AAA Car Buying Program Review: Worth It?

AAA Car Buying Program Review

The AAA Car Buying Program offers an intriguing perk for its members, promising a smoother, more advantageous car buying experience.

But does this service truly live up to its potential, making the cost of AAA membership a worthwhile investment for car shoppers?

At FindTheBestCarPrice, we’re diving deep into the AAA Car Buying Program to dissect its benefits, drawbacks, and overall value.

With our expert lens, we aim to uncover whether this program stands as a beacon for hassle-free car buying or if it's merely another feature in the vast sea of membership benefits.

Here’s our full review of the AAA Car Buying Program and if it’s worth using.

What is the AAA Auto Buying Program?

AAA-logoThe AAA Auto Buying Program is for members of the American Automobile Association. It connects AAA members with no-haggle deals with certified dealers. To participate, you must have an AAA membership.

AAA Membership

The AAA membership has three potential levels. Each includes a one-time $15 enrollment fee. Those with a higher level of membership can receive more services, like car rental reimbursement, roadside assistance, travel accident insurance, etc. The memberships are:

  • $37.50 per year for the Classic level
  • $86 per year for the Plus level
  • $125 per year for the Premier level

AAA Member Plans

Is AAA Auto Buying Program Legit?

The AAA Auto Buying Program is legitimate and works very similar to the Sam’s Club and Costco auto programs. Through the program, you receive pre-arranged member pricing from certified dealerships.

Does AAA Offer Financing on a Car?

AAA offers financing through its program. They provide auto loans for vehicles under 10 model years old via their Auto Club Trust program. You can also use the AAA to find loans through partner lenders. Of course, you can still opt to finance your purchase through a third party like a bank or credit union.

AAA FinancingAAA Auto Loans

The AAA provides loans with rates as low as 3.39% APR, including a .25% discount for choosing automatic payments. You can select loan terms between 48 and 72 months. The loan minimums are $5,000, whereas the maximum amount is $100,000.

You do not need a certain credit score to get an AAA loan. However, they do provide three credit score options (fair, average, and great). Your credit score will influence your loan APR.

How Does AAA Car Buying Service Work?

The AAA car buying service, powered by TrueCar, allows members to search for new or used cars online, with the added benefit of exclusive savings.

Members first specify the make, model, and other preferences of the car they wish to buy. They're then presented with a list of local participating dealerships and the price range for their chosen car. The service generates a certificate with the locked-in price, which the member can take to the dealership. The price is pre-negotiated, saving members time and stress.

The service can also help members with trade-ins, providing estimates for their current car's value. The AAA car buying service is meant to ensure a smoother, more affordable car buying experience.

Can You Negotiate with AAA on the Vehicle Price?

Vehicles in the AAA program are haggle-free. The price is already set at a discount for AAA members, so you can not negotiate the vehicle price. This is both a pro and con (as we’ll discuss later).

AAA Car Buying Steps

AAA FiltersHere’s the process for buying a car through the AAA program:

1. Search for Vehicle

Search for vehicles on the AAA Auto Buying Website. You can search based on make, model, and more.

2. Select a Car

Once you choose a vehicle you are interested in, you can set up a test drive at a local dealership. In some cases, you may be able to opt for the car to be delivered to you for a test drive.

3. Purchase the Vehicle

If you choose to purchase the vehicle after the test drive, then you will complete the purchase. Some dealerships offer express purchase, which takes under an hour. Otherwise, you can also have the car and purchase paperwork delivered to you.

AAA Buying

AAA Trade-In & Selling Steps

You can also sell or trade-in a vehicle with the AAA car program. Here’s what you need to do:

1. Enter Information

Head to the AAA trade page powered by Truecar. Enter the details of your car, like the license plate/ VIN or the make and model. Enter your location as well. You’ll get an initial value estimate.

2. Add Details

Fine-tune the value estimate by adding the necessary details. For example, enter the mileage, color, and additional features. You’ll see how all of these factors influence the value.

