Do people still use AAA?

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TravelGeek
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Re: Do people still use AAA?

Post by TravelGeek » Wed Dec 06, 2017 4:21 pm

mptfan wrote:
Wed Dec 06, 2017 3:55 pm
Jack FFR1846 wrote:
Wed Dec 06, 2017 1:40 pm
Now I have hide-a-key on all my cars.
I've thought about doing this, but the problem is I have an electronic key fob, not an actual key that inserts into a lock, and if the key fob is anywhere within a short distance of the car, the doors will open. So, how do I put an electronic key fob in a hide-a-key somewhere under the car, anyone can just walk up to my car and push the little button on my driver's door and it will open. Then they can get inside and push the start button, and since the key fob is very close by the car will start right up.
On the flip side, do you actually need it? Pretty sure my Prius won't allow locking the doors if the key fob is inside the vehicle.

Charlesmetz83
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Re: Do people still use AAA?

Post by Charlesmetz83 » Wed Dec 06, 2017 4:30 pm

We have used AAA for the last 10 years or so. Has came in handy on multiple occasions (flat tires, dead battery, locked keys and a couple of tows). For us its a small amount of money for piece of mind and generally we will save enough in discounts at various places to pay for the membership.

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lthenderson
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Re: Do people still use AAA?

Post by lthenderson » Wed Dec 06, 2017 4:35 pm

I have roadside assistance from my auto insurance provider. It is included in every policy with them so there isn't a separate line item charge added to your bill.

LiterallyIronic
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Re: Do people still use AAA?

Post by LiterallyIronic » Wed Dec 06, 2017 4:45 pm

I have AAA. The "Classic" plan. No idea how the price compares. I do know that AAA is based on the person, not on the car, so I could be riding in someone else's vehicle and still use them.

Both my wife and I drive clunkers that could break down any minute, so I've used it multiple times to get towed.
miamivice wrote:
Wed Dec 06, 2017 2:47 pm
So if you don't need your car towed more often than once every couple years, it's better to self-insure than it is to purchase AAA membership.
Exactly why we carry AAA.

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Sheepdog
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Re: Do people still use AAA?

Post by Sheepdog » Wed Dec 06, 2017 4:52 pm

I left AAA many years ago. I found no use. However, for emergency needs, and that is important for our ages, I have for some years used AARP 24/7 Nationwide Roadside Assistance Road 'N Tow(from Allstate, it says). Used it once a couple of years ago on the Interstate. Costs me $43.50 a year. Every year they want to increase the rate. I refuse to pay that and say cancel it. They have always given me the old price to keep me.
Last edited by Sheepdog on Wed Dec 06, 2017 4:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Ron
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Re: Do people still use AAA?

Post by Ron » Wed Dec 06, 2017 4:59 pm

mptfan wrote:
Wed Dec 06, 2017 3:55 pm
Jack FFR1846 wrote:
Wed Dec 06, 2017 1:40 pm
Now I have hide-a-key on all my cars.
I've thought about doing this, but the problem is I have an electronic key fob, not an actual key that inserts into a lock, and if the key fob is anywhere within a short distance of the car, the doors will open. So, how do I put an electronic key fob in a hide-a-key somewhere under the car, anyone can just walk up to my car and push the little button on my driver's door and it will open. Then they can get inside and push the start button, and since the key fob is very close by the car will start right up.
Well, with my wife's Subaru Legacy, we have the spare fob (I don't drive the car) in the trunk and programmed the push button latch on the trunk lid to open it when the correct code is pressed (5 digits). The spare fob is wrapped in foil to eliminate any radio signals with the car.

I'm sure you can do the same; just check your owner's manual.

As to the OP's question? We've been members for the past 45 years (it says so, right on my card :mrgreen: ).

- Ron
Last edited by Ron on Wed Dec 06, 2017 5:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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JMacDonald
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Re: Do people still use AAA?

Post by JMacDonald » Wed Dec 06, 2017 5:00 pm

I have the AAA Premier, and it is worth every penny. I have used the service many times over the years. A couple years ago, I had to be towed from Zion NP to Cedar City. My Premier card allowed me to go where I wanted without any extra cost. As it turned out some little critter ate some wires under my truck. I hope it enjoyed the wires.

The tow took about an hour to drive to Cedar City. The tow truck driver worked for all the different companies providing services for customers. He said that there were big differences between what services he can provide depending what company the customer uses. He liked AAA.
Best Wishes, | Joe

Nicolas
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Re: Do people still use AAA?

