What is the best way to help?

A woman uses her cell phone to call for help after her car breaks down.

Image source: Getty Images

Evaluate your options to determine the best option for you and your vehicle.

the main points

  • Roadside assistance is very helpful.
  • Many car insurance companies offer this as an additional coverage or even include it as part of a regular policy.
  • AAA is best known for roadside assistance, but membership comes with other perks that may be beneficial to you.

If you’ve been a licensed driver for any length of time, chances are you’ve found yourself on the side of the road in need of some help. Maybe you ran out of fuel, you locked yourself out of your car, or your tire was flat. Or maybe you had something hotter, like accidentally running down someone’s exhaust pipe on a snowy highway, puncturing your oil pan, and leaking all the engine oil. This was me once upon a time when I was a graduate student. It wasn’t a fun day, but fortunately I got roadside assistance coverage through my country car insurance.

Roadside assistance coverage can be added to many auto insurance policies, and having access to it can be really helpful. Roadside assistance can help you if your car breaks down for any reason – it can include towing services, battery operation, locksmith assistance, and more. It can be especially useful if you have old car Out of warranty from the manufacturer, as it is likely to require mechanical intervention.

But if you are interested in roadside assistance, as well as access to Various discounts and other useful perksYou may be wondering if you should get an AAA membership instead of opting for roadside assistance through your insurance company. Here are some questions and answers that can help you choose between car insurance and AAA roadside assistance.

Does my car insurance come with roadside assistance?

If you are trying to decide whether to get roadside assistance through AAA, it is a good idea to review the details of your car insurance policy, as you may already have. If you have a blanket policy with your insurance company, roadside assistance can be included, or you may already pay for it. With your insurance company, it’s likely a nominal fee of $8 to $25 per year. If you already have this coverage, or can easily add it to your insurance policy, is it also worth considering an AAA membership? Probably.

How much is an AAA membership?

Prices for AAA memberships vary based on where you live, how many vehicles you want to cover, and whether any special deals are available. As of this writing, here are the annual membership/cost categories available to me:




$40.60 per year


USD 92.40

Data source: AAA Northeast

You see, even the most basic level of membership is more than the average annual cost of roadside assistance through an auto insurance company. However, AAA very clearly defines the level of service they provide; For example, if I choose the Plus tier membership, I’ll be entitled to four roadside assistance calls per year, and AAA will tow my car up to 100 miles. My auto insurance policy is through one of the largest national insurance companies, and according to their website as well as my experience of using this service in the past, it only covers towing my car to the “nearest repair facility”. This is less beneficial to me than being able to choose where to take my car. And remember, an AAA membership comes with more than just help in the event your car breaks down.

What does AAA membership include?

AAA is known for offering countless discounts on hotel stays, car rentals, and other travel expenses. But it also gives members a chance to reap discounts on dining out, gym memberships, and even eyeglasses. These discounts are available regardless of which AAA membership level you purchase. Suddenly, paying for a basic level membership might make more sense for you.

Now we get to the heart of the matter: Does paying for an AAA membership make sense your budget? If you’re going to use the discounts and perks available to you as an AAA member, travel frequently, or even if you drive an older car that’s prone to mechanical problems and would rather have more flexibility with the roadside assistance available to you, then an AAA membership might make sense for you. Good to see if you have coverage for help on the way through Car insurance company, what it might cover, and how much an AAA membership would cost. This information will help you make the right decision.

If you, too, have known the dread that comes with a car crashing and leaving you stranded on the side of the road, you’re no doubt glad that roadside assistance programs can save the day (or at least your car). Bank account, because towing services are often very expensive). Now that you know how to choose between roadside assistance through your insurance company or AAA, you’re better prepared to be safe behind the wheel (and Save some money).

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