One of the best things in the world is being able to drive. It gets you from one place to another quickly and lets you spend time with your family on road trips to see natural wonders and fun amusement parks. But getting a flat tyre in a place you don’t know can be scary and stressful. Having some kind of membership for roadside assistance can be very helpful in these times.
AAA can pump up a tyre or help you put on your own spare tyre, but they can’t fix a flat tyre for you. If your tyre can’t be inflated and you don’t have a spare that can be put on, AAA will tow your car to a nearby service centre.
Plans for roadside assistance, like those offered by AAA, can be a good thing to invest in. Membership plans can cost anywhere from $50 to $100 or more, and each type of driver will get a different set of benefits.
A AAA assistance plan can be very helpful, whether you just want coverage on your way to work or will be taking your RV on a long road trip.
What AAA Can Do To Help With a Flat Tire
If you have a flat tyre and are stuck on the side of the road, the AAA roadside assistance plan can help you in a few ways. The first is that they can take off and put on your spare tyre.
The catch is that you have to bring a good spare with you. You can’t get a spare tyre from AAA.
Because of changes in how cars are made, many newer cars may not have a spare tyre. If this is the case, you could also have AAA pump up your tyre. If your tyre is slowly leaking, pumping it up can give it enough pressure to get you to a service centre, where you can get it fixed or replaced.
If this isn’t possible because your tyre has damage to the sidewall or a big hole, AAA’s only other option is to tow your car to a nearby service centre. Your roadside assistance plan may cover this for free, but the distance you can be towed for free will depend on the type of plan you have.
For instance, the basic AAA plan covers towing for up to 5 miles.
If your car needs to be towed more than five miles, you will be charged about $10 for each extra mile. If you were on a trip away from people when you got a flat tyre, this towing charge could end up costing you a lot of money.
Tip: Here, you should also check out my article on the 7 most-asked questions about AAA.
How Much Does it Cost to Patch a Tire?
Putting a patch on a tyre can cost different amounts of money. It’s not as simple as it might appear.
At a mechanic’s shop or service centre, the actual sealing or patching may only cost a small amount of money, but the other costs add up!
If the hole is small and the air is leaking out slowly, you might be able to pump up the tyre and drive to a repair shop on your own.
But if you need towing, an independent towing company will charge an average of $75 for the first 10 miles and between $3 and $5 per mile after that.
If you have a AAA plan, depending on how far your car needs to be towed and which roadside assistance plan you have, you may not have to pay anything for the tow.
2. Sealant Kit
Having your own basic sealant and inflation kit can be very helpful, but it can also cost a lot. But it’s much better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it.
Depending on the inflation kit you buy, this can be as easy as a few dollars for a can of expanding foam or as expensive as $300 for an electrical air compressor powered by your car.
3. Patch or Replacement Fee
Once your car gets to the shop, there are a number of things that will affect how much the bill will be. Patching is an option if the damage is small and there is only one small hole. This may only cost $30 or less.
But if there is a lot of damage to the sidewall, a big blowout, or many holes from glass or nails, it may not be possible to patch them. In this case, you will need a whole new tyre. Depending on the size and style of the tyres you need, you could spend up to $250.
In addition to the price of the tyre, the service centre may also charge for installing the tyre. Even though this fee is usually small and is sometimes included when you buy new tyres, it can still add to your bill in a way you didn’t expect.
Having a AAA membership will cost you a fee every year, but it can save you a lot of money when you need to fix a flat tyre. If the problem is small, you may not have to pay anything to get back on your way.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Can roadside assistance patch a tire?
I’m sorry, but no. AAA’s roadside assistance won’t be able to fix a slow leak or small hole in your tyre. But if you have a AAA plan, they will not charge you to inflate your tyres, put on your spare tyre, or tow your car to a nearby service centre.
Will AAA replace a tire?
AAA can fix your flat tyre and put on your spare if you have one with you. But your AAA technician won’t bring a spare tyre with them, so you’ll need to have one that’s inflated and ready to go.
Does AAA fix flat tires at home?
AAA will come to you wherever you are—at home, at the store, or in the middle of nowhere—to fix your flat tyre or change it with your spare. This is a great service for people who don’t know how to change their own tyres or who can’t.
Even though having a AAA roadside assistance plan isn’t always the best thing to do, it can be very helpful in some situations.
Always try to have a spare tyre with you, and make sure it works well so that the person who comes to help you can get you back on the road quickly.