AAA Towing Rules – Full Guide

If you are like most car owners, then you are probably wondering how AAA towing rules work. What do you need to learn to make the towing process as smooth as possible? You can learn about that through this AAA towing rules – the complete guide article.

One thing you should remember about AAA towing is that the towing distance will depend on your availed membership type. You will have up to 5-7 miles of towing services if you have the basic AAA Classic membership. You need to learn many other rules, but the basics should suffice.

Read on to learn more about the AAA towing rules and the services you can get from your membership.

AAA Towing Rules

aaa towing rules

The available services from AAA will depend on what membership plan you have. It will also depend on which state or territory you are in, the US or Canada. Currently, AAA offers three types of memberships:

  • Classic
  • AAA Plus
  • AAA Premier

If you are a new member, you must pay a one-time admission fee ($20). You can add another adult associate to your membership for an extra cost ($31).

Meanwhile, if you add a dependent associate, like a teenage child, the extra fee costs $33 per person. There are no restrictions on the number of associates you can add if they qualify.

AAA Classic Membership

Here is additional information about the different types of services you can avail of in the AAA classic plan:

Basic Towing Services

If you availed of the AAA Classic membership, you would have up to 7 miles of free towing services. This should start from the location of your broken-down vehicle.

You can call AAA towing up to four times a year. While broken down at the side of the road, you should set up warning triangles. This is so other motorists will be able to see your car.

Discounts for Car Rentals

Another perk of being an AAA Classic member is getting a considerable discount for car rentals. This is in case your car is in for repairs. This will make it easier on your budget to keep driving, even when charged a massive bill for car repairs.

Emergency Fuel and Battery Delivery and Other Emergency Services

If you are in the middle of nowhere and your car won’t start, you can call AAA. This can give you peace of mind since you can request an emergency fuel delivery.

Although the service is free for AAA members, you must pay for the fuel. This is why you should always have a spare gas can whenever you go on a long trip.

If you have battery problems, you can also request AAA to ask for assistance. Their technicians will assess the condition of your battery, and they will then offer a jumpstart or a brand-new battery for a reasonable price.

If you don’t have enough room in your budget for a new battery, you can try charging it at home to get the most use out of it.

You can also count on AAA to have your back if you accidentally lock your keys in the car. AAA does not have in-house locksmiths. Still, the company would cover the costs of the service up to $60 in parts and labor.

Other emergency roadside assistance services that AAA provides include:

  • Flat tire minor repairs and installation
  • Extrication services; in case you fall into a ditch or get stuck in a snow bank

AAA Plus Towing Rules

aaa roadside assistance rules

The AAA Plus membership is the company’s mid-tier plan. Here, you will get all the perks of the Classic membership but with several extra and improved services. One distinct and significant difference is that you will enjoy a 100-mile towing range instead of just 7 miles.

Regarding the rental car services, you can avail of the free upgrade of the specific vehicle class you can rent. This is aside from the discount for the car rental, according to the AAA Plus towing rules.

Other differences include:

  • An additional vehicle and driver for winching and extrication services
  • The budget for the locksmith services increases from $60 to $100, which is quite a considerable amount

AAA Premier Towing Rules

The top-tier AAA membership plan is the Premier. Like the other membership plans, Premier members receive up to 4 service calls annually. However, according to AAA Premier towing rules, you will get up to three 100-mile tows. You can also enjoy a 200-mile range tow for your dependents.

The improved features of the Premier membership include:

  • Increased blacksmith budget to $150
  • Complimentary 1-day free mid-size car rental

Aside from those mentioned, you will have access to the same level of services as the AAA Plus membership.

Again, what are the AAA towing rules? AAA will tow drivers’ cars with AAA Classic membership for free up to five miles from the accident or breakdown, while Plus members will enjoy 100 miles of free towing services.

RV/Motorcycle Roadside Assistance

AAA also provides roadside assistance for RVs and motorcycles as an additional option for any available membership plans. This other service will cost you an additional $41 per year. You will be getting an extra four service calls for RVs and motorcycles.

The additional towing service has a $500 limit per service call and a limit of $1000 per membership year. The member would need to pay out of pocket for any amount over the limit.

How Much Does AAA Charge for Towing Extra Miles

How much does it cost when you go over your towing range? This will depend on your location and the motor club that AAA is affiliated with in the area.

Typically, it would cost anywhere between $4 and $11 for every extra mile over the limit. To be sure, you should check the official website of your state’s AAA.

