How Much Does AAA Charge for Towing?
Last Updated on December 2, 2023
If you have AAA roadside assistance, then you may receive complimentary towing to a certain limit.
Plans, coverage, and pricing vary between customers. Keep reading to discover everything you need to know about how much AAA charges for towing.
Table of Contents:
- How AAA’s Towing Service Works
- AAA Fees and Limits
- Certain Vehicles Are Ineligible for Towing
- Certain Locations Are Ineligible for Towing
- How AAA Winching and Extraction Works
- Contact AAA to Verify Towing Coverage
- Is AAA Towing Worth It?
How AAA’s Towing Service Works
You pay a membership fee to AAA every year. AAA offers three tiers of membership. The more you pay, the more towing coverage you get.
- Basic members get 3 to 10 miles of towing coverage, then pay $4 per mile thereafter
- Plus members get 100 miles of free towing coverage, then pay $4 per mile thereafter
- Premier members get 200 miles of free towing coverage, then pay $4 per mile thereafter
Generally, AAA will tow your vehicle if it cannot be safely driven and you have already requested emergency roadside assistance. If emergency roadside assistance can’t jumpstart your vehicle, replace a flat tire, or get your vehicle back on the road safely, then AAA should tow it.
As a AAA member, you can choose between two towing options:
- Tow your vehicle to a service provider or to a AAA Car Care center
- Tow your vehicle to a destination of your choice (like your home garage)
AAA will tow your vehicle to the AAA Service Provider’s station that responded to your call or to a AAA Car Care Center, free of charge (if the center is within 10 miles).
Or, AAA will tow your vehicle to a destination of your choice, covering the first 3 miles of towing for free. Beyond that, you’ll pay a fixed rate of $4 per additional mile. Basic members receive 3 miles of free towing before paying $4 per extra mile, while Plus and Plus/RV members receive up to 100 miles of free towing. If you’re a Premier AAA member, then you get 200 miles of free towing without charge.
AAA Fees and Limits
AAA has certain fees and limits that could affect your towing coverage. Here are AAA’s notable towing fees and limits:
- AAA will tow your vehicle to a service station or to a destination of your choice
- If towing to a service station, AAA provides free towing if that service station is within 10 miles (for Basic members), 100 miles (for Plus members), or 200 miles (for Premier members)
- If towing to a destination of your choice, AAA provides free towing within 3 miles (for Basic members), 100 miles (for Plus members), or 200 miles (for Premier members)
- For towing beyond the free towing limit, AAA members pay $4.00 per extra mile
- You must pay charges for towing at the time of service, and these charges are not reimbursable
Certain Vehicles Are Ineligible for Towing
Depending on your vehicle, AAA may refuse to tow it. The following vehicles are ineligible for towing:
- Taxi cabs
- Unlicensed vehicles
- Light-duty trailers, including horse trailers and boat trailers
- Loaded vehicles
Certain Locations Are Ineligible for Towing
Additionally, AAA will refuse to tow vehicles from certain locations. Ineligible towing locations include:
- Vacant lots
- Construction sites
- Creek beds
- Open fields
- Boat ramps
- Rivers and lakes
- Forest service roads
How AAA Winching and Extraction Works
Depending on the incident, you may need to depend on AAA’s winching and extraction services to help.
As a AAA member, you can request vehicle extrication/extraction and winching services.
Here’s how AAA’s winching and extraction services work:
- Your vehicle must be accessible at a distance of 50 feet or fewer from a state-prepared roadside service
- All AAA plans cover basic winching services, which applies if one truck can perform the requested winching service
- If multiple trucks or additional technicians are needed, then AAA may charge Basic members additional costs, which are payable to the facility at the time of service
- Plus, Plus RV, and Premier members receive up to one hour of free service from an additional truck or technician before needing to pay
- AAA does not cover winching or extrication from beaches, non-public roads, construction sites, boat ramps, lakes, rivers, vacant lots, or backyards or side yards where the vehicle cannot be reached
If your vehicle cannot be safely driven after extrication, then AAA will cover the cost of towing your vehicle to a destination of your choice or to a service station according to the same limits listed above.
AAA Membership Tiers and Towing
AAA may provide free towing, or you could pay hundreds of dollars for towing. It depends on your membership tier.
Here’s how much AAA charges for towing according to your membership tier:
Basic: 4 tows per year, up to 3 to 10 miles per tow ($38 to $90 per year for membership)
Plus: 4 tows per year, up to 100 miles per tow ($60 to $140 per year for membership)
Premier: 1 tow per year for up to 200 miles, then 3 to 5 tows with up to 100 miles per tow ($120 to $171 per year for membership)
Beyond the limits above, you’ll pay a fixed rate of $4.00 per extra mile.
The average cost for a 20-mile tow without coverage is $80 to $250 in the United States, so regardless of which tier you get, you will be saving money on tows.
Note: AAA also offers Plus RV and Premier RV plans, which have the same limits as ordinary Plus and Premier plans (but with extra coverage for RVs). These plans have the same towing mileage limits.
Contact AAA to Verify Towing Coverage
If you live in a city and rarely drive long distances, then AAA’s Basic coverage may be sufficient. You get basic towing for a cheap price.
However, if you’re planning to drive an RV in remote areas, or if you’re planning to drive through areas with limited service, then you may want AAA’s Plus or Premier coverage for added peace of mind.
Review your AAA roadside assistance plan to verify it meets your needs. Depending on your coverage, you may need to upgrade your plan. Or, if you’re planning to stay close to home, you may be okay with downgrading your AAA towing coverage.
Is AAA Towing Worth It?
Towing can cost anywhere from $100 to $500, on average, depending on your location and towing distance.
If you need one tow every few years, then a AAA membership can pay for itself.
Many AAA members also like AAA membership for added peace of mind. They know they can contact help if something goes wrong. Instead of being strongarmed by a towing company in a remote area, for example, and forced to pay whatever fee they charge, you can pay a competitive price (or nothing) for good towing.
It’s up to you to decide if AAA towing is worth it based on your personal aversion to risk and your insurance needs. You can also research AAA alternatives if you decide AAA’s towing is not a good fit for you.
Final Word on AAA Towing Price
AAA covers towing up to 3 to 10 miles for Basic members, up to 100 miles for Plus members, and up to 200 miles for Premier members. Beyond these limits, you’ll pay $4.00 per mile for towing.
Contact AAA to verify your towing coverage and limits.