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Old 05-25-2021, 08:42 PM
 
Location: Howard County, Maryland
10,107 posts, read 5,591,749 times
Reputation: 23669

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Quote:
Originally Posted by BOS2IAD View Post
Before the internet, we used AAA to prepare "Triptiks" for our long road trips.
I remember those! When I was a kid in the 1970s, my family would take an annual driving trip from Virginia to Florida, and we'd have AAA prepare one for us. The funny thing is, we always followed the exact same route, one long straight shot via I-95, yet we always got a new Trip Tik each year anyway. I've been blessed with a good sense of direction, so i can only recall getting a Trip Tik once for myself, when as a young adult I did a driving trip on a meandering path through the Southeast, from Pennsylvania to Tennessee.

As for whether or not AAA is worth it today, I can say that I had two flat tires about two months apart, a couple of years ago. Nails, both times. Both times, I discovered the flat while the car was parked in a parking lot, so there was no danger of changing a tire next to fast-moving traffic. But still, instead of changing to the spare only to drive to the repair shop and get the tire fixed, I had AAA come out and give me enough air to drive there on the damaged tire. They were prompt, both times.

I haven't run the numbers on whether my membership is financially advantageous to me or not, but I suspect it is, if only by a small margin. But the peace of mind is worth it to me.
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Old 05-25-2021, 09:57 PM
 
15,293 posts, read 26,406,197 times
Reputation: 22392
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jill_Schramm View Post
Re #5: But of course calling AAA and doing it yourself are not the only two options.

Precisely, what are all the other options? Stand in front of traffic until it stops? Maybe a good samaritan? Wait for the police to show up?

That reminds me of one of the employees who said that she wouldn't need AAA as some guy would always change her tire for her (in her miniskirt).
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Old 05-26-2021, 01:49 AM
 
Location: Amelia Island
3,522 posts, read 4,592,802 times
Reputation: 3895
Great timing of this post as I opened my AMEX bill last night and noticed a charge for our yearly AAA membership.

I have been a member since 1976 and to be honest the last few years we have only used ours twice for auto related problems which were a flat and dead battery. Both of these issues were out of the blue so AAA really came in handy.

Now we do use it for the tour books both here in the states and internationally and pre COVID-19 we definitely broke even on our membership with the hotel discounts when traveling. We have also used for car rental discounts. Also pre COVID-19 the wife would drive home to RI once or twice a year with the twins and it was a great benefit to know she had it in case of an emergency.

It is a bit of a luxury but at the same time it is peace of mind and the twins will be driving shortly and I won’t be there all the time for them if they have a flat or dead battery.

While the option is not available here, I know back in RI a AAA member can register their car at a AAA office rather than visit the DMV. Not sure if that is available in other states.

As far as being irresponsible and almost running out of gas, yes it has happened to us once or twice when traveling but luckily we made it to a station on fumes. Once we were traveling down the Oregon coast and the coastline was so breathtaking I completely forgot to keep a watch on the gauge and we were in an area with very small towns and stations were far and few between. Lessons learned when traveling!

On another note as I see many negatives about the yearly price, to me it is insignificant compared to the price I need to pay for my cable bill and cell phone. We have basic plans for cable and cell but think the average family spends at least $2400 a year for cable and phone. To me that AAA membership is a bargain to have that service available. Heck for what I pay for cable I can’t even get a live person at Comcast to talk to when I have a cable breakdown.

Last edited by JBtwinz; 05-26-2021 at 02:25 AM..
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Old 05-26-2021, 03:41 AM
 
Location: Seattle
52 posts, read 12,446 times
Reputation: 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by k7baixo View Post
With our new truck, I drive only 5-7-10 mph over the limit and in-town, only 3 - 5. In my last vehicle, an open freeway, no cars and a mile or two of visibility was an invitation to pop it up to 130 - 150 or faster.

That said, both vehicles always have vet plates and if stopped, the plan was to hand them my concealed carry permit along with license. I almost never carry but the permit indicates to Johnny Law that I’ve passed a background check that includes fingerprinting.

Does it work? Dunno - the last time I was stopped was probably around 2003. I talked my way out of that one by pulling over when Johnny Law performed a u-turn and flipped on his blue lights. He was so impressed that he didn’t have to chase me down that he gave me a warning and a “Happy Thanksgiving”.

AAA - never had it, never needed it. The last time my car stranded me and I didn’t have warranty coverage was 1979 when my Dart Sport simply died on the side of the freeway in San Antonio. Back then, every guy worth a damn carried tools in his trunk. I caught a lift to a local parts place, picked up a fuel pump, installed it on the side of the road, crossed my fingers and it started right up.