Post by Nicolas » Wed Dec 06, 2017 5:06 pm

p0nyboy wrote:
Wed Dec 06, 2017 2:29 pm
If people are relying on AAA to change a tire...you screwed up in life. THat should be a requirement for a drivers license. And if you're a guy a cant change a tire...pfffttt...nuff said.
Every year I read in my local paper about someone killed on the highway while changing their tire. If in such a situation, a flat tire on a major or busy highway, I’m calling AAA.

mouses
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Re: Do people still use AAA?

Post by mouses » Wed Dec 06, 2017 5:10 pm

I have AAA. Years ago in another state they were not reliable, but where I live now they are fine. They phone to keep me updated on arrival times. They have their own employees but also seem to have contractors. I'm an old woman, so I'm not changing tires.

The state DMV has unbelievably bad service, but AAA can do just about all that stuff in their convenient uncrowded offices.

It costs $52 a year, but I get a $27 a year discount on my Consumer Cellular bill, so net $25 a year.

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Ged
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Re: Do people still use AAA?

Post by Ged » Wed Dec 06, 2017 5:20 pm

HIinvestor wrote:
Wed Dec 06, 2017 12:40 pm
We have AAA for ourselves and our adult kids.
Same here. The only downside is they regularly mail solicitations for insurance products.

mouses
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Re: Do people still use AAA?

Post by mouses » Wed Dec 06, 2017 5:36 pm

Ged wrote:
Wed Dec 06, 2017 5:20 pm
HIinvestor wrote:
Wed Dec 06, 2017 12:40 pm
We have AAA for ourselves and our adult kids.
Same here. The only downside is they regularly mail solicitations for insurance products.
You can turn that off. Just call them up.

mptfan
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Re: Do people still use AAA?

Post by mptfan » Wed Dec 06, 2017 5:41 pm

TravelGeek wrote:
Wed Dec 06, 2017 4:21 pm
mptfan wrote:
Wed Dec 06, 2017 3:55 pm
Jack FFR1846 wrote:
Wed Dec 06, 2017 1:40 pm
Now I have hide-a-key on all my cars.
I've thought about doing this, but the problem is I have an electronic key fob, not an actual key that inserts into a lock, and if the key fob is anywhere within a short distance of the car, the doors will open. So, how do I put an electronic key fob in a hide-a-key somewhere under the car, anyone can just walk up to my car and push the little button on my driver's door and it will open. Then they can get inside and push the start button, and since the key fob is very close by the car will start right up.
On the flip side, do you actually need it? Pretty sure my Prius won't allow locking the doors if the key fob is inside the vehicle.
I would not be inside, it would be outside, and yes, I would need it if I lost my key fob, which actually happened to me once. In the old days, I was able to put a hide-a-key somewhere under the car, OUTSIDE of the car, which has actually come in handy.
I eat risk for breakfast. :)

hudson
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Re: Do people still use AAA?

Post by hudson » Wed Dec 06, 2017 5:46 pm

I'm a long term AAA user who will continue to use the service; There's another service almost as reliable that I read about in another Boglehead discussion....Visa Signature Card Roadside Dispatch....see below... It didn't have a yearly fee...but it doesn't go off the pavement. AAA will come down USDA Forest Service roads.
AAA has always come when I've called; I've always been comfortable with the drivers.
I can't imagine my wife being away from home without AAA.
I can gut it up and change a tire if I must, but I've got to get dirty to change out a full sized pickup's wheel. (I carry a single use white coverall just in case.) I learned the hard way that the jacks that come with pickups may not do the job; I replaced the "toy" jack on my truck. I want AAA to bail me out in case I choke.
I have the Plus...100 mile service; I think it's about $130 a year.

I found the other service that I considered using: https://usa.visa.com/support/consumer/c ... its.html#2

As a Visa cardholder, you have access to Roadside Dispatch®, a pay-per-use roadside assistance program.
Simply call 1-800-847-2869, 24 hours a day/7 days a week and Roadside Dispatch will ask you where you are, what the problem is, and will remain on the phone while arranging a dispatch to a reliable tow operator or locksmith – you pay set rate per service call. No membership required and you don’t need to pre-enroll. No annual dues. No limit on usage.

