You youngsters will probably have difficulty believing this, but back in the olden days AAA offered drivers the peace of mind of knowing that if their car broke down, they could walk to the nearest phone booth, call AAA and a tow truck would be dispatched. Its true!
But with the advent of cell phones, GPS, OnStar, Mapquest, and websites like hotels.com, does anyone belong to AAA anymore?
Even roadside assistance is no longer exclusive to AAA. Nearly all auto insurance companies offer it for a nominal fee, and I love it.
Several years ago when Spouse & I had just purchased our mobile-'home away from home' at the beach, our Ford Explorer broke down. It was the Sat night before Easter Sun and we had brought some furniture and stuff to our vintage beach place. We were heading back home to VA late that night so we could spend Easter Sun with our family. We stopped to fill up at a gas station kind of in the middle of nowhere. When we were ready to get back on the road, the truck wouldn't start. I used my cell phone to call for roadside assistance. The tow truck driver was unable to get our truck started, so he towed it to a local garage. We paid nothing. A cab took us back to the beach. We did have to pay for the cab.
On my worst birthday ever when Big Ella would not start, I called roadside assistance. Again, my car was towed on a flatbed to the mechanic's garage and I paid $0. (It turned out to be the generator.)
Just last week, Spouse's Honda CRV would not start due to the extreme cold and a weak battery. He drove my BMW to work and after it warmed up a bit I called roadside assistance. A mechanic started Spouse's car using jumper cables, which technically we could have done ourselves. But since I knew we had roadside assistance, we didn't have to get our hands greasy or dirty trying to jump start the car ourselves, in the cold. (Once started, I drove it to a garage and the 7 year old battery was replaced.)
In all 3 cases, for just $36. a year or $3. a month, for the roadside assistance perk offered by our insurance company, we were never without help AND we paid $0. for the attempts to restart our vehicles and for the towing. The people we spoke to and the tow truck drivers they sent couldn't have been nicer or more helpful, and we didn't need a subscription to a separate service provider like AAA.
And as for the "trip/driving directions" and "hotel discounts" that used to be such an added value to AAA's membership? We didn't need them either.
I heart roadside assistance!
Crush du Jour: Eric Leven