call

Everything You Need To Know About AAA Roadside Assistance

AAA insurance provides 24/7 roadside assistance coverage nationwide. The Basic plan includes four service calls per year, towing service, flat tire changes and battery jumpstarts. Drivers can choose to upgrade their plan to Plus or Premier, which will unlock additional perks at an additional cost, such as higher coverage limits for towing and locksmith services.

With a network of 32 motor clubs and 13,000 garages under contract, you will likely find an AAA provider in your area. Keep reading to learn more about AAA membership perks and costs.

AAA Roadside Assistance Overview

Available

All 50 states

Pricing

$5.67-$12.42/month

Tow truck

Starting at 3 miles

Winching

Yes

Battery Jump-Start

Yes

Lockout

Yes

Flat Tire

Yes

Fuel Delivery

Yes

On-scene Labor

1 hour

Our Thoughts on AAA Roadside Assistance

AAA is a household brand that serves millions of U.S. drivers nationwide. From towing your vehicle to helping you get back into your vehicle after locking yourself out, AAA is a staple for all your roadside service needs.

While AAA offers all various roadside services, the scope for some coverage types can be quite limiting. For example, AAA tow truck services cover only up to three miles in certain regions. Unless your car breakdown happens near your home or an auto repair shop, you'll likely have to pay some money out-of-pocket for the mileage not covered by AAA.

AAA has 32 motor clubs around the country, and each club has its own roadside assistance program.

Another consideration is to buy roadside coverage through your auto insurance provider. Many national carriers, like Liberty Mutual and State Farm, offer various roadside services at an add-on cost to your base auto policy. Roadside assistance purchased as a policy endorsement may be cheaper than an AAA annual membership.

What Is Included in AAA Roadside Assistance?

AAA roadside assistance is based on membership level: Basic, Plus or Premier. The following chart spells out the differences between the three programs.

Services

Basic

Plus

Premier

Max calls per year

4

4

4

Max miles towed

3

100

200 (0nce)

Fuel Delivery

yes

yes

yes

Charge for delivered fuel

yes

no

no

Recharging electric vehicle

yes

yes

yes

Flat-tire service

yes

yes

yes

Battery jump-start

yes

yes

yes

Battery testing, replacement

yes

yes

yes

$25 off AAA battery purchase

no

no

yes

Extricating, winching

no

yes

yes

Vehicle lockout service

up to $50

up to $100

up to $150

Meals, lodging, car rental

up to $500

up to $1,000

up to $1,500

Post-tow free car rental

no

no

yes

Cost per month

$5.67

$9.25

$12.42

If a car is stuck in a mud, snow or a ditch, AAA will "winch" the car out. If more than one service person or vehicle is needed to do the job, the AAA member may have to pay an added fee.

AAA offers three roadside assistance packages: Basic, Plus and Premier.

The "trip interruption" component of your roadside assistance package pays for alternate transportation, meals and lodging, but each AAA club has its own restrictions. For example, some clubs will cover these costs for up to three days, whereas other clubs provide this service for up to four days.

What Is Not Included in AAA Roadside Assistance?

Most auto insurance carriers offer 24/7 roadside assistance coverage, but every program has its own services and restrictions. All roadside coverage is "add on" coverage, which means state law does not require it. The AAA program offers a lot, but it doesn't cover everything:

  • AAA's roadside assistance is not car insurance. It is an insurance product that you purchase separately from your auto insurance.

  • AAA's roadside assistance does not extend to a disabled vehicle whose driver is intoxicated due to alcohol or drugs.

  • While AAA services the U.S. and Canada, it does not offer roadside assistance in Mexico.

  • AAA will not recompense you for repair work done by your favorite mechanic if that mechanic's repair shop is not in AAA's network.

Car Insurance with Roadside Assistance Plan

Pros and Cons of AAA Roadside Assistance

As was noted earlier, every AAA club offers slightly different roadside assistance packages, so you should check with your area's club to get the details. Generally speaking, here are some pros and cons of AAA roadside assistance:

Pros

  • You can request AAA roadside assistance whether your vehicle is owned, leased or rented.

  • You can request AAA roadside assistance whether you are a driver or a passenger.

  • AAA roadside assistance covers not only vehicles but also specialty vehicles, motorcycles and bicycles.

Cons

  • AAA roadside assistance doesn't automatically include your whole family. However, you can add a family member as an "associate."

  • If you use your AAA roadside assistance within 48 hours of signing up, you will be charged a fee.

How Claims Are Handled

When you report a breakdown, AAA will set up a claim file for your case. Later, you will receive a claim form. However, you must file your claim within 30, 60 or 90 days, depending on your AAA club's policy.