Add Peace of Mind to your Itinerary
You pay $59.95 for the service call ($69.95 beginning October 1, 2017), and it can include:


Thanks grp2c! viewtopic.php?p=3411092#p3411092
Last edited by hudson on Wed Dec 06, 2017 6:09 pm, edited 4 times in total.

sport
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Re: Do people still use AAA?

Post by sport » Wed Dec 06, 2017 5:50 pm

p0nyboy wrote:
Wed Dec 06, 2017 2:29 pm
If people are relying on AAA to change a tire...you screwed up in life. THat should be a requirement for a drivers license. And if you're a guy a cant change a tire...pfffttt...nuff said.
If you are lucky, someday you will be too old to change a tire too.

sport
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Re: Do people still use AAA?

Post by sport » Wed Dec 06, 2017 5:56 pm

There have been a number of replies that mention using AAA when their battery failed. That is why it is usually better to replace an auto battery proactively. If the battery is old, you will need to replace it anyway. If you wait until it fails, you may have the inconvenience of being stuck, you may need to pay for a tow, you may find yourself in a dangerous situation, you will probably pay more a new battery, and the battery you buy may not be as good as one you would have bought when you had options.

sport ( a retired auto battery engineer)

LynnC
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Re: Do people still use AAA?

Post by LynnC » Wed Dec 06, 2017 6:04 pm

BogleMelon wrote:
Wed Dec 06, 2017 1:42 pm
Yes, I have AAA 100 miles service. The peace of mind is costly, but sometimes it worth it.
[/quote

+1 cheap insurance and I am never changing a tire!

LynnC

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TomatoTomahto
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Re: Do people still use AAA?

Post by TomatoTomahto » Wed Dec 06, 2017 6:09 pm

sport wrote:
Wed Dec 06, 2017 5:50 pm
p0nyboy wrote:
Wed Dec 06, 2017 2:29 pm
If people are relying on AAA to change a tire...you screwed up in life. THat should be a requirement for a drivers license. And if you're a guy a cant change a tire...pfffttt...nuff said.
If you are lucky, someday you will be too old to change a tire too.
Yes; sexism, ageism, and ableism in one sentence. A _____ trifecta.

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Artful Dodger
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Re: Do people still use AAA?

Post by Artful Dodger » Wed Dec 06, 2017 6:15 pm

I keep it. It is more flexible then the insurance coverage we have on the full coverage car, and the liability only cars don't come with roadside service. The extra miles is a big plus. I see AAA branded vehicles in our area, and the last time I used them, that's who came to us. The travel discounts, maps, etc. are just gravy.

OnTrack2020
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Re: Do people still use AAA?

Post by OnTrack2020 » Wed Dec 06, 2017 6:16 pm

Yes, and in our area, they contract with local people. We've been members for years--and now that our kids are of driving age, we added them on. Our son recently pulled over because a lot of smoke was coming into the inside of the vehicle, so we had it towed.
The paperwork process on AAA's side has gotten progressively better over the years---it just seemed very efficient. I slid into a ditch due to icy roads after dropping kids at school several years ago. The tow truck came out. We've booked travel through them and purchased other products. I really like their services offered.

BogleBoogie
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Re: Do people still use AAA?

Post by BogleBoogie » Wed Dec 06, 2017 6:44 pm

fittan wrote:
Wed Dec 06, 2017 12:24 pm
I cancelled AAA few years ago and instead added "emergency road service" to Geico. The savings is quite signficant. AAA costs about $56/year while Geico only $4.80. And if my credit card provides this service for free, I will even drop Geico.

Few months ago, I got stranded on the highway. Called Chase road side assistance. They got my info and hand it off to tow truck provider. Waited for 2 hours and when I called back, the service was cancelled without any explanation. Chase gave the "there's nothing we can do" reply and I was fuming.

So my questions are:

1) Do you still have AAA?

2) Is there a difference between using AAA and the rest? Seriously, whether it is Geico or Chase or any free service from credit card, they all use the same provider. Meaning does AAA have their own "fleet" and thus can provide better service?

Thanks.
OP: To answer your question, yes people still use AAA. The current number of people who use AAA is 55,600,000 in the United States and Canada.

F150HD
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Re: Do people still use AAA?

Post by F150HD » Wed Dec 06, 2017 6:54 pm

1) Do you still have AAA?

2) Is there a difference between using AAA and the rest? Seriously, whether it is Geico or Chase or any free service from credit card, they all use the same provider. Meaning does AAA have their own "fleet" and thus can provide better service?

