Learn how AAA Washington can help when you’re stuck
Need a tow, boost or help with a roadside emergency? One of the primary benefits of a AAA Washington membership is emergency roadside service that you can count on. AAA Washington is here to help when you need it most.
Roadside service includes towing, battery jumpstarts/boosts, car lockouts and flat tire changes. In most cities, AAA will also test your car battery and replace it with a new one at a special member price, if needed.
After an accident or breakdown, AAA will tow you to a licensed repair shop or your address. We’ll also deliver fuel to you if you run out of gas. We’ll even respond if you have a bicycle breakdown and need to be picked up.
That said, AAA doesn’t cover all types of service calls and requests. Notably, AAA membership is intended for roadside emergencies; we’re not a towing company.
To avoid confusion, it’s worth going over how AAA membership will help when you’re stuck on the roadside.
What AAA Emergency Roadside Service covers
Here are a few examples when AAA can help when you’re in trouble:
- You break down on I-5 during rush hour. (Click here to learn what to do if you break down on the highway.)
- You were in a fender bender and your insurance doesn’t cover towing.
- You ran out of fuel and need an emergency supply to get you to a gas station.
- You backed into a ditch and need to be winched out.
- After a shopping spree, you come out to the parking lot to discover your tire is flat and you need the spare put on.
- Your EV runs out of charge a few miles from home.
- You jump out of your car to grab a snack and lock the keys inside.
- Your kid left the car door open after soccer practice, the dome light drains the battery and you need a jumpstart.
What isn’t a roadside emergency
If, on the other hand, you’ve bought a classic car of your dreams from a junk yard, and want it towed to your garage where you plan to lovingly restore it, that scenario wouldn’t be covered. (Good for you, by the way, but this is not an emergency.)
Plus, your membership can’t be used to help out a friend or tow a company car. AAA memberships follow our members. So, if you borrow a car and it breaks down, it is covered. However, if a friend borrows your car, that is not covered. (Your friend will need to use their AAA membership to request help.)
You also can’t leave your car, EV, SUV or truck by the side of the road and call AAA to go pick it up later. You need to be there.
Here are a few scenarios that don’t qualify:
- You don’t like your mechanic’s estimate to fix your transmission problem and want a tow to another shop;
- You pull out the engine block from the Mustang out back, now you need to get the engineless classic towed over to storage;
- Grandpa’s tractor breaks down by the side of the road;
- You do a monster ride on an e-bike over and down a mountain, but your legs are tired and you don’t feel like riding all the way back home, so you call AAA;
- Your buddy gets a flat on the way home from the Seahawks game and you want to help him out;
- Your truck with a trailer full of chickens breaks down and you need a tow back to the farm;
- Your car was impounded the night before and you want to break it out of car jail.
Safety is always our priority
While we strive to help every member we can, the personal safety of our members and drivers is our priority. For example, if your car gets stuck at the end of a remote forest road or you want it pulled up a hill because you’re too afraid to drive it in a snowstorm, this will not be covered. Your vehicle must be on or near an open and accessible road where a tow truck can safely travel.
Here are some calls that could put you or our drivers at risk:
- It snowed in Seattle, and you want to go to the store for supplies, but your car is buried in snow in your driveway.
Tip: If you and your vehicle are home safe during a weather event, it’s wise to stay off the roads and not attempt to drive.
- You took a ride on the beach and now your car is stuck in the sand and the tide is coming in.
- Your car is parked in an area that is flooded.
- You took your 4-wheeler off the main road and onto an unpaved side road, and popped the tires in some giant potholes.
Tip: We can’t tow vehicles off a beach, a flooded area or unpaved side roads. These scenarios are too dangerous to all parties involved.
What can’t AAA tow?
AAA can tow most cars, EVs, SUVs and pickup trucks. However, certain types of vehicles won’t be towed, like:
- Trucks with plows or service trailers;
- Commercial vehicles (even ones being used for non-commercial purposes);
- Box trucks;
- Corporate fleet cars;
- Dump Trucks;
- Golf Carts;
In some cases, AAA won’t tow tricked-out or modified vehicles that would require special equipment. For example, pickup trucks with extra-wide beds or a hotrod with low suspension might not be towed. The service provider would make the final decision in these scenarios, and we may ask that you send pictures before we’ll send a tow truck. In some cases, we may be able to assist, but will charge an extra fee.
Plus, each type of AAA membership provides a different level of service. All AAA members won’t automatically qualify for roadside assistance for RVs, 5th wheels, trailers, motorcycles and certain trucks. AAA Plus and Premium members can add RV coverage to cover motor homes, campers, motorcycles, boat trailers and pickup trucks with a load capacity over 1 ton to a maximum of 2 tons. Trucks with campers also require an RV upgrade for service.
7 Services Explained
Now that you have a general idea, of AAA services it is worth going over what your membership will cover in more depth.
- Towing: AAA offers emergency towing for eligible vehicles that can’t be started or driven safely. AAA will provide tows for accidents, vehicle fires and vandalism where the car can’t be safely driven – to a licensed repair shop or the membership address on file. It includes anywhere from 5 miles to 200 miles of towing depending on your membership level.
- RVs, motorcycles, trailers: To cover RVs, trailers and motorcycles, you need a AAA Plus RV or AAA Premier RV.
- Battery service: We’ll give your battery a jumpstart or, if possible, make needed adjustments to get the vehicle started. In many cities, we’ll also come to your home, business or other location, such as a shopping center parking lot, and test your battery. You can choose to replace it with a AAA-branded battery at a member-discounted price.
- Vehicle lockouts: If you are locked out of your car, AAA will come out and attempt to gain entry.
- Locksmith: We will provide anywhere from $50 up to $250 for a locksmith service to replace an ignition key.
- Flat Tire: If you have a spare tire that is safe to put on the car, AAA will change the tire for you.
- Fuel delivery: If you run out of gas on the road, AAA will deliver fuel to get the car running. AAA Classic members are charged current pump prices for fuel delivery. AAA Plus, AAA Plus RV, AAA Premier and AAA Premier RV members get an emergency supply of fuel at no cost.
AAA’s roadside service is here to help if you have an emergency. Ready to get a membership? Click here to see the different levels of membership to match your vehicles.
For more information on services and coverage, you can view our terms and conditions here.
—Written by AAA Washington Staff
—Top photo: AAA Washington
Road Trip Tips
Before you go: Get ready for your road trip with a AAA Membership. Get peace-of-mind on the road plus travel and insurance services and much more.
Save on car insurance: AAA members save up to 8% on car insurance.
Get battery service: AAA Mobile Battery Service uses state-of-the-art technology to accurately diagnose battery-related problems. We’ll even replace your battery with a brand-new one if necessary, at a special member price.
Save with AAA member discounts: AAA membership gives you access to exclusive entertainment discounts nationwide.