Anybody found an alternative to AAA?

Post
wheregreggeats.com
Filet Mignon
2009/02/05 09:29:12
I've just got my AAA bill and the $54 a year plan I've had for the better part of 20 years has proven to be not worthwhile ... I had to be towed and they offer something like 4 free miles.

I used the service 3 times and was warned that I've used up my free services in that 3 is their limit ... I asked how many times I've used the service in the last 10 years ... same answer "3" ... "3 times in 10 years and you are shutting me down?"

!!!
ScreamingChicken
Filet Mignon
Re:Anybody found an alternative to AAA? 2009/02/05 09:49:42
Are you looking for a plan just for yourself?  I have AAA's "Plus RV" program and I believe it's around $140/year, but it also comes with a much more generous towing program and covers my wife and 16-year-old.

Brad
The Travelin Man
Filet Mignon
Re:Anybody found an alternative to AAA? 2009/02/05 09:57:13
I have had the AAA Plus membership for almost 10 years now.  When I bought it, I was driving the car that I affectionately called "The Money Pit" - a 1992 Saab 900s convertible.  I loved that car, but it had an amazing knack for breaking down when I could least afford it.  To compound that situation, I never found a good Saab mechanic here in Hooterville.  The nearest one of any serious quality was in Winter Garden, which is a solid 75 miles from here.

Anyway, the "plus" membership entitles you to a tow of up to 100 miles.  While I am not sure that I ever used 3 in one year, it is quite possible - and when I did tow, it was usually almost to the maxed out 100 mile limit.  This service runs right around $80 for the year, and I have always found that the difference in cost to the premium membership to be worth it, as I kept the service long after I got rid of The Money Pit.

However, if it is just tow service that you use, have you looked to see what, if any, carriage you get from your current car insurance. 
Nancypalooza
Filet Mignon
Re:Anybody found an alternative to AAA? 2009/02/05 09:59:54
OMG, me and a coworker were just talking about this.  He told me that some cell phone carriers offer a tow service for $3 on your bill a month?  I'd never heard of such.
plb
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:Anybody found an alternative to AAA? 2009/02/05 10:20:16
Do you use any of their discounts?  We take Amtrak every other year to visit family and the savings from that alone more than pays for the dues.
Michael Hoffman
Double-chop Porterhouse
Re:Anybody found an alternative to AAA? 2009/02/05 10:34:12
I just wrote a check for $89 for my AAA Plus membership. It comes with a 100-mile towing agreement.
Sundancer7
Fire Safety Admin
Re:Anybody found an alternative to AAA? 2009/02/05 10:40:26
I have had triple A for about 40 years.  Recently it has become much more valuable to me as I do not drive very much.  I have a Chevy Silverado for 9 years and it has only 12K miles on it and a Caddy that is 2 years old and has 2K miles on it.  Due to infrequent driving , the battery dies very fequently and I call AAA.
 
Just a week ago, my battery died on my truck and since it was a AAA battery, they replaced it for free..
 
I do not know that it is a bargain but it certainly is a convenience.
 
Paul E. Smith
Knoxville, TN
NYPIzzaNut
Filet Mignon
Re:Anybody found an alternative to AAA? 2009/02/05 13:08:41
A couple of thoughts.

Get a new car.

Check with your insurance carrier - ours (USAA) offers towing at nominal cost.
brittneal
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:Anybody found an alternative to AAA? 2009/02/05 14:01:46
we use american family.  i pay 21 bucks/mo. for liability ins.  it includes roaside.  were allowed 1 call/mo.  heck of a deal.
i only used it once when we ground the battery down in freezing weather.  had a local co come out annd took the bill to my agent.  he cut me a check on the pot.  i can call any one.  liit 75 bucks/service.
britt
Adjudicator
Sirloin
Re:Anybody found an alternative to AAA? 2009/02/05 20:13:10
NYPIzzaNut

A couple of thoughts.

Get a new car.

Check with your insurance carrier - ours (USAA) offers towing at nominal cost.


Up until less than a year ago; I had USAA insurance (since 1974).  Around that time; my spouse had a fender bender (her fault).  USAA jacked my rates up so high that I dropped them.  They sent me my last dividend check a month ago (from the year past).  I sent them the check back with a nice adult-oriented comment on the back of it.  They suck.
ellen4641
Filet Mignon
Re:Anybody found an alternative to AAA? 2009/02/05 20:20:03
YES, I do have an ALTERNATIVE for you, GREGG!
ALLSTATE MOTOR CLUB, based in ILLINOIS...
it's cheaper than AAA, and they will tow you as far as you need to go, just about....
(hopefully they still have that policy, anyway..)
Once , I got towed from Rt 35, Red Bank area all the way up to Freehold area, right to my sisters driveway!! I had just gone over a big pothole that busted both my tires!!

