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AARP vs. AAA comparison

AARP's and AAA's offerings may overlap, but there are some distinctions worth noting. While the organizations offer many services, the focus of this comparison is their car insurance-related services. AAA provides car insurance coverage directly, while AARP provides auto insurance via its partnership with The Hartford. Each program offers an above-average number of coverage options that offer individual consumers varying levels of value with some important differences. Each company is also well-known for roadside assistance, which is important to many drivers and can differ from program to program. Read on to discover some of the key similarities and differences in auto insurance between AARP and AAA, as well as the key points that distinguish them in the category of roadside assistance.

comparison

Key Takeaways

  • Both companies offer auto insurance with a variety of options, including impressive roadside assistance options
  • AARP offers its insurance plans through The Hartford, an independent insurer
  • AARP's roadside assistance is provided through Allstate whereas AAA operates its own network across the US
  • If you’re looking for a basic roadside assistance program, most insurance companies offer roadside assistance at a lower cost than AAA or AARP
  • If you’re in the market for extra perks and service levels, weigh the additional cost of AAA and AARP against the added services you'll receive
  • The average annual cost for the top tier of roadside assistance runs about $156 for AARP and $118 for AAA, but there are discounts available

AARP car insurance services

AARP — or the American Associated of Retired Persons — caters to elderly individuals with its auto insurance offerings. Through The Hartford, AARP car insurance offers a wide range of features and options to customize the coverage you need. Below are benefits that are automatically included in AARP auto insurance through The Hartford. Additionally, Accident Forgiveness and Disappearing Collision Deductible are optional additions. 

Included features:

  • Full range of deductible options
  • Full range of coverage limits
  • 24-hour roadside assistance
  • Countrywide claims service
  • 24x7 claim reporting service
  • Legal representation for accidents
  • New car replacement coverage
  • No deductible windshield repair service
  • RecoverCare essential services
  • Paid-in-full or monthly EFT availability
  • Auto and home account policy discounts
  • Homeownership discount (not available with auto & home account policy savings)
  • New vehicle discount
  • Non-resident student discount
The Hartford

You do not need to be an AARP member to qualify for The Hartford car insurance. The Hartford is an independent insurance provider.

While some of these policy options are self-explanatory, we've outlined some unique aspects of AARP's policy features below.

  • Lifetime Renewability: Your policy will automatically renew as long as you are able to drive and are paying your bill. However, this currently isn't available in HawaiiMichiganNew HampshireNorth Carolina, or Texas.
  • RecoverCare Service: This pays up to $2,500 for medical care after an accident. Care is defined as help with household chores, grocery shopping, transportation, cooking, cleaning, or other activities you are unable to complete after a car accident.
  • One Deductible: This refers to a single deductible for your home and auto policies if you also purchase a home insurance policy from The Hartford using AARP's Advantage Plus package.

AAA car insurance plans

Although AAA is best known for its roadside assistance program, the organization also sells car insurance. AAA's auto insurance offerings are similar to those of other car insurance companies. See below the advertised features of AAA auto insurance.

AAA Car Insurance Policy Features
Policy Features Details
Accident Forgiveness Your driving history will determine whether you qualify for this service.
Extended Rental Expense Coverage Your rental car service can be extended after a collision if you choose this coverage.
Pet Coverage If your pet — dog or cat — is injured in a crash with you, up to $500 of their vet costs are covered.
12-Month Policy Option for an annual 12-month policy, rather than a standard six-month policy period.
New Vehicle Replacement If your new vehicle is deemed a total loss after an accident (within one year of acquisition), it will be replaced.
Gap Coverage Covers the difference between your vehicle's current value and the value of a loan.
Preferred Repairs Program Priority repair service and a lifetime warranty on service provided.
Accident Assist Additional assistance after an accident
AAA Car Insurance Discounts
Discount Amount
Auto and Home Up to 16%
Auto and Condo/Renters Up to 6%
Auto + Home + Life Up to 19.8% on auto insurance, 22% on your homeowners
Multi-Vehicle Up to 26%
Group Membership Up to 10%
Advanced Purchase 5%
Paid in Full 5%
Longevity Up to 12%
OnBoard Service 10-20%
Original Owner of Vehicle Up to 5%
Student Away from Home Up to 15%
Good Student Up to 15%
Driver Training Up to 3%

How much are insurance rates from AAA and AARP?