Thanks.
may want to clarify your question....you mean specifically in regard to cars?

For motorcycles- many of us carry AAA as not only can one tow their car, but they'll also tow ones motorcycle. Have seen tows on cycles run $300+ so its somewhat of a no-brainer to have roadside (unless one only rides around their hometown)
Easy to plug a flat on a car by the roadside....on a cycle? not always so simple. Also easier to carry loads of 'tools' in a car to fix by the roadside, not the case on a cycle.

Its also critical to look at the number of miles one actually gets for a tow. Many add ons thru insurance the towing pays for a hookup and a ~5 mile tow. Not worth much to many. Check yours before your really need it.

AAA covers whatever vehicle you're in. If I drive my gf's car and it breaks down, I can tow w/ my AAA. Not so w/ typical insurance towing add-ons.

Hotel discounts w/ AAA are nice....(typically make a hotel tax free).

With AAA one gets free passport photos (Plus & Premier) and most (all?) AAA offices one can get items notarized for free.

Its not always cheap, but the cost of one tow can easily make it look cheap!

F150HD
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Re: Do people still use AAA?

Post by F150HD » Wed Dec 06, 2017 6:54 pm

TravelGeek wrote:
Wed Dec 06, 2017 1:39 pm
nisiprius wrote:
Wed Dec 06, 2017 12:53 pm
I also find that real, paper road maps, for planning a trip, and, when on a trip, deciding where to go next, are incomparably better than trying to get by by printing out Google Maps or trying to do it all on-screen. Oddly enough, the very best maps are the "official" state highway maps you can get for free at "Welcome Centers" when you enter a state, but good luck trying to get them any other way. AAA maps are next-best, and the "retail value" of the maps we order probably covers about half the price of our AAA membership.
Totally agree on the benefit of paper maps. A GPS is a good thing to have, but not a replacement. Thanks for the tip on the state highway maps; I picked up one a while ago for our own state at the airport welcome center, but never really looked at it yet.
+1 on the Welcome Center maps (and they're free). BUT, for pre-planning a big trip through multiple states visit each states website and request one thru the tourism page (every state has one). I've done that for any big motorcycle trip I've taken and its very easy to do. I run a modern Garmin GPS, but big paper maps allow broader planning. Of course, this needs to be done well in advance....

seamonkey
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Re: Do people still use AAA?

Post by seamonkey » Wed Dec 06, 2017 6:55 pm

Wouldn’t an insurer want to raise rates on people who use insurer-provided roadside assistance?

madbrain
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Re: Do people still use AAA?

Post by madbrain » Wed Dec 06, 2017 7:01 pm

fittan wrote:
Wed Dec 06, 2017 12:24 pm
I cancelled AAA few years ago and instead added "emergency road service" to Geico. The savings is quite signficant. AAA costs about $56/year while Geico only $4.80. And if my credit card provides this service for free, I will even drop Geico.

Few months ago, I got stranded on the highway. Called Chase road side assistance. They got my info and hand it off to tow truck provider. Waited for 2 hours and when I called back, the service was cancelled without any explanation. Chase gave the "there's nothing we can do" reply and I was fuming.

So my questions are:

1) Do you still have AAA?

2) Is there a difference between using AAA and the rest? Seriously, whether it is Geico or Chase or any free service from credit card, they all use the same provider. Meaning does AAA have their own "fleet" and thus can provide better service?

Thanks.
I used Chase last week for roadside assistance. Wasn't an emergency, just a jumpstart, and I was at home.
They first gave me an ETA of 1hr. Then that turned into 2hrs . At 2h30 without anyone showing up, they finally called another road assistance service.
The first one finally showed up around 2h45. Second one showed up 10 minutes later.

The first company was "United towing". The 2nd driver told me that Chase gave them the contract after they underbid the service by $3. And that United towing is close to bankruptcy. And they don't care at all about leaving their customers hanging, they just leave their customers hanging. Reprehensible.

Next day, my car had a flat battery again. Needed to be jumpstarted again. I called Chevrolet since this was warranty work and they cover roadside assistance . Guess who they wanted to dispatch for the jump ? United towing.

Based on my experience, I would say, avoid United towing by the plague. The banks and manufacturer road side assistance service contract with the cheapest company they can find, which happens to be the worst too. I think AAA is actually worth the money. The few times that I had it and used it, they showed up within 30 minutes.

