Author Topic: AAA - anyone still use?  (Read 3760 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Bob Marino

  • Festool Dealer
  • *
  • Posts: 2971
    • bobmarinosbesttools.com
AAA - anyone still use?
« on: January 19, 2018, 08:41 AM »
 
 I posted this on one of the car forums I frequent, but I thin it's a good question to post here also.

 When I first started driving - way back in the late 60's, I remember being a member of the Automobile Association of America (AAA). They were pretty popular and had physical offices where you can go in and discuss trip plans and they would give you these hard copy maps with an outline for your destination and suggested stop overs and hotel discounts,etc besides the very important roadside assistance. I know they offer roadside assistance today, but really in this age in internet reservations, NAV systems in your car and on your phone as well as roadside assistance being a given under the car's warranty and/or by your insurance company, has AAA become an anachronism or is it still useful today?
__________________
Festool  Dealer since 2002; user well before that!
            http://bobmarinosbesttools.com
                   Service As It Should Be

Offline Chris Perren

  • Posts: 83
Re: AAA - anyone still use?
« Reply #1 on: January 19, 2018, 08:56 AM »
Hi Bob

I still use .. Mainly its peace of mind for roadside service for my Family.  Roadside service can be very dangerous...  I travel for work plus have kids out state at college so it has come in handy ... Everyone in my family knows to call AAA if roadside service or battery jump is needed.  Plus it can be used with other people too as long as a card member is present... It cost me less than $200 per year for 5 person membership ...   - Chris

Offline Bob Marino

  • Festool Dealer
  • *
  • Posts: 2971
    • bobmarinosbesttools.com
Re: AAA - anyone still use?
« Reply #2 on: January 19, 2018, 09:00 AM »
Hi Bob

I still use .. Mainly its peace of mind for roadside service for my Family.  Roadside service can be very dangerous...  I travel for work plus have kids out state at college so it has come in handy ... Everyone in my family knows to call AAA if roadside service or battery jump is needed.  Plus it can be used with other people too as long as a card member is present... It cost me less than $200 per year for 5 person membership ...   - Chris

 Hey Chris,

 Gotcha on the roadside assistance, but isn't that provided by your insurance company and/or by your car's warranty?
Festool  Dealer since 2002; user well before that!
            http://bobmarinosbesttools.com
                   Service As It Should Be

Offline Chris Perren

  • Posts: 83
Re: AAA - anyone still use?
« Reply #3 on: January 19, 2018, 09:09 AM »
Unfortunately my car's warranties expired a few years back ... Honda's and Toyota's run forever  [smile].  I could add it to my insurance policy for a few dollars a month per car ..  Just never got around to it .. Although it would probably be about the same cost as I'm paying to AAA ...  I do see your point..  Maybe I'll call my insurance guy to compare which is always fun  [crying]       

Offline Bob Marino

  • Festool Dealer
  • *
  • Posts: 2971
    • bobmarinosbesttools.com
Re: AAA - anyone still use?
« Reply #4 on: January 19, 2018, 09:12 AM »
Unfortunately my car's warranties expired a few years back ... Honda's and Toyota's run forever  [smile].  I could add it to my insurance policy for a few dollars a month per car ..  Just never got around to it .. Although it would probably be about the same cost as I'm paying to AAA ...  I do see your point..  Maybe I'll call my insurance guy to compare which is always fun  [crying]       

 Do they still offer those hard copy maps - "TripTiks?"
Festool  Dealer since 2002; user well before that!
            http://bobmarinosbesttools.com
                   Service As It Should Be

Offline live4ever

  • Posts: 758
Re: AAA - anyone still use?
« Reply #5 on: January 19, 2018, 10:05 AM »
My family had AAA when I was growing up.  I remember frequenting the local office for maps, which my mother had a penchant to hoard.  Actually while cleaning out my parents' house recently, I recycled all those maps, and it was very cathartic.  Then I found more stashed away, and I recycled those too.  But I do have fond memories of heading over there and having a helpful employee highlight the route we'd take for an upcoming trip.  It was all very exciting for me of course as the designated backseat navigator.  Oh, let's pick up a guidebook or two while we're here too!