3. Get Your Offer

Once you are ready to sell or trade, you can get your offer from a local dealer. The True Cash Offer remains good for three days, so you can take some time to decide if you’re not ready.

AAA Value

AAA Auto Buying Program Policies

The AAA program is only available to AAA members. The program includes buying, selling, or trading in a vehicle. However, you are buying through a certified dealer, not through AAA. Therefore, the dealership will set the policies for warranties, returns, etc.

AAA Membership Benefits

AAA Membership BenefitsSome additional benefits you get as an AAA member include reimbursement of up to $175 for rental vehicles, free one-time battery replacement, and a $0 deductible when using an AAA-Owned Auto Repair facility.

In addition to cars, AAA offers special savings on RVs, boats, motorcycles, scooters, ATVs, side-by-sides, snowmobiles, jet skis, and golf carts. The AAA Powersports, RV and Boat Buying program is powered by Rollick.

AAA Insurance

AAA offers auto insurance coverage. Since the AAA is a collection of independently run organizations, insurance coverage varies significantly by location. Compared to other providers, AAA auto insurance tends to be more affordable. Those with AAA Auto Club members can enjoy additional discounts.

AAA Protection Packages

AAA Protection Package

AAA offers three levels of protection plans; Silver, Gold, and Platinum. Plans are available for vehicles up to 15 model years old and with up to 150,000 miles at the time of purchase. Plan terms are in increments of 1 month and 1,000 miles, for up to 84 months and 186,000 miles.

  • AAA Silver: Covers 14 major systems like engine, transmission, cooling and fuel systems, brakes, and steering.
  • AAA Gold: Covers 15 major systems, which includes audio repairs.
  • AAA Platinum: The best coverage, which adds on coverage for hybrid vehicles and entertainment/navigation systems.

TrueCar Buyers Bonus

The AAA Car Buying Program is powered by TrueCar. TrueCar offers a buyer's bonus. The bonus includes:

  • Reimbursement for auto repairs
  • Deductible reimbursement for purchases from the car-buying program. Covers up to $500 twice a year.
  • Auto expert option, you to speak directly with a certified mechanic to evaluate your vehicle and discuss suggested repairs. Unlimited access.

To claim the TrueCar Buyers Bonus, you must report the purchase within 45 days.

AAA Vehicle DeliveryDoes AAA Do Delivery on Vehicles?

You can select vehicles for delivery through the AAA Car Buying Program. The dealer handles delivery, so you should check with the dealer before confirming the purchase. Look out for the TrueCar "Buy From Home" badge on car listings.

Does AAA Offer Specials or Incentives?

The Car Buying Program is just one special perk of being an AAA member. The exact discounts and bonuses will vary based on location. In addition to the benefits of your membership, you can enjoy:

  • Rewards for shopping
  • Repairs covered by warranty
  • Priority service
  • Roadside assistance and local towing
  • Free inspection and report

AAA Browse

How Much of a Discount Can You Get Through AAA Auto Buying Program?

Car buyers who used the AAA Auto Buying Program in 2020 saved an average of $3,197 off the MSRP price. The actual savings of each purchase may vary significantly based on the dealer incentives, specific vehicles, location, and more.

AAA Auto Buying Program Review – The Good & Bad

Pros: Here’s What I Like About the AAA Auto Program

Here are some of the best features of the AAA Auto Program:

  • AAA Auto Buying ProsConcierge Service: Save time on car shopping by telling AAA what you want. With the concierge service, they will find the vehicle for you. However, this service may not be available everywhere.
  • Haggle-Free Pricing: Since AAA negotiates the price, you don’t need to. The price will be lower than the MSRP for used cars and below the KBB value for used vehicles. This saves you the time and hassle of negotiating.
  • Variety: You can use AAA to find a wide array of vehicles, including new, used, and leased ones.
  • Delivery: You can opt for vehicle delivery.