Nissan roadside assistance also left me hanging for 3 hours at night with a flat tire once. This was years ago and I don't remember the name of the towing company. Could have been them too.

HIinvestor
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Re: Do people still use AAA?

Post by HIinvestor » Wed Dec 06, 2017 7:03 pm

When I’ve had service calls from AAA, they generally have AAA logo on their vehicle and uniform/shirt. Sometimes they are contracted with AAA. I’ve generally had good to excellent service.

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Tamarind
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Re: Do people still use AAA?

Post by Tamarind » Wed Dec 06, 2017 7:25 pm

Yes, I have and use AAA. Twice in the last month actually, as fiancee's car is entering the first round of major breakdowns at 130k miles. First was the spark plugs, second the alternator. I've also used it myself from time to time, mostly for battery failures.

Always gotten excellent service, including quick tows in rural areas or at difficult hours. Some places they contract out to local tow outfits. I haven't had a bad experience in probably 7-8 calls over the last 5 years.

cutterinnj
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Re: Do people still use AAA?

Post by cutterinnj » Wed Dec 06, 2017 7:28 pm

I joined AAA 10 minutes after my alternator broke and my car broke down this past summer. It was $50 well spent. Not sure I will renew it or just pay another $50 membership the next time a car dies. It is a lot cheaper than paying for towing.

jdb
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Re: Do people still use AAA?

Post by jdb » Wed Dec 06, 2017 7:32 pm

p0nyboy wrote:
Wed Dec 06, 2017 2:29 pm

If people are relying on AAA to change a tire...you screwed up in life. THat should be a requirement for a drivers license. And if you're a guy a cant change a tire...pfffttt...nuff said.
I know a nonsensical statement when I see one, though funny in a kind of sick way. Reminds me of a vacation in Iceland a few years ago, my wife and I and our late 20’s son then doing a medical residency, we rented an all wheel drive vehicle to drive around the island. Soon after starting the drive my son informed me that I had never taught him to change a flat tire. Toward end of the road trip we decided to drive on a gravel road over lava fields between glaciers for hundreds of miles in driving sleet storm and he got his wish, learned how to change a tire in adverse conditions. About 30 miles later came across couple in obvious distress, they were young German couple not really sure how to change flat tire, and of course our son then acted like a tire change expert. We laugh about it now though he did actually thank me for the experience. But in response to OP, as AAA member if not in central Iceland glad to wait and let the experts do it.
Last edited by jdb on Thu Dec 07, 2017 3:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Fudgie
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Re: Do people still use AAA?

Post by Fudgie » Wed Dec 06, 2017 7:38 pm

:oops:
Last edited by Fudgie on Fri Dec 08, 2017 6:38 am, edited 2 times in total.
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123
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Re: Do people still use AAA?

Post by 123 » Wed Dec 06, 2017 7:42 pm

We had AAA for over 20 years. I got it after I had a tire blow-out on the way to work. For that blow-out I had to call a regular tow service because I had to wear a suit to work and didn't have an alternate wardrobe in my car so any stain or tear would have cost me more then the cost of AAA. I've had it ever since. We've used it maybe once every 5 or 6 years for dead battery, flats,etc. The main value to me is the hotel/car rental discounts, I don't want to be in the clutches of AARP. It's worth it to us because we've always gotten quick and reliable service, it's better then us having to make a blind call to a tow service. We just don't have to worry about it.
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cheese_breath
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Re: Do people still use AAA?

Post by cheese_breath » Wed Dec 06, 2017 7:42 pm

I cancelled all my AAA insurances a couple years ago because they got too expensive, but I kept the membership for road service and the discounts. Any yes, I've called AAA to change tires. I'm too old to mess around with that.
The surest way to know the future is when it becomes the past.

technovelist
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Re: Do people still use AAA?

Post by technovelist » Wed Dec 06, 2017 7:43 pm

Ged wrote:
Wed Dec 06, 2017 5:20 pm
HIinvestor wrote:
Wed Dec 06, 2017 12:40 pm
We have AAA for ourselves and our adult kids.
Same here. The only downside is they regularly mail solicitations for insurance products.
I have found a use for those.

I have told my wife, "If I ever tell you that an insurance solicitation from AAA sounds like a pretty good deal, get me checked out for cognitive decline right away!"
In theory, theory and practice are identical. In practice, they often differ.

SR II
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Re: Do people still use AAA?