When you receive your claim form, you should be ready to back up your claim, citing all pertinent information to support the claim. For example, all receipts and documents related to your breakdown should be saved and stored. If the police or fire department were involved, you should get the police or fire department report. Of course, having all this information will not only verify your loss but also expedite the processing of your claim.

Using a Non-AAA Service Provider

If an emergency situation makes it impossible to use service providers in the AAA network, you can use a non-AAA service provider and then submit a reimbursement form to AAA. The reimbursement will be based on whether you're a Basic, Plus or Premier member; in any case, you will be compensated only up to the dollar amount of service AAA would have provided in the same or similar situation.

To get reimbursed, you must be a member in good standing who made every attempt to get AAA service before settling on a non-AAA service provider. You must ask for a reimbursement within 60 days of the service date, and it takes about three weeks for processing. Questions are answered at 844-765-6428.

AAA Roadside Assistance vs the Competition

AAA's roadside coverage varies from club to club, so prospective members should check out the offerings of the AAA club in their area. The majority of roadside assistance programs offer fuel delivery, battery jump-start, flat-tire change, lockout service and ditch extraction. Let's compare AAA's plans with some others:


AAA Basic

Allstate Endorsement

Liberty Mutual

USAA

Annual Cost

$68.04

$25

Quote-based

$18

Service Calls

4/year

3/year

6/year

Varies

Tow truck

Starting at 3 miles

Up to $150

$200

50 miles

Winching

Yes

Yes

No

Yes

Battery Jump-Start

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Lockout

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Flat Tire

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Fuel Delivery

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

On-scene Labor

1 hour

Up to $100

1 hour

1 hour

Response

21 minutes*

60 minutes

n/a

60 to 90 min

*Based on requests from California customers

How To Request AAA Roadside Assistance

If you're an AAA member who is stranded on the side of the road and needs assistance, you can either use the AAA mobile app or call 800-AAA-HELP (800-222-4357). You can also request assistance through their local AAA club website, which has the same functionality as the mobile app.

When using the mobile app or club website, you will be asked to submit a "road service online" request. Next, you will be prompted to provide the following information:

  • Your 16-digit membership number

  • The location of the disabled vehicle. In order for AAA to process your request, you'll have to provide the street name and the nearest city.

  • Type of service needed

  • Description of the disabled vehicle

  • Phone number where you can be contacted

AAA will verify your membership, confirm that they have received your request and send help, locating you and your disabled vehicle using your mobile device's GPS. If your vehicle needs to be repaired, AAA may send you pertinent local information, such as network repair shops in the area. If you call the 800 number, AAA will want the same information and may call you back to get a clearer idea of your location.

The average response time is 21 minutes, notes AAA, but you may have to wait up to an hour, depending on the circumstances.

AAA Roadside Assistance FAQs

Do you really need roadside assistance?

With one of three drivers experiencing a vehicle breakdown in any given year, having roadside assistance can help remedy a frustrating experience. A roadside assistance plan is usually a cheaper alternative to paying for roadside services completely out-of-pocket.

Is roadside assistance free with AAA?

No, AAA roadside assistance is a paid service offered to AAA club members. Plans start at $5.67 per month.

How often can I use AAA roadside assistance?

AAA memberships include four service calls per year. You can still contact AAA after the fourth service call but a service charge will apply for each subsequent request.

How do I add AAA roadside assistance to your policy?

You can purchase AAA roadside assistance through the AAA website. You will need to enter your zip code to receive sign-up instructions specific to the AAA organization in your region.

Shopping for a Roadside Assistance Plan

When looking for the right roadside assistance program level, you should think about how much you drive and where you drive. Whether you break down in the U.S. or Canada, AAA's roadside assistance program will help you out if you need fuel delivery, a battery jump-start, a flat-tire change, lockout service or ditch extraction.

Whether you're a Basic, Plus or Premier member, every year you'll get four rescue calls, which can cover a rental car, lodging, meals and other "trip interruption" costs. The Premier roadside assistance program costs about $40 more per year than the Plus package, which costs about $40 more per year than the Basic package. AAA's mobile app is easy to use and facilitates fast service, which will come to your rescue between 20 minute to an hour.

If you're looking for auto insurance, SmartFinancial can find the best, cheapest car insurance for you in your area. You'll be connected with insurance pros who can help you determine which roadside assistance carrier is right for you. You may also save up to 40% on your car insurance when you compare rates. For a free, real-time quote, just enter your zip code below or call 855-214-2291.

Get a Free Auto Insurance Quote Online Now.