Cons: Here’s What I Don’t Like About AAA Auto Program

  • AAA Auto Buying ConsMust Be a Member: The program is only available to AAA members, which means you must pay a membership fee. However, compared to other programs with a monthly membership fee, the AAA fee isn’t bad.
  • Processing Fee: In addition to the membership fee, you must pay a service fee of $225. Keep in mind that this fee is in addition to dealership fees, destination charges, the title, tax, etc.
  • Cannot Guarantee Vehicle Match: You may not be able to get the exact vehicle you’re looking for. AAA draws from a variety of sources, so the exact vehicle you want may not be available in your area.

Beat AAA Prices

Is It Possible to Beat AAA Auto Program Prices?

While the AAA Auto Program ensures that you can buy a vehicle for less than the MSRP/KBB price, it does not guarantee that you get the best deal.

Haggle-free car buying is appealing for those short on time or without much experience negotiating.

However, you may be able to beat AAA Auto Program prices by negotiating on your own.

Alternatives to AAA Auto Buying Program

AAA AlternativesFindTheBestCarPrice

We provide you with access to the most exhaustive network of dealerships in the U.S. Powered by Rydeshopper, we can help you find the most affordable new vehicle. We also have several helpful resources for helping you get the best price on your new or used car.

Rental Car Companies

Looking for a used car in great condition? Then consider buying from a trusted rental car company. In this helpful article, we compare the top rental car companies Enterprise, Hertz, and Avis.

Costco Auto Program

If you have a Costco membership, then it’s certainly worth looking into the inventory and pricing of the Costco Auto Program. Read our full Costco Auto Program review for more information.

Sam’s Club Auto Buying Program

Sam’s Club member instead? Then consider using their Auto Buying program. Learn everything you need to know in our Sam’s Club Auto Program Review.

Digital Car Buying Programs

There are plenty of services for car buying that do not require a membership. Some of these include Carvana, CarMax, Vroom, WeBuyAnyCar, and Shift.

Carvana Buy & Sell

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it worth buying a car through the AAA Auto Buying Program?

For those with an AAA membership. It’s definitely worth looking into the Auto Program. Considering the affordability of an annual membership and the other benefits it includes, it may even be worth getting a membership to use the program. However, keep in mind that you may get better deals by negotiating with dealers yourself.

Does AAA sell used cars?

Yes, the AAA Car Buying Program includes an array of used cars in its offerings. This service allows AAA members to browse through a curated selection of pre-owned vehicles, ensuring a trustworthy and transparent buying process. Each used car comes with detailed inspections and reports, providing peace of mind to buyers looking for quality and reliability in their next vehicle purchase.

Does AAA sell new cars?

Absolutely, the AAA Car Buying Program is not just limited to used vehicles; it also provides access to new cars. Members have the opportunity to purchase brand-new vehicles directly through the program, benefiting from AAA's negotiated prices. This arrangement can potentially save buyers time and money, streamlining the car buying experience by connecting them with reputable dealers and exclusive deals.

Does AAA lease cars?

As of the current offerings, the AAA Car Buying Program does not extend to leasing vehicles. While AAA provides a comprehensive service for purchasing both new and used cars, those interested in leasing will need to explore alternatives outside of the AAA ecosystem. The program focuses on the buying process, aiming to offer straightforward and value-driven transactions for members looking to own their vehicles outright.

Why should I buy a car through the AAA Auto Buying Program?

When buying through the AAA Auto Buying Program, you can enjoy haggle-free car shopping. The prices you see have been pre-negotiated to give AAA members a deal. Additionally, there are many other benefits of an AAA membership that car buyers may enjoy.

Should I get AAA auto insurance?

Overall, AAA insurance is fairly inexpensive, but the details of your plan may vary by location. To determine if AAA auto insurance is right for you, you should contact your local representative to discuss the coverage and benefits.

Can you trade in your vehicle through AAA Auto Buying Program?

You can trade in a vehicle through the AAA Auto Buying Program. Provide the vehicle information and see your real-time estimate.

Can you sell a car through AAA?

Yes, you can sell your vehicle through the AAA program. Simply enter the vehicle details, receive your quote, and move forward with a certified dealer.