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Old February 1, 2014, 10:14 AM   #1
usa264
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Auto clubs: AAA vs Autovantage?

What auto clubs do you using? Im member of AAA for long time, but now looking for alternative. Im not really calling for service more than one time a year, but just in case Id like to have membership in auto club in case of emergency. I leave in small town in MA. Basic AAA membership for 2 peoples cost ~ $80 with towing just few miles. My son reached driving age. He doesn't have his own car, and he would take one of our two cars for ride sometimes. AAA membership is personal, so I need to add him to AAA as third members that would cost another $35 a year just to share primary membership benefits we already paid.

Today I watch ad on tv about AutoVantage auto club that promise better service for entire family just for $69 a year and claim availability in all 50 states. Too nice to be truth? Any experience with autovantage?
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Old February 1, 2014, 10:36 AM   #2
presley
 
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I haven't heard of Autoadvantage, but I'm in the same boat with you. Just got my AAA renewal and my son just got his permit. I've never used my AAA. It's hard to keep paying for something that never gets used. I'm not sure if I will renew this time.

Some other things offer similar services like credit cards and phones. I was thinking I'd look at my agreements and see if any of them have a towing service available to add on.
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Old February 1, 2014, 11:35 AM   #3
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I've never had AAA but it seems like they send me solicitations in the mail every six months.

I don't know anything about Autovantage but if you do a google search you will find a number of complaints as well as a BBB rating of F. However, I will add that there is just one complaint and the AAA, which seems to be separate entities across the US, have some BBBs rated F and some rated A+.

AAA has been around a lot longer than Autovantage, if that is important to you. Personally, whenever I see "as seen on TV", as Autovantage states, I get a little skeptical.

Many, if not all new cars, come with complimentary roadside assistance for a minimum of three years. That covers the car (and whoever is driving it).
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Old February 1, 2014, 11:58 AM   #4
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Check with your car insurance company. I know that State Farm offers an extremely affordable roadside assistance plan, at least here in Texas. (I know things can vary from state to state.) If I remember right, it was something like $6 every 6 months.

We have AAA, but primarily for the travel discounts.
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Old February 1, 2014, 03:26 PM   #5
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We wrestle with this now and again but tend to drive older cars (10+ years old) and it's worth it to us to have not only the roadside assistance but pay for the 100 mile tow option as well given the odds are higher that we could use it.

In SoCal, the AAA has a great network of providers and are very prompt and efficient. The club offices offer services we utilize now and again and we mostly feel like we get our money's worth from them. We also use their discounts now and again although we don't rely on them.

I'll add however there is a conflict for me as an advocate of cycling for transportation as AAA lobbies before local, state and federal government agencies against policies and projects which make it safer for cyclists. Just like the AARP thread I'm not going to go any further to avoid the politics issue, but will note there are other clubs out there which serve as alternatives to avoid that conflict, unfortunately they are not as full service as AAA.

Last edited by UWSurfer; February 1, 2014 at 06:33 PM.
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Old February 1, 2014, 03:39 PM   #6
egg1701
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I have AAA Gold now that I have newer cars I hardly ever use them for anything. Probably get a new passport and international license. I never use them for any travel discounts even car rentals I always find it cheaper elsewhere same with RCI. It makes sense to have AAA if you drive a lemon. Last time I use a tow was 2 years ago in an accident that was 75 miles from my house. Car was total. Best 55.00 I ever spent.

Last edited by egg1701; February 1, 2014 at 03:41 PM.
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Old February 1, 2014, 09:37 PM   #7
muranojo
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DH switched us from AAA to Good Sam. He thought it was less expensive and it covered both of us and all cars for one price when he signed up. May be worth checking into.
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Old February 2, 2014, 08:57 AM   #8
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Talking

Quote:
Originally Posted by egg1701 View Post
I have AAA Gold now that I have newer cars I hardly ever use them for anything. Probably get a new passport and international license. I never use them for any travel discounts even car rentals I always find it cheaper elsewhere same with RCI. It makes sense to have AAA if you drive a lemon. Last time I use a tow was 2 years ago in an accident that was 75 miles from my house. Car was total. Best 55.00 I ever spent.
We have AAA Gold also because we travel primary from Virginia to FL twice per year. We have use AAA also for passports and international licenses.

