peace of mind while travelling and provide some occasional extra hotel benefits.

Just my take,

Last edited by gregory77; 05-25-2021 at 04:00 AM..
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Old 05-25-2021, 04:51 AM
1,371 posts, read 584,718 times
Reputation: 2361
See if your liability insurer has a breakdow/towing rider. I had it, and it was about a quarter of the price of AAA membership. I drove junkers, used towing several times. Pay anyone who can respond to tour breakdown call, and just turn in your receipt to the insurer. AAA makes you cal a shop 100 miles away and wait till they get around to it.

Rand Mcnally still publishes a road atlas, better than AAA maps. Learn to use paper maps --- there's a reason they never printed them on dollar-billl-sized sheets.

AAA has a few upscale perks, unlikely you'd ever use them.
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Old 05-25-2021, 04:58 AM
91,592 posts, read 88,872,597 times
Reputation: 66181
Again , see my post about insurers dinging your insurance score through clue by reporting road side assistance calls .

Very sneakily many insurance companies use the cheap road side assistance to ding your score so if you shop for insurance you will get high quotes …it is their way of keeping you captive.

They won’t raise you but the dings effect your insurance score others see
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Old 05-25-2021, 05:28 AM
Location: Loudon, TN
8,455 posts, read 6,863,891 times
Reputation: 29530
Originally Posted by Chas863 View Post
Based on your description of YOUR car problems, I'd say that AAA would be a screaming bargain!

However, just to put things into perspective, not everyone would do the things that you and your husband do.

For example:

1. Not everyone would attempt to use their SUV as a tractor and attempt to pull logs out of the back 40 timber lot and get the car stuck up in the mud. That's what tractors are for.

2. Not everyone keeps a junk... err, excuse me, a "vintage" car that they have trouble starting or that needs towed 45 miles because it won't run.

3. Not everyone drives a car with a non-working gas gauge. Even if they did, it doesn't seem like it would be too difficult to write down the mileage at the last fill-up, and then refill it again before going over 300 or so miles. Or is the odometer busted too?

4. Locking yourself out of your car while out drinking? Yeah, I guess that can happen.

5. Having a flat tire while wearing a dress and heels? Well, not going to happen to me, but I suppose that it might happen to some people.

Yep, AAA is definitely a bargain for you.
1) A big tree limb fell 6 feet from our bedroom window on the opposite side of the yard from the driveway, not on "a tree lot in the back 40", and we lived in a residential neighborhood, no tractors in sight. It was a 4 wheel drive so I thought, how hard could this be.

2) Our 1965 El Camino was a custom car that we just sold for a LOT of money (more than I paid for my brand new car 2 years ago). My husband has owned that car and shown it for over 40 years. The starter went out, I mean parts do break after 55 years, and 45 miles was just the distance to our home, where my hubby replaced his own starter. Starters from 55 year old classic cars are not available at the nearest repair facility.

3) Again parts break. Cars that are not brand new occasionally malfunction. If I had known the gas gauge was reading incorrectly, I would've had it fixed but the sending unit malfunctioned.

4) When did I do that? I said I was SKIING, not drinking. The ski hill closes at 5 and it gets dark and cold pretty quick in the mountains at 8000 ft.

5) Just be glad you never had to wear heels buddy, but it's hard to change a tire when you're dressed for work on your way to the office at 7:00 am and your tire hits something on the road.

I've used AAA probably once every one of the 30 years I've had it. I got AAA tow service and a cell phone the year of my divorce (1983) so I would never have to call my ex to come rescue me. It has been a lifesaver. It's like they say about American Express...don't leave home without it.

So, yeah, I guess not everyone would try to clean up their yard after a major storm, own a beautiful classic car, drive an 8 year old truck when a part failed, go skiing, or drive to work. Sounds like pretty regular stuff to me, but you do you.

Last edited by TheShadow; 05-25-2021 at 05:52 AM..
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Old 05-25-2021, 07:07 AM
1,299 posts, read 614,182 times
Reputation: 5278
Sounds like the OP needs to do the math. If the RV breaks down in a remote location far from a repair shop, what will the cost of an AAA plus membership compare to calling up joe blow repair shop 100 miles away?
For peace of mind I would, in this situation, purchase the AAA plus membership and then when I'm camped and broken down in a very heavy RV on some very remote Utah federal lands, they would be obligated to come tow me.
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Old 05-25-2021, 07:10 AM
1,743 posts, read 692,236 times
Reputation: 3008
Originally Posted by jlawrence01 View Post
Several points based on my 38 years of membership:

3) People above start to say that many people don't keep up on their service. I ALWAYS take my vehicle for service as required by the owner's manual. Yes, that would reduce calls. However, you can maintain your cars very well and still hit black ice or pick up a nail in your tires and the like.

4) I drive through the desert all the time. If I break down, I want to be able to tow my vehicle into a reputable shop. I have the 100 mile tow service and for me, I would rather use that than have it towed to wherever the other place will tow it to. I will have it towed to the dealership 40 miles

5) I am getting old. It I hit a nail and my tire goes flat in I-10 on the way to Phoenix, I would rather have a tow truck with flashing emergency lights blocking off traffic while the technician changes the tire instead of me doing it.

To me, what I pay for service to AAA is well worth the cost.
Re #3: We are really good about keeping our car serviced too (in fact, guess where one of our cars is today? In a reputable shop getting a pre-trip inspection, in addition to all the regular check-ups and maintainable that my husband almost religiously adheres to.) And we travel all the time. We go away almost every weekend and take multiple long trips throughout the year. And, in 30 years, we have needed a long-distance tow precisely one time. We wound up paying $700 for it — significantly cheaper than paying 30 years of AAA annual dues for their “plus” or “premium” option. Also, we had a lot of warning that our younger, more naive selves chose to ignore. We had the Red Triangle of Death come on and go off for about three days before it came on, stayed on with a flashing exclamation point in the middle of it ... and we still drove on only to have the car completely die about an hour later. Now when we see warning lights, we are a little more pro-active.

Re #5: But of course calling AAA and doing it yourself are not the only two options.
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Old 05-25-2021, 10:21 AM
Location: AZ, CT no longer
574 posts, read 480,009 times
Reputation: 1567
AAA also works if you’re inside a vehicle that you don’t own, such as if you’re friend is driving, and their car conks out.

I was at a job site once, logging soil samples. In between borings, I offered the drillers some Christmas cookies that I had baked, which were on the front seat of the company truck. One of the guys decided to play with the power locks and accidentally locked the truck. Guess where the keys were.

I called AAA, and they sent someone who found us on the job site and unlocked the truck. He earned some cookies, too.
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