The last year or so I tried AAA, mostly cause I just wanted to get all their up to date Tour Books....(they have an office only about a mile or so away from me) 

The only thing that's not fair, IMO, is that hotels often offer the AAA discount, but rarely an Allstate (or similar discount)
No problem as in 3 months, I'll qualify for my AARP discount....
(that's okay, as 50 is the new 30 !!)

post edited by ellen4641 - 2009/02/05 20:23:36
starfire62
Cheeseburger
Re:Anybody found an alternative to AAA? 2009/02/05 22:09:44
 we pay i think about $76 or $78  a year .it works out well for us as i use it for the discounts at hotels and napa auto takes it.my wife gets her travelers checks there.it pays for itself for us with the discounts.i always worry about her with a flat or someting .im always off at a car show or traveling.even new cars break down. when we first joined it was 5 tows a year within 100 miles.
post edited by starfire62 - 2009/02/05 22:13:53
felix4067
Filet Mignon
Re:Anybody found an alternative to AAA? 2009/02/06 03:18:10
Nancypalooza

OMG, me and a coworker were just talking about this.  He told me that some cell phone carriers offer a tow service for $3 on your bill a month?  I'd never heard of such.


Yeah, quite a few of them do...I used to have it.  But if you figure out the $3 per month when you're going to need to get towed once every two or three years maximum it's not worth it.  Plus, the one time I actually needed a tow they couldn't find anyone in the area (second-largest city in the state) to do it, and the one time I needed a jump they couldn't find anyone to do it because I was in a parking ramp and all they had were trucks too big to fit.  I ended up having to call a local cab company and pay the driver not only the cost of getting him in and out of the ramp, but $20 for the jump...and I had to wait well over an hour for them to show up.

AAA does limit you to three calls per year for free, but the vast majority of the time unless you're driving a car that's past its time to be replaced that's more than plenty.  I get towing for 5 miles with the basic membership, but my mother pays for the premium which is 100 miles.
post edited by felix4067 - 2009/02/06 03:19:37
kland01s
Filet Mignon
Re:Anybody found an alternative to AAA? 2009/02/06 10:16:10
I have a roadside service through AARP for something like $30 a year. I haven't had to use it yet.
Scorereader
Sirloin
Re:Anybody found an alternative to AAA? 2009/02/06 10:25:30
when I had battery problems, I ended up regretting not buying the AAA battery and having them install it. Instead, trying to save a buck, I had them tow me to the auto parts store, where my battery turned out to be only $11 cheaper, and installing it in a Saturn proved to be tremendously difficult. Plus, AAA replaces their own batteries for free, for the life of the car - the auto parts store did not have the same deal. For a lousy $11 cheaper battery, I paid the price in time and frustration. The AAA deal was a better deal, and I would easily choose this if this ever happened again on my new in a few years down the line.
 
On same car, my wife once lost the car key. I think we paid the AAA lock guy $40 for a key - which we had to get the code froma Saturn dealership. The local locksmith guy wanted $175. That savings is a year and a half of the plus membership - in one transaction.

The tour books, guide books, etc. are all bonus.

And while regular membership only tows 4 miles, each mile is only a few dollars. So, even if the nearest open service station is 12 or 15 or even 20 miles away, it still beats a $175+ towing bill from a regular tow truck.
 
post edited by Scorereader - 2009/02/06 13:18:04
GNeedles59
Double Cheeseburger
Re:Anybody found an alternative to AAA? 2009/02/06 10:56:34
Michael Hoffman

I just wrote a check for $89 for my AAA Plus membership. It comes with a 100-mile towing agreement.


I have the same deal, I have found it to be totally worth it.


mar52
Sirloin
Re:Anybody found an alternative to AAA? 2009/02/06 12:46:33
AAA Plus for me.  

Live in Los Angeles area and have a home in Palm Springs.  With the 100 mile towing I can be anywhere inbetween and get towed to one home or another.

I don't use it much, but when it's needed like when I got a flat tire in the middle of the night it's greatly appreciated.

I also have a twelve year old vehicle so it's a good idea.
jeepguy
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:Anybody found an alternative to AAA? 2009/02/06 21:32:25
ellen4641

YES, I do have an ALTERNATIVE for you, GREGG!
ALLSTATE MOTOR CLUB, based in ILLINOIS...
it's cheaper than AAA, and they will tow you as far as you need to go, just about....
(hopefully they still have that policy, anyway..)
Once , I got towed from Rt 35, Red Bank area all the way up to Freehold area, right to my sisters driveway!! I had just gone over a big pothole that busted both my tires!!