The best cruise & car rental deals are from Costco Travel.

I am also going to check State Farm out.
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Old February 2, 2014, 09:32 AM   #9
Rent_Share
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As the kids aged into college age we switched to a towing program associated with our insurer, because AAA SoCal became too expensive for four drivers.

IMHO the response time is 2 X the service AAA, YTMV $ savings is significant.
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Old February 2, 2014, 03:02 PM   #10
AnnaS
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We have had AAA (I think Plus) for years and got it for each of my kids when they started to drive. Each of my kids started driving used cars. One son used it a ton of times and my other son once or twice. DH and I have used it also once or twice.

We all have new cars more and probably don't need it but worth it for the peace of mind. We use AAA discounts whenever we can.

Don't know anything about Good Sam or Autovantage. I do know dealers and car insurance companies offer their own road side assistance too (some free/some charge).

Can you google for any reviews/comments?
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Old February 2, 2014, 04:45 PM   #11
sfwilshire
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We switched to AAA Platinum when we had one kid in school approximately 200 miles away. It includes 200 mile towing. He is no longer on our policy, but we haven't switched down to the Plus again because there isn't that much difference in price. With the Plus we got towed once about 170 miles when our transmission went out on vacation. We had to pay for the extra 70 miles, but it was at a reduced rate negotiated by AAA, so wasn't bad at all. It was nearly $3000 cheaper to get the transmission fixed at home than the estimate near where we broke down, plus we all had work or school the next day. My husband left the kids and I in a hotel overnight because the tow truck could only carry two passengers. He had to drive another car back the next day to pick us up.

It seems like a lot when I pay the bill every year, but when my 19yo called from 125 miles away from home to say his car died while the rest of us were a long way from home on vacation, it was nice to just have him make the phone call to AAA.

The time I remember the most being glad I was a AAA member was many years ago when I was working in Atlanta and driving my own car. I had to be at one of our locations VERY early in the morning, so I was on the beltway at about 4:30 in the morning when I had a flat. When AAA came, the spare was marginal. The gentleman followed me to my office, a few miles away, just to make sure I was safe. I borrowed a company car to drive home over the weekend. My mechanic back home found me a full size spare wheel and tire to replace the donut I had. I went back to Atlanta the following Monday, called AAA again, and they came over and put my new spare on.

I don't often remember to ask for the various discounts AAA includes, but they do get us 10% off at one of our favorite restaurants.

I know my kids have used the lockout service when they were on our account. My daughter locked a baby she was caring for in the car one day. AAA got there faster than we could have with the spare key. The Platinum even includes house lockout service, but we have other options for that.

Sheila

Last edited by sfwilshire; February 2, 2014 at 04:50 PM.
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Old February 2, 2014, 05:03 PM   #12
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We've used AAA since forever. We went with AARP for a while, but switched back.
One website rates Allstate Motor Club and BP Motor Club ahead of AAA.


2014 Best Roadside Assistance Services
#1 Allstate Motor Club (9.78)
#2 BP MotorClub (9.13)
#3 AAA (8.85)
#4 Paragon Motor Club (8.63)
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Old February 4, 2014, 09:12 AM   #13
nightnurse613
 
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We have used AAA for years. Changing a flat tire in 110 degrees is NOT a job I would cherish (and my husband agrees) however, we don't have the UNLIMITED service that some people talk about. It used to seem like that but now it's relegated to a couple service calls a year. We have (and pay for) a joint membership but the first call goes to my husband who brings another car; I go home and sit in the air conditioning while he waits for the tech!! Obviously there are "classes" of membership but the most I see are about 4 calls a year. A while back my truck would not start (intermittent start problems). I called AAA and they came out and checked the battery and told me the battery was fine and they would call a tow but it would count as a second service call (because I should have known it wasn't the battery??). Once the tech left the truck started and I cancelled the second service call. My new car has 2 year roadside assistance (plus it's a Toyota) so I probably won't ever use that!
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Old February 4, 2014, 10:46 PM   #14
JoeWilly
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We just got AAA again after many years of not having it for our kids. Our son was in an auto accident; we had roadside assistance on the auto policy and we were told towing was included. Since this was an older vehicle, we only had liability coverage. Long story short, we paid approx. $500 to have the vehicle towed. Progressive, denied paying the towing bill as they said because of the liability only coverage, towing is not included if you're in an accident. I called and spoke to about five different Progressive representatives and they all said it was covered. Finally, a rep. said they were almost certain towing was covered, but they'd check with some specialty department to be sure. They came back on the line and said towing is not covered if you have liability only, even with roadside assistance. You can't even purchase towing with liability only if you wanted to in Washington State with Progressive. That rep. was very surprised. Check your policy carefully. Had I been told the correct answer in the beginning when we took out the insurance policy, I would have gladly purchased AAA separately.

