Should You Tip AAA Roadside Assistance?

The AAA roadside assistance team is always ready to jump to your rescue when you need them. It could be that you have a flat tire, your battery needs to be jump-started, or your car has broken down in the middle of nowhere. When you’re in an emergency that requires a roadside assistance provider, you know you can always count on AAA. 

The US has developed a tipping culture. You’re expected to tip people who provide services such as hairdressing, waitressing, valet services, etc. For most of these services, the expected tip is usually defined. However, the question remains when it comes to AAA: should you tip AAA roadside assistance drivers?

What benefits do AAA members get?

A AAA Roadside Assistance building with the AAA logo on the front.
AAA Roadside Assistance

AAA has been in operation for more than a century, and currently, it’s one of the most reliable roadside assistance providers. It has 3 main membership tiers that offer varying benefits.

AAA Classic membership’s annual cost ranges from $38 to $74, and for each additional member, you pay a minimum of $25. With this membership tier, you get benefits such as 4 towing services for a maximum of 7 miles each year, a car lockout limit of $50, roadside assistance due to dead battery, car tire, and fuel. 

AAA Plus memberships cost $60 to $124, with each additional member costing you a minimum of $34. In addition to the classic membership benefits, the towing services are increased to 100 miles each, the lockout limits double to $100, and you also get free fuel delivery. 

AAA Premier membership members in this tier pay $77 to $164, and additional members cost you a minimum of $45. In addition to the plus membership benefits, the lockout limit is increased to $150, and you get three 100-miles tows and a 200-mile tow. You also get a $1,500 trip distribution coverage and a free rental car for a day with a tow. 

What discounts are associated with memberships?

AAA memberships also come with impressive discounts, including 10% off all auto bodies and repair shops that have been pre-approved by AAA. You also get discounts on entertainment spots such as museums and amusement parks, a 20% minimum discount on moving trucks and off-car rentals, and discounts on vision care and prescriptions.

Other benefits include 10% off on oil change, free AAA membership renewal, and discounts on electronics from selected companies. It’s important to note that these benefits vary based on region, and in some places, the limits are much more generous. 

Is it recommend to tip drivers?

If you call the AAA hotline and ask this question, they will tell you that you are not obligated to tip drivers because they’re already paid to offer roadside assistance. However, even though you’re not expected to tip, some situations might warrant it. For instance, if your car breaks down late at night in the middle of nowhere and there’s bad weather, it’s courteous to tip the driver. 

Yes, they’re doing their job, but they went into a lot of trouble to ensure you get the assistance you need, despite the circumstances.  Tipping is not only the right thing to do; it also shows that you’re happy with the services provided. 

The truth is offering roadside assistance is not easy. Most of these drivers go beyond what is expected of them to make sure you get home safely. A driver may even offer you a ride home after taking your car to an auto body shop. 

These drivers also work for long hours, often in difficult conditions. In one Reddit thread, AAA roadside assistance drivers highlighted that you’re not required to offset their tips, but it goes a long way in motivating them.

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