Cutting what you don't need

Recently I received my AAA membership renewal bill. I’ve been a member for over 10 years and quite used to these renewal letters. Looking the renewal letter over, I suddenly remembered that this is of no use to me now.

My wife and I currently have AAA Plus, which costs $121 to renew according to the letter. This was important when we had used cars that weren’t the most reliable. Generally we would use the towing coverage once or twice a year, which would just about pay for the membership. They always have been fast in response times and very helpful. Yet, we don’t have used cars anymore. In July 2009 we bought a  2009 Hyundai Elantra. In October 2010, we bought a 2011 Subaru Legacy.

This renewal letter reminded me of something that had been mentioned in passing when we bought both of our cars new. Both manufacturers included roadside assistance with the cars. In the case of Subaru, roadside assistance is included in the 3-years/36,000 limited warranty. For Hyundai, their roadside assistance is 5-years/unlimited miles.

That reminder is going to save me $120 per year for at least 3 years. Maybe once the Subaru’s coverage expires we will revisit getting AAA coverage. Since the Subaru’s coverage runs out first, maybe I would then get just a single membership for my wife (since she drives that car the most). I could never remember to use the AAA discounts or other perks of the membership, so we weren’t earning back the money for this membership.

This is a good reminder to keep track of what perks you get when you purchase certain items. Because I remembered that we have roadside assistance via the car manufacturers, we are saving at least $360 over the next 3 years not renewing our AAA membership.