If you’ve ever thought about purchasing roadside assistance, you’ve probably heard of the American Automobile Association (AAA). But you might not know that you can get a AAA extended warranty from a few different clubs. Also called vehicle service plans, extended warranties cover repairs after the manufacturer’s warranty expires.
However, not all AAA locations offer extended warranties. We’ve reviewed three of the main clubs that have warranties, but you might find different coverage from other clubs. If the AAA club in your area doesn’t offer warranties, you can always look at other providers.
In fact, we’d recommend getting a few different quotes any time you plan on purchasing an extended warranty. Check out our review of the best extended car warranty providers for comparison, and then get a quote from at least three different companies.
AAA Extended Warranty Coverage Options
AAA is made up of many different regional auto clubs. Some AAA clubs offer extended warranties, and others don’t. If you’re looking for a AAA Southern California extended warranty, you’re out of luck. The same goes for a AAA extended warranty in Northern California.
AAA Carolinas, AAA Mid-Atlantic and AAA Northeast are all upfront about offering coverage. However, there are dozens of AAA clubs across the country. When you search for one online, you’ll be automatically directed to the club closest to you based on your location. Some offer online quotes and some require you to call in.
If you want to buy an extended warranty through AAA, you need to be a AAA member, as well. You can always purchase a roadside assistance plan if you aren’t a member.
While AAA is known for its robust roadside assistance coverage, the membership requirement might be a downside if you already have roadside assistance through your dealership or car insurance company.
AAA Carolinas Extended Warranty Coverage
If you live in North Carolina or South Carolina, you can choose between four levels of coverage. These plans are available for cars that are up to 20 years old or have up to 150,000 miles. They can cover repairs for up to 7 years/230,000 odometer miles.
You can take your car to any licensed repair facility in the U.S. or Canada, but there are advantages to visiting a AAA-approved or AAA club-owned facility.
Here are the details:
|Front- and rear-wheel drive||✓||✓||✓||✓|
|All- and front-wheel drive||✓||✓||✓||✓|
|Anti-lock braking system (ABS)||✓||✓||✓|
The exclusionary plan only lists exclusions to define coverage. Factory bumper-to-bumper warranties are also exclusionary, so the AAA Carolinas exclusionary plan is similar to your car’s factory warranty (though it might not offer the exact same coverage).
Sample contracts aren’t available online, but common exclusions include:
- Wear and tear
- Regular maintenance
- Wear items like brake pads, tires and filters
- Damage from misuse, abuse or lack of maintenance
- Cosmetic damage
These four plans give you a good range of coverage options. Notice that the Essential plan still covers more than the basic powertrain (engine, drivetrain and transmission). You can buy a plan in 1-month/1,000-mile increments, and you can pay for it over 24 months without a surcharge. That’s pretty nice.
AAA Mid-Atlantic Coverage
AAA Mid-Atlantic offers three levels of extended warranty coverage: Platinum, Gold and Silver.
|Platinum||Hundreds of components on most major systems of the car, |
including hybrid cars, navigation, audio and entertainment
|Gold||Mid-tier coverage for many major systems|
|Silver||Basic coverage for the powertrain, plus a few other systems|
AAA Northeast Coverage
AAA Northeast doesn’t give as many online details about extended warranty coverage as the other two clubs. It says AAA extended warranty coverage is available, but it doesn’t say in what levels.
AAA Vehicle Service Contract Perks
Below are a few perks that both AAA Carolinas and AAA Mid-Atlantic listed online. AAA Northeast also mentioned a few of these perks.
- Disappearing deductible: The standard $100 deductible becomes $50 at a AAA-approved facility and $0 at a club-owned facility. Some plans can come with a $0 deductible.
- Battery coverage: Protection plan holders can get one free battery replacement.
- Rental car coverage: Any approved claim automatically gives the driver two days of a rental car. The maximum is $35 per day for five days.
- Self-authorization: Drivers can self-authorize claims below $500 if the claims office is closed.
- Trip interruption: AAA will reimburse $75 per day up to three days if a covered breakdown disables your car over 100 miles from home.
- Transferable: Warranties can transfer to secondary buyers for a $50 fee.