 

As noted above, AARP utilizes The Hartford to offer its auto insurance, and AAA is also known as Auto Club.  The table below outlines the average rates on a monthly and annual basis for auto coverage.  Of course, each driver, vehicle, and specific needs will affect what final rates will look like but this offers a glimpse to get you started on comparing prices. 

Average Rates from The Hartford (AARP) vs. Auto Club (AAA)
Company Avg. Monthly Premium Avg. Annual Premium
Auto Club $158 $1,893
The Hartford $201 $2,407
Updated: 12/01/22.

Dynamic auto insurance data methodology

Methodology: The auto insurance rates displayed above and throughout this page are dynamic, meaning the data will refresh when the most recent information is made available. Rates are based on a sample driver profile — a 30-year-old single male driver with a Honda Accord and full coverage. This profile was adjusted based on common pricing factors used by major car insurance companies, like age, coverage level, driving record and others.


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Roadside assistance comparison: AAA vs. AARP

AARP and AAA provide two of the most popular roadside assistance programs. AARP’s program is provided through Allstate while AAA operates its own affiliate network across the US. The organization's tiered membership offers similar roadside assistance packages.

Is AARP's roadside assistance as good as AAA's program? Let’s compare the providers' services and prices.

tow icon

Basic services provided by both AARP and AAA roadside assistance:

  • Fuel delivery
  • Jumpstart
  • Flat tire change
  • Winching
  • Towing
  • Vehicle lockout

Each program has slight differences in these services, but you will have peace of mind with either program knowing there are options if you find yourself in a sticky situation on the side of the highway. See below for some of the additional details specific to each company. 

AARP roadside assistance highlights

AARP is not only a car insurance provider. It is a non-profit and non-partisan organization designed to help people aged 50 years and older. Included in AARP's services are vehicle- and car insurance-related features. If you’re an AARP member, you can subscribe to the Allstate-backed roadside assistance program. Unlike other roadside assistance programs — including Allstate's standard offering — AARP provides a wide variety of services. The below chart shows what is covered by AARP.

AARP Emergency Services by Membership Tier
Service Roadside Assist Roadside Elite
Total roadside benefit per incident Up to $150 (includes tire change, lockout service and billed fuel delivery) Up to $250 (includes jumpstarts, fuel delivery, lockout service and tire change)
Towing Up to 10 miles up to 100 miles
Rescues per year Up to 5 Up to 7
Road hazard reimbursement (covers damage to wheels/tires) not included Up to $100
Flat tire change Yes Yes
Fuel Yes Up to 2 gallons, member pays for fuel
Initial discount First year, up to 2 people - $5.50 per month First year, up to 2 people - $10.92 per month

AARP’s roadside assistance service provides much more than the roadside assistance offered by traditional car insurance companies. Below are AARP's non-emergency service options. Below the chart, find a brief explanation of the perks.

Non-emergency benefits of AARP
Service Basic Premier
Car rental savings Yes Yes
Hotel discounts Yes Yes
Pathfinder trip routing service No Yes
Carfax vehicle reports No Up to 7/year
Warranty repair/referral service No Yes
Trip interruption coverage No Up to $1,500/yr
Auto theft reward N/A; except CA up to $5,000 Up to $10,000/year
Legal defense reimbursement No Up to $1,000/year
Hospital emergency bond No Up to $1,000/year
Arrest bond certificate No up to $1,000/year
RV coverage No Yes
Free smartphone app No Yes
60-day money-nack guarantee No Yes

AARP roadside assistance extras

  • Pathfinder Trip Routing Service: Tips and maps on destinations in the US, Mexico, and Canada.
  • Trip Interruption: If your vehicle is disabled as a result of an accident, you will be reimbursed up to $1,500 for travel expenses. You must be more than 100 miles away from home to be eligible.
  • Auto Theft Reward: This will provide a monetary reward for information leading to the arrest of the thief if your vehicle is stolen.
  • Legal Defense Reimbursement: Provides litigation defend in the event you are taken to court over a traffic violation. Certain restrictions apply.
  • Hospital Emergency Bond: If you're injured more than 100 miles away from home and are required to present evidence of financial responsibility at a hospital, this will provide support.
  • Arrest Bond Certificate: An AARP edition of a get out of a "get out of jail free card." If you're arrested for a driving-related offense (cannot be DUI/DWI related), you can use this coverage as a jail bond.
  • RV Roadside Coverage: You can add this coverage for $24 per year to receive two additional service calls.