My wife and I had their auto insurance and home insurance until the late 2000s, but there stopped being much of a distinction between their services and other insurance companies as far as I could tell.  So we eventually switched out.  My parents, however, remain with them for auto and have had some recent claims, and AAA has been fine.
Current systainer to productivity ratio:  very high

Offline Bob Marino

  • Festool Dealer
  • *
  • Posts: 2971
    • bobmarinosbesttools.com
Re: AAA - anyone still use?
« Reply #6 on: January 19, 2018, 10:37 AM »
My family had AAA when I was growing up.  I remember frequenting the local office for maps, which my mother had a penchant to hoard.  Actually while cleaning out my parents' house recently, I recycled all those maps, and it was very cathartic.  Then I found more stashed away, and I recycled those too.  But I do have fond memories of heading over there and having a helpful employee highlight the route we'd take for an upcoming trip.  It was all very exciting for me of course as the designated backseat navigator.  Oh, let's pick up a guidebook or two while we're here too!

My wife and I had their auto insurance and home insurance until the late 2000s, but there stopped being much of a distinction between their services and other insurance companies as far as I could tell.  So we eventually switched out.  My parents, however, remain with them for auto and have had some recent claims, and AAA has been fine.


 Yes, same memories - those custom maps - TripTiks in the spiral bound cases with the route highlighted in marker, with those very helpful 'grownups" in the office.
 
Festool  Dealer since 2002; user well before that!
            http://bobmarinosbesttools.com
                   Service As It Should Be

Offline Wooden Skye

  • Posts: 1112
  • My little girl was called home 12-28-15
Re: AAA - anyone still use?
« Reply #7 on: January 19, 2018, 10:38 AM »
I still have it and probably won't get rid of it.  More of a piece of mind thing.  Roadside assistance is the main service.  They do offer maps, insurance, trip assistance, discounts on things and by us vehicle maintenance.
Bryan

TS 55, (2) 1400 Guide Rails, 1900 Guide Rail, MFT/3, Domino DF 500, 2 domino systainers, ETS 150/3, RO 90, CT 26, (2) OF1400, RO 150. RTS 400, LR 32 set, PS300 jigsaw, 3 abrasive systainers, (2) sys toolbox, (2) sys mini, clamps and other accesories

Offline RustE

  • Posts: 270
Re: AAA - anyone still use?
« Reply #8 on: January 19, 2018, 10:40 AM »
I still have AAA Plus, going on 12 years I think.

Currently I drive a lot of miles for work.  A single tow bill would cover my membership for a few years.  The AAA towing allowance is additive to the towing mileage provided by other programs.

I’ve used their passport photo services a few times, received free maps, got discounted hotel rates, and I’m sure there’s more.

Offline Sean Ackerman

  • Festool Dealer
  • *
  • Posts: 1640
  • Festool Dealer near NYC - 10,000 sq feet!
    • Festoolproducts.com
Re: AAA - anyone still use?
« Reply #9 on: January 19, 2018, 11:03 AM »
One of the best deals out there, IMO.  A tow from the race track, lock your keys in the car, flat tire, etc.  All covered.  Can't beat it.
Buy Festool Online" class="bbc_img

Offline Bob D.

  • Posts: 786
Re: AAA - anyone still use?
« Reply #10 on: January 19, 2018, 11:24 AM »
USAA has roadside assistance for their members, so I have never had AAA. I bet other insurance companies do too but I wouldn't know as all my 45 years of driving have been with USAA, never used it but glad it is there for the kids and wife. I've only had one flat in the past 12 years so lucky there and I change it myself. I pay for the rental car option which is $10/year IIRC. If you were in the service and are not a USAA member, you might want to check it out.

Ford has roadside assistance as part of their 36m/36k bumper-to-bumper coverage, never needed it fortunately.

GM and all the others have it too no doubt. Wife had it for her BMW, but with runflat tires she wasn't worried about a flat too much. You can drive 50 miles at 50 MPH on those Goodyear runflats. They covered everything, even regular maintenance was included.
-----
It's a table saw, do you know where your fingers are?