Once the warranty expires on the current truck goes out, I’ll add it via our insurance.
This is somewhat off-topic, but I am curious to hear your views K7, I too have a concealed carry license but I have never shown it to the police if I am pulled over. I don't want to add any complications or be asked to step out of the car or my truck- or hand over my gun (if I have it with me). Of course, I have the license with me and am ready to provide it, but I don't immediately offer it. I talked to other gun owners in Washington State that advised me of this policy- do you think that it is beneficial to let the police know if you have it in other states? I am hesitant to do so myself. Maybe this is just a Washington State thing. I get that the cops may be relieved to hear that we passed a background check through, what is your take on the attitudes of the police in other states?

Just my curious take,
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Old 05-26-2021, 03:57 AM
 
Location: Seattle
52 posts, read 12,446 times
Reputation: 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by jlawrence01 View Post
Precisely, what are all the other options? Stand in front of traffic until it stops? Maybe a good samaritan? Wait for the police to show up?

That reminds me of one of the employees who said that she wouldn't need AAA as some guy would always change her tire for her (in her miniskirt).
Haha!

For the extra peace of mind, I don't think that getting an AAA membership is a bad idea at all. We have all had our 'oh-crap' moments, whether we lock ourselves out of the car, or have an unexpected flat tire and during such moments, I would find having an AAA membership quite worth it. On top of that, the additional discounts one would probably come out ahead or break even if you travel a lot. And an AAA membership does not cost alot.

That said, I don't have an AAA membership, and I try to go on several road trips per year. I also check my vehicles carefully before leaving and do a lot of careful preplanning. As long as you are diligent, I don't think that either choice whether to get AAA or not, is wrong.

Just my take,
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Old 05-26-2021, 04:03 AM
 
Location: Seattle
52 posts, read 12,446 times
Reputation: 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by JBtwinz View Post
Great timing of this post as I opened my AMEX bill last night and noticed a charge for our yearly AAA membership.

I have been a member since 1976 and to be honest the last few years we have only used ours twice for auto related problems which were a flat and dead battery. Both of these issues were out of the blue so AAA really came in handy.

Now we do use it for the tour books both here in the states and internationally and pre COVID-19 we definitely broke even on our membership with the hotel discounts when traveling. We have also used for car rental discounts. Also pre COVID-19 the wife would drive home to RI once or twice a year with the twins and it was a great benefit to know she had it in case of an emergency.

It is a bit of a luxury but at the same time it is peace of mind and the twins will be driving shortly and I won’t be there all the time for them if they have a flat or dead battery.

While the option is not available here, I know back in RI a AAA member can register their car at a AAA office rather than visit the DMV. Not sure if that is available in other states.

As far as being irresponsible and almost running out of gas, yes it has happened to us once or twice when traveling but luckily we made it to a station on fumes. Once we were traveling down the Oregon coast and the coastline was so breathtaking I completely forgot to keep a watch on the gauge and we were in an area with very small towns and stations were far and few between. Lessons learned when traveling!

On another note as I see many negatives about the yearly price, to me it is insignificant compared to the price I need to pay for my cable bill and cell phone. We have basic plans for cable and cell but think the average family spends at least $2400 a year for cable and phone. To me that AAA membership is a bargain to have that service available. Heck for what I pay for cable I can’t even get a live person at Comcast to talk to when I have a cable breakdown.
Well said.
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Old 05-26-2021, 04:16 AM
 
Location: Seattle
52 posts, read 12,446 times
Reputation: 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chas863 View Post
BINGO! It's all a matter of which group you choose to be in... the irresponsible group who never thinks about preventive maintenance or the responsible group who takes every reasonable precaution to ensure that their car doesn't break down on the side of the road or run out of gas on a lonely stretch of highway.

In 50 years of driving, I can count on one hand the number of times that I've had a breakdown or flat on the side of a highway or had a car that failed to start. I've NEVER run out of gas. Anyone who has a breakdown, runs out of gas, or failure to start about once per year shouldn't be allowed behind the wheel because they clearly have no idea of what preventative maintenance and responsible ownership means. Why should I, as a responsible driver and car owner, subsidize those who won't take the time to look out for their own safety and well being?
I am a very diligent planner, but I disagree with this sentiment. We are all prone to an 'oh-crap' moment once in a while, especially when we are tired on a road trip. I have also never run out of gas, but I can't tell you how many times I accidentally left my cell phone in a stupid restroom and had to madly dash back after realizing it was missing while on a road trip. I understand that AAA would not cover my cell phone stupidity here, but many of us have our moments! Additionally, our vehicles, however nicely maintained, also don't always want to play nicely after being driven for a long time. For most of us; I don't think that we can assume that paying an extra 35-50 a year for an extra peace of mind is such a bad idea.

