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AAA is Expiring, Now What?

I used to have Better World, but I found out that they really aren’t as Better as they want me to think.

My first call to them was about a dead, 5-year-old, battery. With my car still in the driveway, locating it was a piece of cake. When I got stranded in an unfamiliar area (I was next to the only K-mart store in that city), it took 2+ hours, and 3 phone calls for a truck to find me. After it expired, I went to AAA. The Android app makes me easy to locate should I get stranded. My car is pretty reliable, so the last time I got stranded was when I drove into a ditch in an unfamiliar area.

AAA is NOT the only fish in the sea, so I’m entertaining other roadside assistance clubs at this time. Price is not a factor due to the amount I paid for the Premier with AAA. Anyone with a recommendation on a motor club, hopefully,with a GPS phone app?

Thanks for the assistance

Problem with AAA

1 - Expensive. I have BETTER coverage through my insurance company at much lower rates.

2 - I’ve seen/heard of cases during a major snow storm where people were waiting over 10 hours for the AAA guy to get to them. There was only 1 AAA tow truck in a 50 mile radius, and he was extremely busy.

Most of the better car insurance companies now include free roadside assistance with their policies, or at very least, they offer this option at a very low cost. Remember that road shoulders tend to be hazardous places, so it is in the interests of a car insurance company to try to get you off of a road shoulder as quickly as possible…before a distracted/senile/drunk/drugged driver runs into your car.

If Roadside Assistance is not available in conjunction with your current car insurance policy, then that is a good indication that you should be shopping for a new insurance company.

I have towing and labor with Amica. Afraid to use it, as it may be considered as an at-fault claim. Amica is very friendly, but I can’t trust any insurance carrier.

“So here’s the # 1 rule about roadside assistance: Never get it from your own insurer. Get it from AAA or elsewhere.”


Thanks VDCdriver

Whoa! That is unacceptable MikeinNH,

When snow is on the roads, I do not drive.

That is absolutely not true with my insurance company (NJM–the top-rated car insurance company in The US, even though they only serve NJ and PA), and I strongly suspect that it is not true of well-rated Amica either.

Simple thing to do is call your insurance and ask if using the towing is a claim and what effect it will have on your rates.


I have aarp that goes through Allstate premium 100 mile tow limit, American express also has free roadside assistance for card members, but has a 10 mile tow limit We have enough road trips that that was not enough in my mind. Allstate even towed my daughters car 25 miles on a flatbed from in town to a mechanic bud when the timing chain fried out. Allstate has been good, needed a tire changed due to a nail in the sidewall, was the last one, a retired guy in a pickup truck came and did the work, wrestled with it for a while as the gear in the drop the spare tire mechanism was puked. Quick service too. And they have an app but I have not used it.

Thanks for this positive review of AARP’s roadside. I was considering them until I read about the locksmith with them; you pay for it, and get reimbursed. I’ll look into this a bit more.

Thanks so much Barkydog,


Another item for me to investigate further…

Will they be honest in their answer to this question. My phone calls are difficult, via a 3rd party. I am deaf, so I must use relay to make phone calls; otherwise, I use email. Oh well, I’ll ask them anyway.

Thanks for the Dope Slap VOLVO_V70,

I have the premium, it says lockout always covered. My big concern is I have not fixed the spare tire mechanism, $120 for parts, not that I want to trust a 14 year old spare for much, and buy a replacement spare tire, and our new Kia does not even have a spare, hopefully it would be a tow to a shop for a new tire.

Yes, I read that lockouts are covered; but, how so? My dental insurance covers me for $300 a year
in dental costs, but the coverage is they reimburse me up to $300 per year. I’ll contact AARP to find out if I must pay for the locksmith, and get reimbursed, of if they pay for it completely, like AAA. Once I find out, I’ll let you know.

I would Google for a newer spare, or donut. Pep Boys, O’Reilly, and Wal-Mart sell donuts. Of course tire centers sell spare tires, at a high price. But, you may want a spare tire shipped to you, and pay for mounting when it arrives.

Living dangerously I guess, when it says lockouts are covered I assume it means just that, throwing out $180 for a spare plus $120 for the mechanism ie $400 for a spare tire that I have used once in 14 years seems worse, than my gamble a free tow to a tire shop for a new tire.

I’ve had Amoco for years (they’ve change hands though and I actually don’t remember who they are now) and the only time I had a problem was when they couldn’t find Minneapolis on the map. Must have been in India or something. I’ve been looking at State Farm though which seems to use the same network.

When I worked for AAA, it was three service calls and you were dropped. It made customers very angry but the guy in charge of road service thought that if you had an old battery, one or two service calls should be enough to get the car repaired. We all have had strings of bad luck though. At any rate the real money was in the insurance end of it and you had to be a member to buy it. That was Minnesota though. The Courtesy Patrol and we were the guys that called into WCCO with the road conditions around the state.

Friends of mine have used AAA for years and seem to like it. My method to handle break-downs I can’t fix myself is to store the names and telephone numbers of a dozen or so local towing/battery charging services in the cell phone memory.

wth . . .

Volvo gave you simple and good advice

it wasn’t a dope slap

Thanks Bing,

I’ve had a similar map experience with customer service in India; but, not finding MSP on a map sounds like a reason to cancel. Your experience at AAA makes me wonder why it is so popular here in Syracuse, NY. Okay a small, college town, when they couldn’t find MSP puts me in worse condition, but that is unlikely to be standard practice.

Better world couldn’t find me on a map when I got stuck, in spite of being stuck in the only K-mart store parking lot in the region.

I appreciate your reply,

Overall AAA is liked where I live, everyone, seems to have it. My battery is 2-years-old, and I live in a cold climate; next year, I’m likely to buy a new battery. I want the towing service for when I take long trips to other cities, or states.


Volvo always gives great answers, I understood, please don’t be condescending.