Post by SR II » Wed Dec 06, 2017 7:50 pm

I've had AAA my entire driving life. Also have their insurance (happens to be least expensive in our family situation with a young male driver) and requires AAA membership to have their insurance anyway. We use it for DMV transactions (so much easier than local CA DMV office), hotel discounts (a lot of times cheaper than pre-paid rates and cancelable), theme park/attraction discounted admissions, car rental discounts (occasionally the prices are better than Costco or USAA...I check them all), passport photos and of course flats, dead batteries, breakdowns and lock-outs (which seem to go in cycles every couple of years). Also, we have two older cars (2003 and 2005) in our household, so the membership gives me peace of mind.

Once had a week old car that came with manufacturer roadside assistance. Gave the service a call when the car wouldn't start after a brief stop at the bank drive-thru ATM with a baby on board. They said it would be two hours until someone could get to me (I live in the Los Angeles area). I checked with AAA and they could be there in less than 30 minutes. I cancelled the first service call and went with the AAA. Baby and I were back on the road in a half hour!

Another time, the family was driving up 395 to Reno when just past Lone Pine when the fuel pump blew. It was an EXTREMELY HOT July 4 weekend. Called AAA from the middle of nowhere. They arrived with a flatbed double cab truck and got the four of us to the car dealer in Bishop (closed for the holiday weekend) and then drove us a few miles to our motel. Great service since Bishop doesn't have taxis. The next day we were able to find a small car rental place and continue our trek. We picked up the car good as new on our way home the next week.

YMMV, but I will stick with them as long as I can afford the service.

IngognitoUSA
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Re: Do people still use AAA?

Post by IngognitoUSA » Wed Dec 06, 2017 7:57 pm

AAA needs better marketing.

If you have coverage from your Insurance, all towing, tire change, running out of gas, locked keys, battery jump count as Insurance Claims on your CLUE report. AAA services do not count on CLUE report, if more people knew this, AAA will have a surge in membership.

fishandgolf
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Re: Do people still use AAA?

Post by fishandgolf » Wed Dec 06, 2017 7:59 pm

AAA......great service...have used them a few times. I give them a AAAAA .......this is one of those deals that you really do get what you pay for! :happy

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siamond
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Re: Do people still use AAA?

Post by siamond » Wed Dec 06, 2017 8:03 pm

I had AAA for the longest time, for road service. They got me out of troubles many times. Every time I start questioning their utility (which is NOT often), I soon have an issue (battery or else) where their service proves once again quick, efficient, and oh-so-helpful. And now that I am retired and doing long road/fishing trips a couple of times a year, having the AAA membership really provides peace of mind.

I rarely find an opportunity to use their discounts though. This being said, they do provide a discount on Turbotax...
Last edited by siamond on Wed Dec 06, 2017 8:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.

madbrain
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Re: Do people still use AAA?

Post by madbrain » Wed Dec 06, 2017 8:08 pm

p0nyboy wrote:
Wed Dec 06, 2017 2:29 pm
If people are relying on AAA to change a tire...you screwed up in life. THat should be a requirement for a drivers license. And if you're a guy a cant change a tire...pfffttt...nuff said.
Many new vehicles don't come with spare tires anymore. Certainly none that I have now (Chevrolet Bolt & Volt), so this would be a useless skill for me to learn.

palaheel
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Re: Do people still use AAA?

Post by palaheel » Wed Dec 06, 2017 8:19 pm

We have Allstate's free Good Hands Rescue service. It's pay per use. If we need it, someone always comes, and the price is non-ripoff. If we don't need it, it's free. We're not Allstate customers.
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Watty
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Re: Do people still use AAA?

Post by Watty » Wed Dec 06, 2017 8:27 pm

In Atlanta AAA has opened full service repair centers and you get a 10% discount if you are a member.

They build new buildings with the normal AAA office in the front and maybe ten mechanics bays in the rear. They may not be lowest price but the big selling point is that they are supposed to be real honest since the mechanics and service writers are held accountable to AAA management. When I have used them that has been my experience and I don't feel like they have tried to take advantage of me.

I normally only keep my cars until they are about ten years old and cars like Honda's and Toyota's are so reliable and require so little routine maintenance other than oil changes that I typically only need a mechanic about every two years so trying to find a good independent mechanic would be difficult, and there are lots of problems with unscrupulous mechanics in the south.