Offline Bob Marino

  • Festool Dealer
  • *
  • Posts: 2971
    • bobmarinosbesttools.com
Re: AAA - anyone still use?
« Reply #11 on: January 19, 2018, 11:27 AM »
  I was never in the Service, so I can't join USAA, but my insurance and car warranty covers towing' flats, key issues etc also.
Festool  Dealer since 2002; user well before that!
            http://bobmarinosbesttools.com
                   Service As It Should Be

Offline neilc

  • Posts: 2399
Re: AAA - anyone still use?
« Reply #12 on: January 19, 2018, 11:28 AM »
I still am a member.
 - discounts on hotel rooms, typically about $8 a night.  Also discounts on rental cars.
 - towing / roadside assistance.  I've used it for dead battery, flat tire, as well as being locked out of my car.  Auto companies may offer this with a new car but after 3-4 years, not likely.  My car is 8 years old, my wife's was 10 till we just traded it.
 - in Chicago if you are pulled over, your license could be taken for even a minor traffic violation unless you have a bail bond card.  AAA offers that as a member so the card lets you keep your license till you pay your fine or attend your court date.

Of the three, I use the first regularly.  The other two are more peace of mind but I have used them.

Offline Bob D.

  • Posts: 786
Re: AAA - anyone still use?
« Reply #13 on: January 19, 2018, 11:56 AM »
  I was never in the Service, so I can't join USAA, but my insurance and car warranty covers towing' flats, key issues etc also.

USAA membership is available to

◾Active, retired and honorably separated officers and enlisted personnel of the U.S. military.
◾Widows, widowers and un-remarried former spouses of USAA members who had USAA auto
   or property insurance while married.
◾Individuals whose parents have or had USAA auto or property insurance.
◾Former USAA members who had auto or property insurance.
◾Cadets and midshipmen at service academies, in advanced ROTC or on ROTC scholarship,
   plus officer candidates within 24 months of commissioning.
-----
It's a table saw, do you know where your fingers are?

Offline RKA

  • Posts: 1055
Re: AAA - anyone still use?
« Reply #14 on: January 19, 2018, 12:03 PM »
Still use it and no plans to get rid of it.  Peace of mind, older cars, not worried about me or my wife having to deal with the shady practices of tow truck drivers that have you over a barrel, etc.  My auto insurance does cover some stuff, but towing is limited to very short distances compared to AAA.  I also get a discount on the auto insurance for maintaining my AAA.  Not enough to recoup the cost of AAA, but it something.  They probably know I'll call AAA before I bother them.

I still use the hotel discounts.  They also offer discounts in a large number of stores you would never think about (look on the website).  I used them to obtain in int'l driver's permit/license a few years ago.  If I recall, they have affiliations with foreign auto clubs.  Last time I went to Germany, I recall AAA members could obtain benefits through the local auto club there.  I didn't need it, but I filed that away just in case something came up (I wasn't driving a rental).  I used their auto buying program once (before they sub'd that out to truecar).  It was painless and I saved an additional $1K over what my father had negotiated on his own.  The second time I tried to use it, they had sub'd to truecar and I would NOT recommend that to anyone unless you like to get bombarded by dealers on your mobile devices.  And you cannot opt out if you want the price quote.

They have expanded into auto service.  I haven't looked into those, no need.  I'm not sure if members get an additional discount or something.

They do a horrible job of selling their membership on the additional perks.  They are buried on their website as well.  I have to remind myself to go back to the website once a year to see if there is anything new I need to file away for when the time comes. 
-Raj

Offline Jim Kirkpatrick

  • Posts: 1039
    • Jim Kirkpatrick Woodworking
Re: AAA - anyone still use?
« Reply #15 on: January 19, 2018, 01:12 PM »
Bob, another great benefit at least in my state (MA), is that you can renew your drivers license and registration there.  No more standing in line at the DMV!

Offline SRSemenza

  • Global Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 8368
  • Finger Lakes Region, NY State , USA
Re: AAA - anyone still use?
« Reply #16 on: January 19, 2018, 01:20 PM »
   It has been a few years since I checked on roadside service / towing through insurance but last time I checked AAA was a  better and more complete service. Could be different now but I think that is still the case.  I also like that it is on the driver not the vehicle. Many others have a flat fee for the tow charge or a limit of ten miles or to nearest dealership.  AAA Plus is 100 miles and Premier is 200 miles to wherever you want the vehicle to go.  Also Premier has what used to be called trip continuance coverage for rental car and hotel, etc. It does cost more than others but what I want when I go off the road or break down 150 miles from home is, one phone call ..... take the vehicle to my mechanic (near home not far away where I will need to travel again just to get my car back), and please bring me a rental car.  Oh yeah and if I happen to be driving my wife's car, or a friend's vehicle  ... no problem. 