Just my sometimes forgetful take,

Just my take,

Last edited by gregory77; 05-26-2021 at 04:26 AM..
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Old 05-26-2021, 05:26 AM
 
1,876 posts, read 883,713 times
Reputation: 6718
Quote:
Originally Posted by bus man View Post
I remember those! When I was a kid in the 1970s, my family would take an annual driving trip from Virginia to Florida, and we'd have AAA prepare one for us. The funny thing is, we always followed the exact same route, one long straight shot via I-95, yet we always got a new Trip Tik each year anyway. I've been blessed with a good sense of direction, so i can only recall getting a Trip Tik once for myself, when as a young adult I did a driving trip on a meandering path through the Southeast, from Pennsylvania to Tennessee.

As for whether or not AAA is worth it today, I can say that I had two flat tires about two months apart, a couple of years ago. Nails, both times. Both times, I discovered the flat while the car was parked in a parking lot, so there was no danger of changing a tire next to fast-moving traffic. But still, instead of changing to the spare only to drive to the repair shop and get the tire fixed, I had AAA come out and give me enough air to drive there on the damaged tire. They were prompt, both times.

I haven't run the numbers on whether my membership is financially advantageous to me or not, but I suspect it is, if only by a small margin. But the peace of mind is worth it to me.
Just an FYI, for about $30 or so you can purchase a perfectly good tire inflator pump that you can use yourself to pump up a flat tire. These inflators plug into the cigarette lighter (power outlet) of the car and can pump up a tire in just a few minutes. It might take 5 minutes if the tire is completely flat.

There is no physical effort required to use one of these pumps other than simply hooking the hose of the pump to the tire valve and plugging the electric cord into the power outlet in the car. The pump does all the work. Unless you've run over something that gouged a big gaping hole in the tire, you should be able to easily drive any reasonable distance to a service station to get the tire fixed.

I carry a pump like this in my car all the time. With reasonable care, it will last 20 years or longer and you can use it to inflate all sorts of things.

Last edited by Chas863; 05-26-2021 at 05:51 AM..
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Old 05-26-2021, 05:44 AM
 
1,876 posts, read 883,713 times
Reputation: 6718
Quote:
Originally Posted by gregory77 View Post
I am a very diligent planner, but I disagree with this sentiment. We are all prone to an 'oh-crap' moment once in a while, especially when we are tired on a road trip. I have also never run out of gas, but I can't tell you how many times I accidentally left my cell phone in a stupid restroom and had to madly dash back after realizing it was missing while on a road trip. I understand that AAA would not cover my cell phone stupidity here, but many of us have our moments! Additionally, our vehicles, however nicely maintained, also don't always want to play nicely after being driven for a long time. For most of us; I don't think that we can assume that paying an extra 35-50 a year for an extra peace of mind is such a bad idea.

Just my sometimes forgetful take,

Just my take,
Well, here's my take on it. AAA is basically an insurance company. They collect premiums from millions of customers and dole out benefits on an as-needed basis. At the end of the day, they have to have enough income from premiums to stay in business and make a profit.

This means that for everyone who is constantly running out of gas, getting flat tires repaired, getting a jump start or new battery for their car, there are many, many others who are paying for these benefits but seldom if ever using them.

In my view, AAA should NOT charge a flat rate for their benefits because this penalizes the responsible car owner and rewards the negligent car owner. AAA should do like State Farm, Progressive, or any other car insurance company and raise the rates for people who make claims on a frequent basis. Why should the person who makes a claim once every 10 to 15 years pay the same rate as someone who makes a claim every year?

If AAA had graduated rates based on use (or abuse) of benefits, I might be interested, but I'm not going to pay premiums every year to support those negligent car owners who are constantly locking their keys in the car, running out of gas, or using their car as a farm tractor.
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Old 05-26-2021, 06:44 AM
 
5,925 posts, read 4,319,723 times
Reputation: 12351
Thanks for the thread, it reminded me that I need to renew mine. When you let it lapse a few months they give you lower renewal rates to get you back. Mine is at $29 now and I'll easily get that back when I use it for the airport parking discount next month.

Over the years we've used it a few times for emergencies. Got stranded on a desert highway 80 miles from the nearest town. I've used the hotel discounts now and then. I like the local travel magazine.

But most of all, it's just peace of mind that if you do call them, their contract tow trucks/repair people will show up. And if you've read the retirement thread, I have an anti-bucket list, things I don't want to do. Changing a tire is one of them.
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