Fast forward a couple of months. We purchased AAA immediately after learning the above wasn't covered. Our son went to drive home after a day of skiing and discovered he lost his keys. He called AAA, gave them a partial VIN number (he could only read part of the VIN because he had a piece of paper covering part of the number). A locksmith arrived about an hour or two later at the top of the mountain and made him a key. Cost--priceless!!!

Also, they will cover you if you are riding a bicycle and need assistance (flat tire, chain comes off, etc.) You have to get to a main road so they can find you, but you'll be covered. I'm surprised after reading another post that they lobby against bicyclist as they cover this service.

As long as we drive old cars, have adult children that loose their keys or run out of gas, lock themselves out of their car, or have an insurance company that doesn't cover towing for accidents, etc., we'll keep AAA.
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Old February 5, 2014, 11:10 AM   #15
sfwilshire
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I had to book four hotels this morning for various business trips. I travel on Government rate, but always check the AAA rate as well. Two of the weeks I needed were several dollars cheaper per day at the AAA rate. It isn't my money, but I try to be as frugal as possible when I travel, whether it is for work or for leisure.

Sheila
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Old February 22, 2014, 12:02 PM   #16
FegelyTwinMommy
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We use Allstate Motor Club. It costs us $15.50 a month, and it has unlimited towing...not only for your vehicles, but any vehicle you would be driving in that needed assistance. They also offer money if you get a flat tire and need to have it fixed. You get discounts on restaurants, shopping, attractions, and travel much like AAA, but more limited. We don't stay at a lot of hotels, so the whole AAA hotel discount thing isn't a big incentive for us...we tend to find promo code or early bird deals for hotels that would supercede any 10% discount. We do travel in our Jeep a lot, and if you do the research to see how far the AAA towing coverage map goes, even for the highest plan level, you might find that it doesn't extend to all the places you might drive. The savings of a tow from Myrtle Beach to PA would be amazing. Hopefully, we will never need the service, but if you're looking for the best towing/roadside assistance package, I would consider Allstate Motor Club.
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Old February 22, 2014, 03:25 PM   #17
jehb2
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A lot of businesses of all kinds offer discounts to AAA members but you would never know unless you remember to ask. My cell phone provider gives me 15% off my monthly bill for being a AAA member. That alone more than covers my AAA membership.

Last edited by jehb2; February 22, 2014 at 03:31 PM.
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Old February 22, 2014, 04:45 PM   #18
AnnaS
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A lot of businesses of all kinds offer discounts to AAA members but you would never know unless you remember to ask. My cell phone provider gives me 15% off my monthly bill for being a AAA member. That alone more than covers my AAA membership.
Yes - I forgot - us too - we get 15% off our cell phone bill!! (about $32 a month).
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Old February 22, 2014, 05:57 PM   #19
isisdave
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AAA is a little less here in CA ... I think $48 for 2 and adding son was like $28 more. A good thing for a new driver, even with a fairly dependable car. We average 1.5 calls a year, either for a flat, dead battery, or key lockin, and let me tell you new drivers do stupid things ... we did them too, but we've forgotten.

Also, the membership attaches to the person, not the car, so your teen driver can occasionally be a hero when out with friends who suffer a similar problem.

Around town only, we might not have bothered, but he was on swim team and often drove 40+ miles to meets.

Upon turning 21 this year, he could no longer be an add-on and had to buy his own, which he hasn't done.

Oh: you can sometimes buy towing insurance on your auto policy. It might cover more than AAA's 7 miles, but it may not be cheaper, and doesn't come with free maps and other discounts. There's a 10% hotel discount almost everywhere, and lots more for car rental, amusement parks, etc. Even 20% off RV rental.
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