    Cost wise it doesn't take much to equal several years of AAA membership charge. My son has it too, and last year he needed double winch extrication from a deep ditch.  That charge was / would've been $250.00. If it had also needed towing add another $120.00. 

Seth

Offline Peter Belisle

  • Posts: 23
Re: AAA - anyone still use?
« Reply #17 on: January 19, 2018, 01:30 PM »
I had to use my AAA Monday when i lost a break line (still in my yard) in my 99 econoline.  It was about 18 degrees here in Rhode Island  and my aging van wasnt having it. Without AAA it would have been 100$ for a 2 mile tow on top of the repair cost.


we also use it for discounts at a few of the stores around here.

Offline pixelated

  • Posts: 100
Re: AAA - anyone still use?
« Reply #18 on: January 19, 2018, 02:23 PM »
Yet another user here, one of the more handy times I used their service was during a business trip and I accidentally locked the rental car's keys in the trunk. This was while I was loading the car to head to the airport. Luckily I had budgeted some extra time. The rental company could have come out too, for a few hundred $'s. I have AAA's "RV" service which in addition to covering any car I'm driving, covers tows for my motorcycle too.
Haven't used their maps much in recent times, but do take advantage of the hotel and rental car discounts they offer. Overall, I consider them a pretty decent value.


Offline rst

  • Posts: 1833
Re: AAA - anyone still use?
« Reply #19 on: January 19, 2018, 07:39 PM »
We've had AAA for 38 years and pay for our kids every year.  We started doing that for them as soon as they started paying their own way.  It was really reassuring when our oldest daughter was living in the Northwest as she was doing the five jobs to make half a living thing.

Offline Steve Rowe

  • Posts: 828
  • Teach them safety when they are young.
Re: AAA - anyone still use?
« Reply #20 on: January 19, 2018, 08:28 PM »
I dropped AAA over 35 years ago shortly after needing a tow and quickly discovered that AAA varies depending on the state you were in and not the state of your residence.  Long story short, I was out of pocket big $ for a tow when traveling.

I have towing and labor insurance on each of my vehicles for $6.63 per 6 months/vehicle.  Much less than AAA and much better coverage. 

Trip tickets were a nice benefit but today with GPS navigation on smart phones, it seems quaint if they still offer it.  I don't see what value AAA adds to the mix.

Offline jobsworth

  • Posts: 4968
  • Does Anyone Know What Time It Is?
Re: AAA - anyone still use?
« Reply #21 on: January 19, 2018, 10:50 PM »
Hey Bob, I have a AAA membership, I got it primarily bc of the roadside assistance. But there are other things they offer that is very useful. The DMV services they offer are very good. I can pay my vehicle license fees and get my registration stickers right on te spot with out waiting. As far as traveling yes there are GPSs but they have travel books of things to do, sites to see in the places we will go and along the way, makes planning inadvance easy. They also offer car insurance but I dont have it. I used to years ago they were very good when I made a claim and covered me when I moved out of state. They got a bit pricey so I dropped their insurance. They offer travel services to. I havent used them yet butas I just retired in Sept and still getting used to it and figureing out what to do, Im sure Ill be checking them out very soon.

Most of this is really personal preference . What works for me may not work for others and visa jersey.

Offline jtwood

  • Posts: 225
Re: AAA - anyone still use?
« Reply #22 on: January 19, 2018, 10:56 PM »
I live in SoCal and have been a member (Auto Club of Southern California) and insured by them (auto and home) for about 20 years.  The service is terrific, especially if you have a problem in the car.  The rates are competitive.
You can do trip planning either on line or in their offices - they still have travel agents in the offices.
They have a phone app for your use to either contact them or avail yourself of their services.
They offer discounts on all sorts of products and services, retail and restaurants by showing your card or using it online, especially for travel.
There are different levels of membership for the "towing" service, with different benefits depending on what you need.  The top level even has locksmith service if you get locked out of your home, not just your car. 
I first joined and got their insurance at the recommendation of a friend who owned a large auto body shop.  He had his personal auto insurance with them, and told me that they were one of the few companies that would pay for original parts on covered repairs.

