Roadside assistance service plan

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My 2006 Nissan Sentra is clocking 90K and I think I should get roadside assistance. Twice I needed but once a good samaritan helped me out with jump starting my battery and once DW brushed a curb, ended up with a tear. She called service to replace the tire.

I usually drive within 10 miles radius from my home and live close to NYC area (White Plains, NY)

First thing came into my mind was AAA. They keep sending offers for basic membership. For about $75/year, I can get their coverage for myself and DW. But the problem is, under this membership, they offer towing only upto 3 miles and all other offers they have are pretty much worthless (maps, trips etc).
On top of that, AAA service contractor in White Plains does not have a good reputation. I have heard many complaints about them (esp. when it comes to towing).

I have State Farm but using roadside assistance claim jacks up the premium price. (I checked with the agent and she encouraged me not to file the claim and suck up $65 tire replacement). So that it out.
I have Costco AMEX card, but the roadside assistance offer is pretty much useless.
I do not have contract cell phone (so please do not suggest Verizon's service)
I am not eligible for USAA.

So what options do I have?

Googling gave me following options. I would like to know if anybody has used it and have positive or negative comment.
http://www.betterworldclub.com/
https://www.aarproadside.com/aarp/home.do
https://www.gmmotorclub.com/
http://www.bpmotorclub.com/BP/home.do
http://www.allstatemotorclub.com/ (How does this one differ from other All State roadside assistance where the model is Pay As You Go?
Did I miss out any other provider?

If at all, the service is used, it will be used for flat-tire or battery issues. I do not foresee any other problems because the car is still in pretty good shape.

Thanks in advance.

Member Summary
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Main issue with tire changes is being on a shoulder with 2 feet of clearance between you and 70mph traffic. No matter y... (more)

vegetation (Apr. 08, 2013 @ 5:40p) |

Hey savyasachi have you figured out which provider you were gonna go with?

I looked at all the posts and i have seen them... (more)

JProfits (May. 14, 2013 @ 10:48p) |

Yet another MLM. 1st I have seen for a motor club.

240 / year? Not just no, but HELL NO!

Mickie3 (May. 15, 2013 @ 6:21a) |

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AAA offers three plans, first one is 5 miles, 2nd is 100 miles...not sure what 3rd is .

I have AAA. there are only 2 plans as far as i know. I have the premium which includes 100 miles of towing. I think it's $125. The plus for me are all the AAA discounts, including parking lots in Manhattan. I've also used the 100+ miles towing, unfortunately. They were fantastic!!

I don't think Statefarm jack up the premium, I used roadside service several times over the years, and I never notice any premium change.

* Statefarm will not increase your rates after a single roadside assistance claim. Some people do say that they will increase rates after multiple (number unknown) claims.
* Big O Tires will provide roadside assistance if you purchase certain types of their tires. http://www.bigoroadside.com/coverage-statement.php

AAA has a new level called Premier that offers up to 200 miles of free towing. For new members, you can only get the basic membership, after a year, you can get plus which offers 100 miles of free towing. Used Plus once, got towed for 104 miles, had to pay for that last 4 miles. Also it's no charge towing to the responding or nearest AAA service facility or anywhere in a 3 miles radius for the basic.

For flat tires, check the tire manufacturer, I know Goodyear offers two years of roadside assistance for tire service, but that's just to put on the spare and only comes with certain tires.

Couldn't you purchase the basic AAA for $75 and just pay the difference in mileage if your car is towed? I did that years ago because I wasn't having my car towed a lot - no more than once every few years. My yearly calls were for battery or tire issues.

To AAA respondents,

As I mentioned in OP, avoidance to AAA is mainly because of their service contractor in my neighborhood. In spite of many complaints by the local, the contractor or the services have not changed. That is the only reason, why I am looking into the others.

@ComputeThis,
If I have to pay for towing anyways, then my local towing company charges $50/tow. Doesn't make sense to pay $75 for basic membership.

Savyasachi said:   To AAA respondents,

As I mentioned in OP, avoidance to AAA is mainly because of their service contractor in my neighborhood. In spite of many complaints by the local, the contractor or the services have not changed. That is the only reason, why I am looking into the others.


Realize that all auto clubs will probably contract with the same towing services (there are only so many). So, you might end up "using" the same towing company, no matter which RA you go with.

Did you check Geico insurance? I use their emergency towing service which only add me like $25 per 6 months.

Savyasachi said:   To AAA respondents,

As I mentioned in OP, avoidance to AAA is mainly because of their service contractor in my neighborhood. In spite of many complaints by the local, the contractor or the services have not changed. That is the only reason, why I am looking into the others.

@ComputeThis,
If I have to pay for towing anyways, then my local towing company charges $50/tow. Doesn't make sense to pay $75 for basic membership.


I'd take all those complaints with a grain of salt. When your car is broken down and you're just sitting around waiting for a tow truck, it will seem like an eternity no matter what. In the past when I've broken down it's always taken an hour or two for the tow truck to show up, it just kinda depends how busy they are at the time you break down. When that happens all you can really do is call the AAA number and ask how much longer. And it's basically the same thing with the local tow company, if they charge $50 a tow, they'll probably charge for mileage on top of that too. You're basically paying for convenience, one number dispatches a tow truck in your area, if you don't happen to be in the area where your tow serves or if they happen to be closed at that hour or are too busy, then you're scrambling to find another one.

All of those services contract out to the same tow companies. So price probably matters most.

Go to internet and print out numbers of local tow companies and local mechanics and stick it in your glove box. Before cell phones I kept a phone book in the car. Most have 24hr coverage and get to you quicker then having a club dispatch them out to you.

