Most people are familiar with AAA Auto Club. Even if you’re not a member, you can probably envision the logo in a car window and have an idea of what the group offers. Subscribing to the AAA Auto Club service is most commonly associated with roadside assistance, towing services, and the sharing of local gas prices.
But there is so much more behind this more than 100-year-old organization. And you might be surprised to learn just how beneficial it can be to be a member.
What does AAA stand for?
To offer a little history, the American Automobile Association began as an exclusive club, founded by nine motor clubs with a membership of fewer than 1,500, back in 1902 (per its website).
At first, its mission was to improve the condition of roads to improve safety and travel. This service organization of many automotive voices served as an advocate for safe driving and mobility then and continues to enlist new members still today.
This non-profit association grew to its present-day size of 32 motor clubs and more than 1,000 branch locations in North America. AAA Auto Club currently has more than 60 million members across the U.S. and Canada.
Membership tiers and common benefits
Becoming a member is pretty easy and seems to be relatively affordable. But first, you must choose your preferred level of services and select a membership tier.
If you’re only interested in the classic roadside assistance program, you can expect to pay roughly $40 per person annually. But with each tier offering comes increased roadside perks, including the number of tows allowed within a membership year, mileage covered for those towing services, additional lock-out assistance, and even rental cars.
Those higher membership levels can run upwards of $160 per person annually. However, having a phone number to call when you’re stranded with a flat tire and no spare is probably priceless.
Some AAA services you probably didn’t know were available
AAA Auto Club is more than just assistance for those inconvenient flat tires or engine trouble on the side of the highway. This “federation of motor clubs” pools countless resources to offer its members other perks like travel services and vacation planning assistance.
There are substantial discounts for some automotive services, including repair and body shop work. AAA Members also enjoy retailer discounts, including percentages off for entertainment, with museums, at movie theaters, and at amusement parks.
Many AAA regional clubs also offer a financial business segment where members can subscribe to life, auto, and home insurance products. The benefits of membership can translate to substantial cost savings far beyond the occasional roadside assistance.
Leading women in automotive at the helm
Some of the most key positions within the AAA Auto Group non-profit are women, including Valerie Daniels-Carter, Chairwoman, and Jill Ingrassia, Executive Director of Advocacy and Communications. Ellen Edmonds, a AAA spokesperson, shared in a statement via NerdWallet, “AAA is an advocate for the safety of the driving public.”
She goes on to say the future of traffic safety and mobility will depend on the organization’s continuing commitment to conducting research and growth. What once began as a small collaboration of auto clubs looking to make the roadways better has since transitioned to an ever-evolving mobility partner for its members.
Having a AAA Auto Club membership means you’re able to leverage all of the available services and discounts in all 50 states. So, no matter where your roadway adventures lead you, you’ll always have the group services at your disposal.
For most members, it’s having the peace of mind that should an issue arise on the road, there’s a number to call and professionals to help. Having that layer of protection makes hitting the road and traveling that much safer of a prospect.