Steve

Offline SRSemenza

  • Global Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 8368
  • Finger Lakes Region, NY State , USA
Re: AAA - anyone still use?
« Reply #23 on: January 20, 2018, 12:35 AM »
I dropped AAA over 35 years ago shortly after needing a tow and quickly discovered that AAA varies depending on the state you were in and not the state of your residence.  Long story short, I was out of pocket big $ for a tow when traveling.

I have towing and labor insurance on each of my vehicles for $6.63 per 6 months/vehicle.  Much less than AAA and much better coverage. 

Trip tickets were a nice benefit but today with GPS navigation on smart phones, it seems quaint if they still offer it.  I don't see what value AAA adds to the mix.


I don't think it is like that anymore. As far as I can find the same benefits apply nationwide. If it was a Basic / Classic level membership that is only good for a 3 mile tow. After the first three you pay the rest. 

Do you get your towing through insurance company?  And what do you get for the price?  Just curious.

Seth

Offline Steve Rowe

  • Posts: 828
  • Teach them safety when they are young.
Re: AAA - anyone still use?
« Reply #24 on: January 20, 2018, 08:48 AM »
I dropped AAA over 35 years ago shortly after needing a tow and quickly discovered that AAA varies depending on the state you were in and not the state of your residence.  Long story short, I was out of pocket big $ for a tow when traveling.

I have towing and labor insurance on each of my vehicles for $6.63 per 6 months/vehicle.  Much less than AAA and much better coverage. 

Trip tickets were a nice benefit but today with GPS navigation on smart phones, it seems quaint if they still offer it.  I don't see what value AAA adds to the mix.


I don't think it is like that anymore. As far as I can find the same benefits apply nationwide. If it was a Basic / Classic level membership that is only good for a 3 mile tow. After the first three you pay the rest. 

Do you get your towing through insurance company?  And what do you get for the price?  Just curious.

Seth

Hi Seth,
A summary of the roadside assistance coverage:
-Towing to the nearest repair facility
-Gas delivery
-Changing tires
-Performing labor where the breakdown took place

The AAA coverage I had years ago had no limit on length of tow in the state I had the coverage in (i.e. - to the nearest repair facility).  Woe to those who break down in another state where the coverage is different.  The tow was about 50 miles to the nearest repair facility (dealer).  I don't worry about that with my insurance coverage.

Offline JayStPeter

  • Posts: 363
Re: AAA - anyone still use?
« Reply #25 on: January 20, 2018, 10:02 AM »
When I was in college, my summer job one year was working as a laborer renovating a building.  One whole floor was AAA doing the triptiks.  There were a lot of pretty young girls putting together the packages so there was always a lot of work to do on that floor.
Jay St. Peter

Offline McNally Family

  • Posts: 599
  • Festool Atomic Phaser Particle Blaster (APPB Set)
Re: AAA - anyone still use?
« Reply #26 on: January 20, 2018, 10:40 AM »
We joined AAA in December of last year (2017), and placed a membership card into each of our 3 children's stockings.  All of our children drive, but also ride with their friends.  Since the benefits are attached to the card itself, and not just to the automobile, we felt it was beneficial for our children to have that protection regardless of whose car they were in.  In my opinion, it is cheap insurance (and peace of mind for us), against our kids being stranded somewhere with an empty tank of gas or dead battery.
GREEN: In order of purchase = | CT26  |  RS 2 E | Hose w/ Sleeve 3.5m | 115mm X 226mm Hand Sanding Block | 80mm X 133mm Hand Sanding Block | HSK D21.5 5m hose | CT Boom Arm Bundle Set | 1080 Plate for custom MFT | OF 1400 EQ Router (metric) w/accessories | SYS-Rock BR10 | Cordless Sander RTSC 400 Set |  Cordless Delta Sander DTSC 400 Basic | Linear Sander LS 130 | PDC 18/4 set | CXS  2.6Ah Set | Installer Cleaning Set (2018 version) |  New style Festool hose D 27/32 x 3,5m AS/CT | Replacement Hose Garage | Remote control CT-F I/M-Set | MFH1000 work stool | Next purchase: TBD