- Direct payments: AAA pays the repair shop directly.
AAA Extended Warranty Cost
AAA doesn’t publish extended warranty prices online. One reason is because different auto clubs may offer three or four plans with dozens of different coverage periods. Another reason is because extended warranty prices are dependent on your car, how old it is, and its expected reliability.
The three AAA clubs we looked at today all provide online quote forms, but you’ll have to wait for a reply from a customer service agent to see any prices.
You can also search around on car forums to see if anyone has shared information on the AAA extended warranty cost. We did some searching and found that one driver on AudiWorld.com was quoted the following prices for a Gold plan on a four-year-old Audi A4:
- 2 years/24,000 miles for $2,300
- 3 years/36,000 miles for $3,000
- 4 years/48,000 miles for $3,700
Since the car was already four years old, these coverage periods would begin when the plan was purchased. In the grand scheme of things, these prices are a little bit on the high side. However, they also apply to an Audi A4. The driver would have found lower prices for a Toyota or Honda.
Another thing to keep in mind is this quote is from 2004. That’s a pretty long time ago, and prices are sure to be higher today. The bottom line is you’ll have to get a quote for your own car to know what you would pay.
How Much Should an Extended Warranty Cost?
There’s no black-and-white answer. You should read any extended warranty contract thoroughly to understand what’s covered. Paying $2,000 for an exclusionary plan would be a better deal than paying $2,000 for a powertrain-plus warranty, all else being equal.
Some contracts have low total payout limits. You might want to pay more for a $15,000 total payout limit than choose a lower plan with a $5,000 limit. In the case of a catastrophic repair, that second plan might not cover everything.
Another thing to consider is how you pay for the plan. Generally, paying over 24 months will cost more in the end versus paying over 12 months (but not with AAA). Even so, you might appreciate the smaller monthly payment of the 24-month agreement. At the end of the day, the question is whether the peace of mind is worth the financial expense in your situation.
AAA Extended Warranty Customer Reviews
We would venture to guess that AAA extended warranties only account for a small fraction of AAA’s total customers. Looking at reviews online, we couldn’t find any AAA reviews that were specifically about extended auto warranties. It’s still good to look at general reviews, though, since you’ll probably deal with the same customer service team.
For the most part, AAA clubs get decent reviews. Here are the Better Business Bureau ratings for each of the clubs with extended warranties:
- AAA Carolinas: A+, accredited
- AAA Mid-Atlantic: F, not accredited
- AAA Northeast: A+, accredited
Here are a couple of example reviews on BBB:
“I took my car and my daughter’s car to the AAA Car Care Center in Greensboro. I received excellent service, and their staff couldn’t have been more professional.” – Rena M., AAA Carolinas
“I waited over three hours for service. At one point my service call was cancelled without notification. After numerous calls, I was promised a refund for the remainder of my membership. When I called to find out why I hadn’t received the refund, I was told that the refund had been cancelled and my membership reinstated, all without notification to me.” – Jamie K., AAA Mid-Atlantic
Conclusion: Is AAA Extended Warranty Worth It?
There are plenty of extended warranty providers that you should stay away from. However, we don’t think that AAA is one of them. AAA has a good reputation, and all of its warranty plans let you visit a wide network of repair facilities.
Doubling up on roadside assistance might be a downside, but the different warranty perks might make up for it. The main issue is that your local AAA club might not offer extended warranty plans. Coverage terms may vary widely between regional clubs, as well.
We also think that there are better options for third-party coverage. So, what is the best extended car warranty provider? There are actually a few great options, including CARCHEX, Endurance and CarShield. Each company offers a wide range of coverage options and perks – including roadside assistance. Get multiple extended warranty quotes and find the best match for your situation.
The Detroit Bureau collects data from every major car warranty provider to formulate rankings of the best warranty companies. Our in-depth rating system takes into account coverage, pricing, transparency, customer satisfaction and ratings from industry experts. Each provider is given a weighted score in five categories, as well as an overall score out of 10.0.
We recommend auto warranty companies based on these rankings, but we also encourage you to perform your own research and compare quotes to find the best coverage.