The American Association of Retired People (AARP) is open for membership to all Americans aged 50 or more; the club acts as an advocate for retirees and offers a wide array of AARP membership benefits. One of the AARP’s most popular programs is the AARP Motor Club, designed specifically to cater to the needs of drivers aged 50 or more.
AARP Roadside Assistance Program
The motor club offers the AARP roadside assistance program, providing members with roadside assistance in a wide range of circumstances. If your car breaks down, has a flat tire, has a dead battery, or needs towing to a service station, simply call AARP and they will send help free of charge. The Motor Club provides 24-hour service out of more than 1,000 offices across the United States and Canada. Even if you’ve accidentally locked your keys in the car or simply run out of gas, help is on the way. And if you’ve had a car accident, the Motor Club can help you as well.
If you’re traveling, the AARP Motor Club offers discounts on thousands of participating hotels, lodges, car rental agencies, cruise ships, and other travel facilities. If you’re car camping, there may be discounts at campgrounds as well.
Traveling also put you at greater risk of mishaps; the Motor Club offers travel insurance packages that can be invaluable. These packages are through arrangements with various travel insurance companies. If you fall ill during a vacation or road trip, AARP travel insurance can cover you for medical expenses, emergency treatments, and evacuations. If you have to cut short or cancel a trip for which you’ve prepaid, AARP insurance can cover you for your lost deposit. As always, make sure what your existing health insurance or auto insurance may already cover; there’s no need to duplicate coverage by purchasing insurance that you don’t really need.
The AARP Motor Club offers four packages providing different levels of service:
· The Premier and Standard packages offer the most, including customized maps if you’re traveling, referrals to service stations, reimbursement of legal fees, and more.
· The Premier Road ’N Tow and Standard Road ’N Tow packages offer more basic roadside assistance.
As with most AARP services, membership in the Auto Club is surprisingly affordable. Depending on the package you purchase, annual fees (as of 2010) range from approximately US$40 to $70 for single travelers, $45 to $80 for couples, and $75 to $100 for families. The American Automobile Association (AAA) offers similar benefits to members at a similar cost. If you’re a lifelong member of AAA and have developed brand loyalty, there’s no need to switch when you retire, but as an organization the AARP does cater specifically to older drivers, and thus might be a more logical choice for a retiree purchasing into an auto club for the first time.
Whatever your travel needs, AARP’s Motor Club is worth looking into.