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Best Auto Club

Last post Wed, Dec 7 2011 5:08 PM by Aana. 10 replies.
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  • Wed, Nov 9 2011 4:21 PM

    • Brandy
    • Top 10 Contributor
    • Joined on Wed, Mar 28 2007
    • Saving in South Mississippi
    • Posts 25,145

    Best Auto Club

     Jaylin is looking for the best auto club. Tell us about the ones you have dealt with.

     

    I want to buy a membership for a motorist club mainly for towing or roadside help. I was hoping your readers could share their experiences with the different motorist clubs available (i.e. AAA, Allstate, Shell, etc.). Thank you,
    Jaylin

    The Dollar Stretcher Community Manager



  • Sat, Nov 12 2011 6:50 PM In reply to

    Re: Best Auto Club

    I've tried AAA and Phillips, and AAA gave superior service overall, but neither were great. Apparently AAA's reimbursement for towing co's was perceived by them to be a little deficient. Phillips was good everywhere except Chattanooga, where the only way to get anything done is kinship or bribery.
  • Mon, Nov 14 2011 10:38 AM In reply to

    Re: Best Auto Club

     We get roadside assistance for free through our auto insurer (Allstate). It's just included with the policy. With our previous insurer, 21st Century, we could get roadside assistance as an add-on to the policy for only $7 per 6 months. If your insurer offers this option, it will almost certainly be cheaper than buying an auto club membership.

    My Ecofrugal Living blog: ecofrugality.blogspot.com
  • Mon, Nov 14 2011 11:34 AM In reply to

    Re: Best Auto Club

    I have roadside assistance with my insurance as well, but read the policies carefully.  With mine (statefarm), you call the tower or whatever of your choice, then pay for it and file for reimbursement with the insurance company.  It's a pain in the behind and I intend on changing it next year.  My challenge has been that I'm in a lot of different places and travel a lot and I don't carry the information I need for a tow company that I like in every part of the state that I travel in.  Calling just 1 number would be easier even if it is a bit more expensive.  For me, this is more about the peace of mind.
    Officially Recognized Stretchpert in the General forum
  • Sun, Dec 4 2011 5:54 PM In reply to

    Re: Best Auto Club

    Allstate's roadside assistance is not just for their policy holders. It is free to anyone. I am a registered member and do not have them for any of our policies.

    You register online or phone, and in about a week or so get a packet in the mail. I almost tossed it when I saw mail from another insurer, thinking it was junk mail, until I remembered I'd registered for that! In the packet are cards with their phone number for your wallet, key ring tags, and stickers to put on your windshield as well as details that are also available on the website (pasted below). It is free until you use it. I called a couple towing companies to compare towing costs and they are below average in cost for my area, which was good. I haven't used the service yet (thank goodness) but am very happy to have that extra peace of mind.

    http://www.allstate.com/auto-roadside-services.aspx

  • Sun, Dec 4 2011 8:11 PM In reply to

    Re: Best Auto Club

    Be sure you know what you are getting when you add auto-club-type service to your insurance policy. Will their representatives carry identification? Wear uniform? Drive a marked vehicle? Notify you of the amount of time it will take to have someone at your location and deliver on that promise?

    One reason I've stayed with AAA is that I can be assured of those things. I've heard some unsettling stories, especially from women friends, about being at the mercy of their insurance company on the road at night. Many years with AAA, I've gotten more service than I've paid for. I know their first question will be about the safety of my location, and when they've told me how long it will be before someone comes to my rescue, the service person always arrives within that time frame - or they call to update me. 

     There are some situations that AAA has to contract out, depending on the location and situation. That's only happened to me once when I needed a locksmith, but he showed up asking for my AAA card and showing ID to verify he was representing AAA. 

     Insurance companies contract out all these services and can distance themselves from problems that may occur. 

     So ask a lot of questions about how your insurance company's service works and how they verify service quality of their providers.  AAA costs me just under $4 per month, and that's certainly not worth taking a chance on hit or miss service by a contractor.

  • Tue, Dec 6 2011 8:51 AM In reply to

    Re: Best Auto Club

     Do note that Consumer Reports says even AAA sometimes has problems:

    "Depending on where you are and when you call, you could get help in a few minutes or not so fast. Even giant AAA, with its 49 million members, has left drivers in the lurch. Edward J. Burke of Riverhead, N.Y., says AAA took seven hours to come to his sister’s aid when her Subaru broke down on a trip from New York to Maryland. “The number one reason you belong to AAA?is for emergency road service,” he says. “Everything else they sell you is worthless if they can’t be there when you need help.” AAA said that the club was changing its towing companies, and the hand off may not have been going smoothly."

    Plus they engage in highway lobbying, trying to block funding for things like mass transit, bike lanes, and higher fuel economy standards.

    My Ecofrugal Living blog: ecofrugality.blogspot.com
  • Tue, Dec 6 2011 10:01 AM In reply to

    Re: Best Auto Club

    While never making errors is the ideal, it isn't possible.  My argument was based on the fact that roadside assistance is what they do, and you are correct that it's what they better get right if that's their business.  I just just suspect they do it better than insurance companies, and I don't think they are expensive.

     I had forgotten about their opposition to broader transportation reform, and I think their opposition is short-sighted. Just like AARP's lobbying, that does trouble me.  

  • Tue, Dec 6 2011 10:55 AM In reply to

    Re: Best Auto Club

    mahthellin:

    While never making errors is the ideal, it isn't possible. 

    True. I just meant that no matter which option you choose, there are no guarantees. I don't think there is really enough data to say whether the full-service auto clubs do a better job with roadside assistance than insurers (there don't seem to be any large-scale surveys on this topic), but since all I really want is the roadside assistance and not the other perks, I think the cheapie option is the best choice for me.

    mahthellin:

     I had forgotten about their opposition to broader transportation reform, and I think their opposition is short-sighted. Just like AARP's lobbying, that does trouble me.  

    You could always try Better World Club if you are looking for a professional, full-service auto club with a more progressive approach. It is a bit more expensive, though.

     

    My Ecofrugal Living blog: ecofrugality.blogspot.com
  • Tue, Dec 6 2011 2:46 PM In reply to

    Re: Best Auto Club

    I can't comment intelligently on "all insurance company roadside assistance plans" because I haven't tried them all :)  But, the reason I now use Allstate's good hands program is because a friend of mine has used it and she recommended it to me, and everyone in our Sunday school class as well. She was very pleased with the service she got. I haven't used them yet, but am signed up for when or if I ever do. I have had to use AAA which we used to pay for every year. It was frankly a nightmare that caused me to not renew the membership. I'd locked my keys in my car and waited three hours for them in sweltering heat. I had no place to go inside to cool off because I'd (stupidly maybe) pulled off a road to move a large tree branch that was blocking the road instead of driving around it.. and just as I slammed the door realized it was locked and my keys were in the ignition.. thank goodness I'd turned it off! Some have good experiences with AAA and some have poor ones. I would like to see people comment on their actual experiences. I am sure it is a great auto club for some folks, it just wasn't for me personally :)

     

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