It’s time that you stop renewing your AAA membership. There are plenty of great, low-cost options for roadside assistance that make the yearly payout on AAA a complete waste of your family’s money.
AAA is pretty much a rite of passage. A child collects their license at which time parents turn over their keys and a brand new AAA card. Parents want to ensure that their children can get access to a jump, a tow or a spare flat tire should fate strand them on the side of the road. For decades, AAA has meant piece of mind for parents handing the keys over to the next generation.
What does tradition at cost at AAA? A basic annual membership is nearly $60. It covers 4 service calls, towing within 5 miles and a flat rate of $50 for a locksmith. It costs nearly $40 to cover a second driver. In other words, tradition is quite costly compared to your alternatives.
Over the last several years many companies have sought to add roadside assistance to their products as a way to entice new consumers, but many of us simply never took notice. You might already have roadside coverage from many sources without knowing it.
Here are some free and low-cost products that offer roadside assistance.
Your American Express Card
I featured this deal a few weeks ago, but it’s worth bringing up again. American Express offers free roadside assistance to their card members. It even extends to those that have prepaid cards. The card covers towing, battery jump, tire changes and locksmith services. It all costs nothing so long as you have a card that doesn’t use periodic or membership fees. Many other card issuers offer free or low-cost roadside assistance as well.
Your Car’s Battery
Before you are tempted to call a towing company, you might want to pop the hood of your car to take a look around. You don’t need to know anything about fixing cars to find the solution to your problem. You merely need to inspect your car battery to see if free roadside assistance is offered. Some premium manufacturers, like Bosch Batteries, offer free roadside assistance. You only need to call the number on the top of you battery.
Your Car Insurance
Few car insurance companies offer free roadside assistance, but they charge far less than AAA. Progressive charges roughly $30 per year and GEICO charges $24. All State offers free roadside assistance to its customers. Most companies have their own plans and most of those plans offer more coverage than AAA, for less cost.
Your Cell Phone Plan
Many cell providers offer roadside assistance plan and they are cheaper than AAA although not by much. For $3 to $4 each month, you can have access to roadside assistance. It may only save you $10 or $20, but it is cheaper than AAA.
I’ve needed roadside assistance on many occasions. It is definitely an insurance product you want to pass on to your children, but these days there is no reason waste money on AAA. There are plenty of free and low-cost options. You only need to pick the one that makes the most sense for your family.
Do you use AAA? Have you ever used an option outside of AAA?