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How Does LendingTree Get Paid?

LendingTree is compensated by companies on this site and this compensation may impact how and where offers appear on this site (such as the order). LendingTree does not include all lenders, savings products, or loan options available in the marketplace.

2024 AAA Car Buying Review

Updated on:
Content was accurate at the time of publication.

Members of the American Automobile Association (AAA) have access to a wide variety of benefits beyond roadside assistance. One of those benefits is the AAA car buying program, which provides shoppers with member-only pricing on vehicles from participating dealers. Keep reading to find out whether this program could be right for you.

AAA car buying is as easy as following four simple steps.

  • Research the car you want: Start by thinking about the type of car you would like to buy. Consider your needs as well as your budget. Then, take some time to research which vehicles may fit your criteria.
  • Find available matches: Once you have an idea of what you’re looking for, head to the AAA car buying platform powered by TrueCar to be shown similar inventory available with participating local dealers.
  • Get connected with participating dealers: After you’ve settled on a vehicle that meets your specifications, you’ll fill out a form with your contact information. The dealer will then contact you and deliver your proposed membership pricing.
  • Head to the dealership: When you’re ready to take the next step, head to the dealership to take a test drive and fill out all the necessary paperwork. Once everything is set in stone, you’ll be given the keys.

In order to take advantage of the AAA car buying service, you must first become a AAA member. As of the time of writing, AAA offers three membership plans for you to choose from.

Each plan offers different levels of service and comes with its own annual fee. If there are multiple drivers in your household, you can add members to your plan for an additional charge. You’ll also be subject to a one-time $10 enrollment fee when you sign up.

Here’s an overview of what to expect at each level of coverage.

LevelCost (per year)Membership benefits
  • Four tows annually (up to five miles)
  • $50 vehicle lockout service refund
  • Fuel delivery at pump price
  • Four tows annually (up to 100 miles)
  • $100 vehicle lockout service refund
  • Free fuel delivery
  • Up to $1,000 in trip interruption and lost baggage coverage
  • One tow up to 200 miles, plus four tows up to 100 miles annually
  • 24-hour travel assistance hotline
  • $150 home and vehicle lockout service refund
  • $25,000 of travel accident insurance

*AAA’s pricing and promotions vary by location. In this case, 19462 was used as a sample ZIP code and reflects introductory pricing that is valid for the first year of membership.

If you need help financing your new or used vehicle purchase, AAA also offers auto loans through Auto Club Trust, Federal Savings Bank (FSB). The company finances most cars, small trucks, SUVs and minivans. It also offers car refinance, cash-out auto refinance loans, and lease buyouts.

Let’s take a look at some of the loan terms that the company offers:

  • Starting APR: 6.49% (with a 0.25% discount for automatic payments)
  • Minimum loan amount: $5,000
  • Available loan terms: 48 to 84 months
  • Vehicle age: Vehicles over 10 years old must be manually reviewed
  • Minimum credit score: AAA does not explicitly list its credit score requirements; however, its auto loan calculator does give potential customers the option to choose a credit score range of fair, average or great. As a rule of thumb, fair credit scores typically begin at 580.

At the moment, AAA loan financing is not available nationwide. Auto Club Trust FSB currently operates in the following states: Colorado, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

If you live outside of those areas, you may want to check in with your local AAA branch to see what financing options they have available. Alternatively, you can also receive up to five auto loan offers from LendingTree simply by filling out a form.

Like any big decision, using the AAA car buying program comes with its own unique benefits and disadvantages. Be sure to do your research before making a purchase. Below are a few factors to consider as you weigh your options.


 You can shop for a car online.

 You’ll receive a discount without having to negotiate car prices.

 You can choose from new or certified pre-owned vehicles.

 You can only work with participating dealers.

 Your ideal car may not be available from a participating dealership.

 You could potentially save more if you haggle.

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Pros of AAA car buying service

  • Easy online shopping process: As mentioned above, AAA partners with TrueCar to allow you to shop for a vehicle online before heading to the dealership. This can take a lot of the hassle out of the process of buying a car.
  • No-haggle car buying: If you dread the idea of negotiating your car price, no-haggle services for car buying like AAA can help you save some money without having to deal with salespeople.
  • New and used vehicles available: No matter whether you’re in the market for a new car or something pre-owned, the AAA car buying program has plenty of options for you to choose from.

Cons of AAA car buying service

  • Must work with a participating dealer: Not every dealer participates in the AAA car buying program. You’ll have to work with certain dealers to reap this program’s benefits.
  • Specific vehicles may not be available: Similarly, if you have a specific vehicle in mind, there’s a chance that you may not be able to find it on the AAA car buying platform. In this case, your selection will be limited to the inventory available from participating dealers.
  • You could score a better deal by negotiating: If you’re willing to put effort into negotiating a car price, there’s a chance that you could earn a bigger discount than the one offered by AAA.

It’s important to note that AAA isn’t your only option for a no-haggle experience when it comes to buying a car. Plenty of other companies offer similar services. While you usually have to be a member in order to take advantage of these programs, there may be alternatives worth considering.

  • American Express Auto Purchasing Program: Available to AMEX cardholders, the American Express Auto Purchasing Program allows you to put up to $2,000 of the total price of the car on your card.
  • Costco Auto Program: The Costco Auto Program works similarly to AAA’s program, providing members with discounted vehicle offers and services. Sam’s Club also offers a similar program.
  • PenFed Credit Union: PenFed also uses TrueCar to bring its members special pricing from participating dealers. Navy Federal Credit Union has its own program, as well.

Car buying services are typically a good fit for people with little interest in haggling with a car dealer. If you already use AAA for their roadside assistance services, there may be a lot of benefit in investigating what the AAA car buying program has to offer. After all, it can help take the stress out of the overall experience of buying a car — especially since you won’t be obligated to purchase a car through the program if you can’t find anything you like.

On the other hand, if you’re confident in your negotiation skills, there’s always a chance that you may be able to save more money by haggling with the dealer. By the same token, if you have your heart set on buying a specific vehicle, you may feel too limited by the selection offered by the participating dealers in your area.