The last year or so I tried AAA, mostly cause I just wanted to get all their up to date Tour Books....(they have an office only about a mile or so away from me) 

The only thing that's not fair, IMO, is that hotels often offer the AAA discount, but rarely an Allstate (or similar discount)
No problem as in 3 months, I'll qualify for my AARP discount....
(that's okay, as 50 is the new 30 !!)


that's okay, as 50 is the new 30 !!)

 
50 is the new 30 i know. I've been telling my cute neighbor this but it's not working!
 
joclyn
Cheeseburger
Re:Anybody found an alternative to AAA? 2009/02/06 23:56:19
if you have your auto insurance with allstate, towing is usually part of the policy - iirc, it's 50 miles at no charge.  i think they'll also come out and do a battery charge or fill the gas tank, too.  that's at no additional charge - it's part of the policy coverage.  you can also specifically join the travel club thing, too - doing that gives you better than basic coverage as you can choose from the different plan options.
 
as for AAA, after a point they don't charge you for the membership - i'll check at work next week for what year that applies (my boss doesn't pay for it any longer because he's been a member for so long).  it's either 40 or 50 years...i think it might be 50.  i'll let you know on monday.
 
i don't know if the allstate thing offers it or not...AAA does offer discounts at various restaurants and hotels.  and some other stores, also, i believe.  so, yeah, it can be expensive - you get some perks that can be useful, though, if you make a point to take advantage of them.

Baah Ben
Filet Mignon
Re:Anybody found an alternative to AAA? 2009/02/08 08:21:10
Yeah Greg ...Get yourself a Mercedes with lifetime road service assistance.  Most of the insurance policies offer towing.  In any town, you call an 800 number and the local dealership will send a guy out to start your car, open a locked door, etc. 

We use to have AAA and finally gave it up 4 years ago after they offered new customers deals (two memberships for the price of one and added 3 additional months) while requiring their long time customers to pay for a second member for one year.  

When I wrote to the office in Orlando and asked why wouldn't they want to reward those who have been with them the longest, they said they were seeking new customers..Obviously.

For two years, this went on and each year, they gave us the Introductory Offer, too.  In the third year, they refused and I refused as well. 
ken8038
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:Anybody found an alternative to AAA? 2009/02/08 08:42:53
I've been reading thru these posts and I find it odd that while everyone is commenting on the prices of the various plans, no one seems to have anything to say about how quickly any of the services respond to service calls.

We still use AAA but at times we've been very unhappy about the amount of time we've had to wait for a truck to arrive. My wife and i drive fairly new cars so it's not like we are abusing the privildge or anything. Maybe we've used them 10 times in the past 10 years and at least 3 of those times there's has been an unacceptable response time.
felix4067
Filet Mignon
Re:Anybody found an alternative to AAA? 2009/02/08 14:11:33
ken8038

I've been reading thru these posts and I find it odd that while everyone is commenting on the prices of the various plans, no one seems to have anything to say about how quickly any of the services respond to service calls.

We still use AAA but at times we've been very unhappy about the amount of time we've had to wait for a truck to arrive. My wife and i drive fairly new cars so it's not like we are abusing the privildge or anything. Maybe we've used them 10 times in the past 10 years and at least 3 of those times there's has been an unacceptable response time.


AAA doesn't control what your local towing company has for a response time.  They neither own nor manage the companies they call, they just contract with them.  I've used them quite a few times over the years (I used to have a not very good car), and the only time I ever waited more than 20 minutes for a response was when I needed a jump in downtown Biloxi, MS about three months after Katrina and the truck was coming from Mobile, AL.
senor boogie woogie
Cheeseburger
Re:Anybody found an alternative to AAA? 2009/02/09 11:47:03
AAA is the best answer for alcoholics seeking sobriety.
Greymo
Filet Mignon
Re:Anybody found an alternative to AAA? 2009/02/09 12:07:29
I think that you are thinking of AA.
joclyn
Cheeseburger
Re:Anybody found an alternative to AAA? 2009/02/09 13:55:07
it's 50 years and then the membership is free.
Tony Bad
Fire Safety Admin
Re:Anybody found an alternative to AAA? 2009/02/09 14:19:21
Adjudicator

Up until less than a year ago; I had USAA insurance (since 1974).  Around that time; my spouse had a fender bender (her fault).  USAA jacked my rates up so high that I dropped them.  They sent me my last dividend check a month ago (from the year past).  I sent them the check back with a nice adult-oriented comment on the back of it.  They suck.


Not to go off track, but my experiences with USAA have been the polar opposite of yours. I know they are very strict with people not telling the truth, as a friend had a hard time getting a claim paid because he told them he put 5000 miles a year of liesure driving on a car he drove 25,000+ as a commuter vehicle...but I have had no problems at all, and two incidents, one of which my wife was at fault, resulted in no change in our rates.