RED: // Mafell P1cc  //  MT55cc  // Next purchase: TBD

Offline SRSemenza

  • Global Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 8368
  • Finger Lakes Region, NY State , USA
Re: AAA - anyone still use?
« Reply #27 on: January 20, 2018, 04:25 PM »
I dropped AAA over 35 years ago shortly after needing a tow and quickly discovered that AAA varies depending on the state you were in and not the state of your residence.  Long story short, I was out of pocket big $ for a tow when traveling.

I have towing and labor insurance on each of my vehicles for $6.63 per 6 months/vehicle.  Much less than AAA and much better coverage. 

Trip tickets were a nice benefit but today with GPS navigation on smart phones, it seems quaint if they still offer it.  I don't see what value AAA adds to the mix.


I don't think it is like that anymore. As far as I can find the same benefits apply nationwide. If it was a Basic / Classic level membership that is only good for a 3 mile tow. After the first three you pay the rest. 

Do you get your towing through insurance company?  And what do you get for the price?  Just curious.

Seth

Hi Seth,
A summary of the roadside assistance coverage:
-Towing to the nearest repair facility
-Gas delivery
-Changing tires
-Performing labor where the breakdown took place

The AAA coverage I had years ago had no limit on length of tow in the state I had the coverage in (i.e. - to the nearest repair facility).  Woe to those who break down in another state where the coverage is different.  The tow was about 50 miles to the nearest repair facility (dealer).  I don't worry about that with my insurance coverage.


First one on the list is a big difference for me. I don't want to go to the nearest facility. I want to go to where I  want it to go.

Then again  ..... big difference in price. Just depends what  "features" are important to each individual.


Seth

Offline Steve Rowe

  • Posts: 828
  • Teach them safety when they are young.
Re: AAA - anyone still use?
« Reply #28 on: January 20, 2018, 07:28 PM »
I dropped AAA over 35 years ago shortly after needing a tow and quickly discovered that AAA varies depending on the state you were in and not the state of your residence.  Long story short, I was out of pocket big $ for a tow when traveling.

I have towing and labor insurance on each of my vehicles for $6.63 per 6 months/vehicle.  Much less than AAA and much better coverage. 

Trip tickets were a nice benefit but today with GPS navigation on smart phones, it seems quaint if they still offer it.  I don't see what value AAA adds to the mix.


I don't think it is like that anymore. As far as I can find the same benefits apply nationwide. If it was a Basic / Classic level membership that is only good for a 3 mile tow. After the first three you pay the rest. 

Do you get your towing through insurance company?  And what do you get for the price?  Just curious.

Seth

Hi Seth,
A summary of the roadside assistance coverage:
-Towing to the nearest repair facility
-Gas delivery
-Changing tires
-Performing labor where the breakdown took place

The AAA coverage I had years ago had no limit on length of tow in the state I had the coverage in (i.e. - to the nearest repair facility).  Woe to those who break down in another state where the coverage is different.  The tow was about 50 miles to the nearest repair facility (dealer).  I don't worry about that with my insurance coverage.


First one on the list is a big difference for me. I don't want to go to the nearest facility. I want to go to where I  want it to go.

Then again  ..... big difference in price. Just depends what  "features" are important to each individual.


Seth
Actually, it is my choice of the repair facility.  My car broke down in Atlanta and I live in Arkansas.  Is it reasonable to have my car towed to my preferred mechanic 600 miles away?  I think not and seriously doubt that AAA would do so either.  I had it towed to the nearest Pontiac dealer in Atlanta passing multiple repair shops on the way. 

Regardless, my opinion of AAA is: fool me once shame on you, fool me twice - you are not even going to get the chance.  Bad experiences stay in my memory a very long time.

Offline pixelated

  • Posts: 100
Re: AAA - anyone still use?
« Reply #29 on: January 20, 2018, 08:26 PM »
They've never given me any problems with towing to my choice of  repair shop. In one case, it was a 60ish mile tow and across a state line.