While individual circumstances influence any decision between comparable products or services, specific points also factor into the decision. When comparing between motor clubs, such as AAA versus AARP auto club, considerations include factors such as available membership levels, roadside benefits, other vehicular benefits, general availability of the service and value of add-on benefits.
With reference to membership levels, AAA has only two membership levels with one add-on available for either of the levels. However, the more premiere membership level is available only to those who have maintained their membership in good standing for at least one year. The premiere level membership is known as AAA Plus. With both the basic and the AAA Plus plan, you can add on additional individuals, such as family members, to the membership. AARP has four different membership levels: Road’N’Tow, Premier Road’N'Tow, Standard and Premier: Standard and Premier levels offer membership for a single individual, a couple or family. Both Road'N'Tow and Premier Road'N'Tow offer individual or couple memberships but not additional family memberships.
The primary purpose of membership in any auto club is roadside service. Most auto clubs offer similar services; however, in the case of roadside benefits AAA demonstrates an advantage over AARP. Both AAA and AARP provide the basic jump start, fuel delivery, flat tire and towing services. AAA, however, outdoes AARP in offering battery installation service if the battery cannot be jumped. AAA also offers a lockout service that involves simply getting a door open, not replacing a key or a lock. AARP does not list this.
Other Vehicular-Related Benefits
AAA also offers a variety of other auto-related benefits that AARP does not, such as discounted insurance, auto loans and an auto buying program. AARP's auto club does have an affiliation with auto insurance through the Hartford and Allstate insurance companies, and has some vehicle repair benefits, but does not have as many vehicular-related benefits as does AAA.
AARP would concede, one assumes, that AAA is available to more drivers. Anyone who is eligible to drive and lives in an area where AAA operates can obtain AAA membership at least as an add-on to someone else’s existing membership. The AARP motor club, on the other hand, is subject to several restrictions, the most obvious being that members be at least 50 years of age. Also, AARP membership is required to be eligible to join the AARP auto club.
AAA offers greater non-vehicular benefits, including its travel services. AAA has a lot of everyday discounts, although most hold attraction for just some subscribers. Other non-vehicular features include insurance-related benefits, such as discounts on prescriptions and on insurance that extends beyond automobiles to homeowners, condo, and renters insurance, as well as health insurance. These can provide considerable value to some subscribers.
A writer/editor since 1984, Christine Lebednik has spent much of her career in business and technical writing, and editing. Her consumer print and online articles include product descriptions for TDMonthly Online, book reviews for Catholic News Service, consumer reports for Consumer Search and works for various other publications. Lebednik received her Bachelor of Arts in English from Salem State College.