I have also used AAA to get things notarized a number of times, but you should call ahead to check to see if a notary is in the office that day.

A few months ago my wife had her battery died when she stopped to get gas about five miles from our house. She called me and AAA and by the time I got there AAA had already arrived. Her battery was more than four years old and they had a new battery on the truck that they sold us for a competitive price.

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Re: Do people still use AAA?

Post by abuss368 » Wed Dec 06, 2017 8:43 pm

We have used AAA many times over the past 25 years.
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Re: Do people still use AAA?

Post by cherijoh » Wed Dec 06, 2017 8:47 pm

TravelGeek wrote:
Wed Dec 06, 2017 12:33 pm
I still use them. I subscribe to the "plus" level for the increased 100 mile towing range (considering where we live and like to drive, hopefully we will never need it, but it's good to know it won't cost me an arm and a leg to get my vehicle back to a repair shop).

We used AAA twice over the last two years for dead batteries. No problems. In the past I used them once for a flat tire. Also no problem.

I also use the AAA discount all the time for hotel and car rental bookings.

No idea how they compare to other services.
I also use AAA and figure that it is worth it for peace of mind along with the travel-related hotel benefits. Despite GPS, I like to carry a paper map when I am traveling. It has come in handy more than once when the GPS inexplicably tried to send me an odd way. Maps and tour books are also good for planning itineraries.

I opted for the standard AAA but added extra towing on my car insurance. Using the tow service is not considered an insurance "claim" if it is only for roadside assistance so it wouldn't effect your rate.

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Re: Do people still use AAA?

Post by JBTX » Wed Dec 06, 2017 9:03 pm

We've had AAA for years. We do get some value on it with Hotel discounts, quite often the rates are marginally cheaper. Not sure that it covers the cost of the membership though.

About a year ago I used it for the first time. Flat tire, and I botched the attempt to change it (the road was slightly sloped and I failed to engage emergency brake :oops: ) This was in major metropolitan area. It took about 2 hrs for truck to finally show up. Pretty sure it is independent contracted tow service. For some reason they put the call to a tow truck about 40-50 miles away in the middle of 8AM rush traffic.

I guess I keep it as peace of mind - we take several very long car trips a year

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Re: Do people still use AAA?

Post by mainiac » Wed Dec 06, 2017 9:05 pm

As someone mentioned above, AAA goes with the person, not the car. My daughters are AAA members so that if they are out alone some night and have car issues, they can call AAA. They can also call AAA if they are out with a friend and the friend's car has issues.

Years ago, we were in Palm Springs and the rental car my dad was driving had issues (don't recall specifics) going up the road to the Aerial Tramway. We called AAA. Our friends were driving a big motorhome and my mom was riding with them which had issues (don't recall specifics) driving down the road from the Tram. We called AAA. Needless to say, my parents got their money's worth that day.

Also use AAA discounts at various places and maps.

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Re: Do people still use AAA?

Post by Slacker » Wed Dec 06, 2017 9:09 pm

I've signed up with AAA in the past for discounts that were greater than the yearly membership cost. Penske rental truck was at a roughly $150 discount for AAA membership vs the roughly $55 membership fee.

However, for roadside assitance we had coverage on our insurance policy until I realized our Chase card offers roadside assistance and just cancelled that portion of our insurance policy.

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Re: Do people still use AAA?

Post by wrl » Wed Dec 06, 2017 9:36 pm

I have had it for over 20 years and can't recall needing it. I have had a few flat tires, but I always changed them myself. Otherwise I have lucked out I guess.

I have the RV towing addon, because I have alot of valuables (electronics, etc) in it and don't want it left on the side of the road waiting for a tow from an unknown towing company. From what people say, AAA is usually quite responsive and sends out proper equipment. Also my daily driver does not have a spare (miata) so if that one gets a flat I will need a tow.

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Re: Do people still use AAA?

Post by ccieemeritus » Wed Dec 06, 2017 9:54 pm

Yes. I make sure my wife and kids have cards. I’ve used it for dead batteries and flat tires. My wife used it for flat tires. In Ca you can also do some DMV stuff at the AAA office. So I’ve used AAA when transferring titles.

I feel like a wuss having AAA change the tire for me. But since I used to change tires on 5-ton trucks in the Army I figure I have nothing to prove. They have a better jack and tools too.

I used to use it for maps, but now we all have smartphones.

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Re: Do people still use AAA?