Options
Find the club that gives the greatest number of miles of free tow. They all offer battery jump and tire change for the most part. You need to self insure for those with learning how to change a tire and buying a booster. Towing is the big expense.
Teach wife how to change a tire.
Spend the money on a battery booster for around $100 and it pays for itself in a year.

If you buy from AAA you can use it for ANY car, even for rentals or your friends. There are 3 plans for California. Also, this place insures YOU, so other places insure your car. So you get insurance for any car you use.

saladdin said:   All of those services contract out to the same tow companies. So price probably matters most.

Go to internet and print out numbers of local tow companies and local mechanics and stick it in your glove box. Before cell phones I kept a phone book in the car. Most have 24hr coverage and get to you quicker then having a club dispatch them out to you.

Options
Find the club that gives the greatest number of miles of free tow. They all offer battery jump and tire change for the most part. You need to self insure for those with learning how to change a tire and buying a booster. Towing is the big expense.
Teach wife how to change a tire.
Spend the money on a battery booster for around $100 and it pays for itself in a year.


I'd skip the whole battery booster part, if the battery is more than 5-6 years old, consider getting a new one. Every once in a while you'll see a good deal posted here for around $50, but otherwise it's about $75-$100 for a battery. For a 2006, if it's the original battery, it's time to change it.

With changing a tire, it's not so hard to do, but for one thing, depending on the size, it can weigh 40-60 pounds which you would need to pick up and put in the trunk. Also the lug nuts can be difficult to get off even for men, especially if they were over tightened at a shop.

Someone here on FW posted the GM Motor Club about 5+ years ago and they've been great. Unlimited towing to a qualified garage and they'll reimburse travel expenses and tons of other extras.

They're yearly price has gone up about $10-20 over the last 5 years but I haven't found a better deal to cover my 16 year old Toyota 4Runner (over 300,000 miles) on long trips.

Link > GM Motor Club

handyguy said:   If you buy from AAA you can use it for ANY car, even for rentals or your friends. There are 3 plans for California. Also, this place insures YOU, so other places insure your car. So you get insurance for any car you use.

AAA covers the driver - not the car. So, the member needs to be present when the truck comes.

themew said:   Someone here on FW posted the GM Motor Club about 5+ years ago and they've been great. Unlimited towing to a qualified garage and they'll reimburse travel expenses and tons of other extras.


The 'qualified' garage is typically the towing company's. I'd rather pick my own place to tow it to...

AARP/The Hartford has a nice product feature. For less than $10.00 per year (per vehicle) they will cover the 1st $75.00 of roadside service. After making all the arrangements including paying the toe service provider I select, I then send in the bill to the insurance company. Frequently I shut-off the roadside coverage during the year when not needed, which further reduces insurance expenses. This feature is especially useful for older vehicles used seasonally.

New York City area... Pretty much if you break down on ANY of the expressways, you will be towed, and you are paying. It is almost as if there is a kickback scheme.."Contracted tow companies"

Anywhere else, AAA is fine.

I have an add on question to this topic that I wonder if anyone has thought of. When I look at my Progressive roadside assistance (at only $14/year), it includes towing and *labor* for repairs. Does AAA include repair labor?

ohmic314 said:   I have an add on question to this topic that I wonder if anyone has thought of. When I look at my Progressive roadside assistance (at only $14/year), it includes towing and *labor* for repairs. Does AAA include repair labor?

It depends what you mean by labor with regards to a tow. Labor to change a battery, tire, and minor repairs that may get you back on the road would be included by AAA. I doubt at $14/year that they're actually going to cover repairs if you've got a blown head gasket or transmission.

henry33 said:   I doubt at $14/year that they're actually going to cover repairs if you've got a blown head gasket or transmission.
Edit: You are right. I read my policy documents more carefully and it says it doesn't cover repairs at the repair shop. The labor is just the labor the tow guy puts in to get your car running at the breakdown site.


With changing a tire, it's not so hard to do, but for one thing, depending on the size, it can weigh 40-60 pounds which you would need to pick up and put in the trunk. Also the lug nuts can be difficult to get off even for men, especially if they were over tightened at a shop.


Main issue with tire changes is being on a shoulder with 2 feet of clearance between you and 70mph traffic. No matter your skill level in changing a tire, it's not worth risking your life over.

Hey savyasachi have you figured out which provider you were gonna go with?

I looked at all the posts and i have seen them all. Getting good towing is sometimes hard alot of companies always have special requirements

Heres one that stands out, Motor club of America (MCA) offers unlimited towing (up to 100 miles). so no cap

I looked up the coverage details but for some reason i cant copy the information from the site

Take a look here: http://deycallmerell.mcatoolkit.com/our-coverage/

Theres a couple of different plans but i signed up for the total security ($19.95 a month)

pretty expensive huh? Well its got great benefits (these guys even cover you if you get a speeding ticket!) and they have some refferal program.

Refer a friend and get paid $80. Im going to sign up my wife and probably my mother and uncle ( 3x$80 = 240 9 months free!)

Let me know what you think

JProfits said:   Hey savyasachi have you figured out which provider you were gonna go with?

I looked at all the posts and i have seen them all. Getting good towing is sometimes hard alot of companies always have special requirements

Heres one that stands out, Motor club of America (MCA) offers unlimited towing (up to 100 miles). so no cap

I looked up the coverage details but for some reason i cant copy the information from the site

Take a look here: http://deycallmerell.mcatoolkit.com/our-coverage/

Theres a couple of different plans but i signed up for the total security ($19.95 a month)

pretty expensive huh? Well its got great benefits (these guys even cover you if you get a speeding ticket!) and they have some refferal program.

Refer a friend and get paid $80. Im going to sign up my wife and probably my mother and uncle ( 3x$80 = 240 9 months free!)

Let me know what you think



Yet another MLM. 1st I have seen for a motor club.

240 / year? Not just no, but HELL NO!



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