How much does AARP roadside assistance cost?

AARP roadside assistance pricing depends on your membership tier and the number of members. Roadside Elite runs about $13 per month (about $156 per year), whereas Roadside Assist is about $6 per month (about $72 per year).  There are discounts for the first year, as well as renewal discounts when you keep your membership going. 

money medal

AAA roadside assistance highlights

AAA's roadside assistance program provides much more than does a typical car insurance company. Unlike AARP, which offers car insurance through The Hartford and roadside assistance via Allstate, AAA provides its own coverage through regional “clubs” or “federations.” Each of these clubs covers a particular area of the United States.

See below what is covered by AAA's roadside assistance program. Like AARP, AAA's tier system ranges from basic to best.

Coverage Detail Classic Membership Plus Membership Premier Membership
Jumpstart Included Included Included
Towing Up to 7 miles, 4 times a year. Up to 100 miles One per household up to 200 miles, remaining tows up to 100 miles
Emergency fuel services Free delivery, pay for fuel Free delivery and fuel Free delivery and fuel
Vehicle lockout Coverage up to $60 Coverage up to $100 Coverage up to $150
Flat tire service Included Included Included
Extrication/winching service One service per year Two services Two services

Like AARP, AAA offers additional perks aside from roadside assistance. Below are some of AAA's non-roadside assistance benefits, sorted by membership level. 

AAA non-emergency services
Coverage detail Classic membership Plus membership Premier membership
Vehicle registration renewal help Included Included Included
Discounts (shopping, dining, hotels, and entertainment) Included Included Included
Identity theft protection Daily monitoring, email alerts, fraud resolution support, loss card protection Daily monitoring, email alerts, fraud resolution support, loss card protection Daily monitoring, email alerts, fraud resolution support, loss card protection, $10,000 in identity theft insurance
CARFAX vehicle report discount 20% off CARFAX 20% off CARFAX One year free, 40% for additional reports
Vehicle inspection service Free 40pt, or discount 86pt Free 40pt, or discount 86pt $45 mail-in rebate for 86pt
Rental Car Benefits Discounted Discounted plus one car-class upgrade One-day complimentary midsize rental car

How much does AAA roadside assistance cost?

The cost of AAA's services depends on your membership tier as well as the individuals listed on your policy. The below prices reflect costs for one individual. Covering more than one driver may incur a surcharge.

money medal
AAA Membership Costs
Membership level Annual cost
Classic $62
Plus $91
Premier $118

Which is better: AAA or AARP roadside assistance?

In terms of roadside assistance coverage, the two options are fairly similar. AAA and AARP each provides roadside assistance basics like towing, fuel delivery, and lock-out services, but differ in their minor coverage details, including the number of service calls covered and towing range. The table below puts the basic-level roadside assistance programs side-by-side for a quick comparison. 

Basic Membership
Service AARP AAA
Fuel delivery You pay for the fuel Free delivery, pay for fuel
Total service calls Single: 2, Couple: 3, Family: 5 4 per cardholder
Dead battery jump Yes Yes
Flat tire change Yes Yes
Winching Yes One service per year
Lock-out service Yes Coverage up to $60
Towing service Up to 5 miles Up to 3 miles, or unlimited back to service provider. Up to 4 times a year.


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About The Zebra

The Zebra is not an insurance company. We publish data-backed, expert-reviewed resources to help consumers make more informed insurance decisions.

  • The Zebra’s insurance content is written and reviewed for accuracy by licensed insurance agents.
  • The Zebra’s insurance content is not subject to review or alteration by insurance companies or partners.
  • The Zebra’s editorial team operates independently of the company’s partnerships and commercialization interests, publishing unbiased information for consumer benefit.
  • The auto insurance rates published on The Zebra’s pages are based on a comprehensive analysis of car insurance pricing data, evaluating more than 83 million insurance rates from across the United States.