Post by oxothuk » Wed Dec 06, 2017 10:25 pm

I'm a long time AAA member. My two most recent road-service experiences were as follows:

a) Driving a rental car in Indianapolis I hit a pothole and tire blew out. Took about an hour for road service to arrive.
b) Out shopping for groceries with my wife, brother and sister-in-law when her car had a dead battery. Estimated time for road-service to arrive was 2-hours plus. Instead of waiting for road-service we called an Uber to get back home, then drove another vehicle back to jump my wife's car and drive it home; elapsed time about one hour.

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Re: Do people still use AAA?

Post by IMO » Wed Dec 06, 2017 11:38 pm

Currently do still use AAA (and I can/do know how to change out a spare tire!).

Few positives:

1. There is often a $5-10 discount for many hotels we use, so it does probably save a significant amount of the membership.
2. Services go with you vs. the specific car which is the problem with most insurance company issues.
3. You can tailor your plan to your typical personal travel issues. Thus, if you do long road trips down isolated highways, it can
be helpful to get the longer tow mileage plan (since it can be very LONG stretches between any services at all). Long tows can be very expensive.
4. You can tailor it to include RV/Boat trailers. Was with someone where we had the disabled vehicle AND the boat put onto a single large trailer vs. just unhitching and leaving boat unsecured overnight.
5. Things happen in life. I've locked keys in car, had battery go dead, needed disabled tows for various cars, and even didn't feel like changing a flat in bad weather with need to get spare under car (there's a safety issue on the side of the road also, definitely wouldn't want my spouse or even capable teenager getting under car with the risk of someone not paying attention and slamming into car).

One can always "self-insure" for these things in life. On the other hand, the cost is usually reasonable enough in the big picture.

But, it is a good reminder to review one's insurance coverage, any RV/boat towing coverage, any coverage from car warranties and the like, to make sure you are optimizing the cost/benefit and not duplicating services.

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Re: Do people still use AAA?

Post by abuss368 » Wed Dec 06, 2017 11:41 pm

sport wrote:
Wed Dec 06, 2017 12:39 pm
I have two Toyota Camrys in good condition. I have AAA, but never need it for towing or road service. I use it for hotel discounts and travel information. Of course, if there is ever a breakdown, I have it available for that too.
I have used the membership as well for discounts.
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Re: Do people still use AAA?

Post by abuss368 » Wed Dec 06, 2017 11:43 pm

nisiprius wrote:
Wed Dec 06, 2017 12:53 pm
fittan wrote:
Wed Dec 06, 2017 12:24 pm
1) Do you still have AAA?
Yes. And we used them in 2016. Due to "operator error" we drained the battery on our car overnight while camping on the eclipse path in Nebraska, and sheepishly called AAA, which took care of us. The location was remote enough that the truck actually came from Iowa.
2) Is there a difference between using AAA and the rest? Seriously, whether it is Geico or Chase or any free service from credit card, they all use the same provider. Meaning does AAA have their own "fleet" and thus can provide better service? Thanks.
This is a big, big mystery to me and I'd love to know the answer. Obviously (?) in the areas I'm familiar with, AAA does not, and I don't think has ever had its "own" fleet; they contract with local repair shops which are then allowed to put up a sign and slap a decal on their trucks.

And something about the whole business has changed, maybe 5-10 years ago??? AAA started opening up lots of local offices that seem to be more in the travel and insurance business, and, simultaneously, seemingly lots of other roadside assistance services, including many named for car companies that come "free" for a couple of years with a new car, sprang up.

I imagine that there are really only a small number of networks, which private-label their services. Somewhat like dozens of cell phone companies that actually use a small number of different tower networks. But I don't know how to figure out who is "really" behind them, or how to compare.

We just keep AAA out of inertia. There have been periods of overlap between having AAA and having "free" roadside assistance from a car company, but when push comes to shove when I'm feeling stressed I haven't been in the mood to experiment with non-AAA.

I also find that real, paper road maps, for planning a trip, and, when on a trip, deciding where to go next, are incomparably better than trying to get by by printing out Google Maps or trying to do it all on-screen. Oddly enough, the very best maps are the "official" state highway maps you can get for free at "Welcome Centers" when you enter a state, but good luck trying to get them any other way. AAA maps are next-best, and the "retail value" of the maps we order probably covers about half the price of our AAA membership.
It depends. At Walt Disney World, AAA has a garage with its own trucks!
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