AAA Towing Rules – Membership Transferability

If you have a Classic membership, you will not be able to share your benefits with another person. Meanwhile, your benefits are transferable to two other persons if you have a AAA Plus or Premier membership.

However, you will need to add those two people as associates. You can remove or replace the people associated with your account whenever.

Do You Need to Be with Your Car While Being Towed?

It is not typical for AAA to tow your vehicle without the membership owner. This is mainly for accountability reasons. However, you can talk with the driver if you need to leave your car with the towing service. Tell them your predicament, and they might allow you to leave your vehicle to them.

AAA would not typically allow you to leave your car when towed. The reason is that they need to have someone to be the responsible party. This is also so that the car owner can monitor if their vehicle is properly being transported.

Do I Need to Register My Wife and Children to Use My Membership?

If you want an immediate family member to be able to use your AAA card, you should register them. Non-associates to the AAA service are not eligible for the benefits of members. This is the case even if the persons are immediate family.

Does AAA Tow Unregistered Vehicles?

aaa towing cost

Company policy dictates that they cannot and will not tow unregistered vehicles.

One speculation that I have is that this policy also protects AAA legally. It is because there is a potential for them to be used to tow stolen vehicles. In addition, if you need to have an illegally-parked car out of your driveway, know that AAA can’t help you.

What you can do, though, is call your local police department. Ask them to tow and impound the vehicle as it is obstructing traffic.

Can You Use Your AAA Membership Immediately?

You could use the AAA Classic membership immediately if you availed it. You can even use it for a pre-existing breakdown. However, the same does not hold for the Premier and Plus memberships.

The reason is that they offer a significantly larger towing range compared to the 7 miles that the Classic offers. You will need to wait seven days for your Plus and Premier membership to take effect.

Are AAA Memberships Worth It?

The value of a AAA membership will be subjective depending on the amount of protection the person wants. AAA membership is similar to auto insurance.

It is set up so you will pay for advance coverage for untoward services. Sometimes, paying out of pocket for roadside assistance will be significantly more expensive without AAA covering you.

Is AAA Membership Worth It?

Are you still wondering if a AAA membership is worth your hard-earned money? Then consider your costs for having and not having coverage.

Let’s say you have a family of four. Would an AAA Plus membership be better than paying out of pocket for towing services? They would need to pay according to the number of drivers in the family.

This means $91 for the first driver and $55 for each additional driver on the card. If there are three drivers in the family, that will amount to $201 per year.

The costs will depend on the company if they pay for a towing service directly. Typically, tow services would cost $109 just for the hook-up fee and the $6 per mile of travel. If your car broke down and needed to be towed fifteen miles, the total cost would be $199. This is for a one-time tow.

The beauty of AAA towing services is that they already know in advance the actual cost. This is if they need to have their car towed less than 100 miles. Any unused towing coverage can be transferred to other coverage for the year.

However, there are instances when the AAA coverage will not apply. One limits the coverage to one or two drivers, and neither was in the car when it broke down.

Hiring a tow service might seem cheaper, but that is just for a single tow. However, that would only be true if that was the only time the car got towed. What if the vehicle gets towed that same year again? Then the owner would pay almost double the cost of a AAA membership.

Do You Need an AAA Membership?

If you fit any one of the following descriptions, then you might be better off not getting AAA coverage:

  • You rarely drive your car, and whenever you do, you typically do not leave the city limits.
  • You already have towing services covered by your car insurance company.
  • You are financially capable and could quickly pay for the towing services out-of-pocket.

Additional Tip: Check your auto insurance company’s coverage. You might need to pay an extra $10 per year for basic roadside assistance, including towing services.

In contrast, you may benefit from a AAA membership if you fit any of the following:

  • Your current financial situation makes it difficult to pay for emergency roadside assistance out-of-pocket.
  • You are more comfortable paying for an annual membership one time than several tow services.
  • Your job requires you to drive long distances, and you are often on the road.

In Closing

One key point about the AAA towing rules is that they can tow a distance depending on your membership type. If you only have the basic AAA Classic membership, then you’re only entitled to 5 to 7 miles of towing.

This means you will not be paying any extra. There are many other rules in place, but this one is the most important that you need to learn.

Some people might consider getting a AAA membership to be an unnecessary expense. However, this will typically depend on a person’s particular situation. For instance, an AAA membership might seem redundant if your insurance policy already covers towing services.

Also, this additional protection layer is beneficial if you regularly travel long distances in your car.