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The AAA Advantage

I've had my new car for a little over a year now. While I'll be the first to admit that Adrian (my car's name -- it's got something to do with a TV show called "Highlander") is in pretty good shape, he has had his moments (read "I've had to be towed.") Luckily, I have recently discovered the remedy for those times when the weather, the battery, or the engine just aren't what they should be, and you are left stranded curbside (or worse!) = AAA!

Now, realize that I am not paid to endorse AAA (The American Automobile Association, Inc.). I was one of those people who got a reply card in the mail, looked at it and said to my self, "Yeah, I'll get that." Later, as other things became more important (read, "I spent the money.") I eventually had to face a situation where AAA membership could have come in handy. I think it just makes good, common sense to pay for a service that, for the price of a tow in some towns, has so much to offer. I have friends that have used AAA for years and they swear by it. They have had to call in on several occasions -- AAA, they say, came through for them.

Take my friends Paul G. and Tanya L. for example. They both love AAA, but for very different reasons. Paul had his roadside horror stories made less frightening because of the folks at AAA. Recently, Paul was on his way from Washington, D.C. to Philadelphia when his car gave out on him. He was just within the limits of the 100 mile radius required to get his car towed to Philly for no additional charge. He says that AAA is great and he has had to use it on several occasions, because his car has stalled on him more than once.

Tanya L. likes to travel and she loves to have AAA make her hotel reservations for her. She says the customer service people are friendly, courteous and efficient. "I love it," Tanya says of AAA, "... they even give me a discount at the hotels I stay in." Tanya thinks that the value and variety of services that AAA offers can't be beat.

To get the low down on the price and services of AAA membership, I did a little consumer information survey (o.k. I phoned in to ask questions) about AAA membership. Don't take my word for it. It is best to call and talk to the representatives too. Request written information about their services in your area. This is what I found out in answer to some of my questions:


There are two kinds of membership. The first is called "Basic" membership and costs $60.00 for the first year. It costs $ 46.00 to renew this membership each year. Basic membership offers you: road service and travel services (AAA will help you book trips on planes and trains), maps for road trips, tour books for your destination, hotel and restaurant discounts. Basic membership also offers 3 miles of free towing.

The second type of membership is called "Plus" membership. It includes the same services as the "Basic" package, but the cost for membership is $83.00. The annual renewal fee is $69.00. The added benefits (AAA calls them "perks") include: locksmith protection up to $100.00, assistance with gas when you need it (to get you to the nearest gas station), $700 travel accident expense reimbursement, a $2000 Car Theft Reward Program, free towing for 100 miles, and if you need a second tow truck, it's free as a part of the plus membership program!

Well, this all sounds pretty good to me. As a matter of fact, I've decided to become a member -- this time the check is in the mail!! Sure, I'm an independent woman and should be able to change a tire, if it ever comes to that, but it's like my brother said to the doctor in the operating room, as my sister-in-law was giving birth --

"Would you like to cut the umbilical cord?" the doctor asked Anthony.

"No," my brother replied. "If I do that, then what will you have to do?"

I'll just get AAA and leave those flat tires and things to the people who know best just what to do and how to do it. If you would like to get more information on AAA and learn more about the advantages of membership, visit their web site.