Since I got my driver’s license at age 18, my parents have given me a CAA Membership as one of my Christmas presents. When I was young, I remember thinking it was kind of a strange choice (I probably would have preferred platform shoes or a pair of flared overalls as the ’90s teenager I was), but as a parent now, I fully understand where my mom and dad were coming from. For them, it was peace of mind that should I ever find myself in a jam on the road—a dead battery, a flat tire, running out of gas—help was just a phone call away. Now, 21 years later, my parents still renew my membership yearly, and it has come in handy more times than I can count. Just ask my daughters about the year I locked my keys in the car on Christmas Day, while the car was running and with all of the gifts and treats in the trunk. (It was almost ironic, given that my renewal was waiting under my parents’s Christmas tree 70 kilometres away.)
“People don’t think anything is going to happen, but stuff happens all the time,” says Lori Steiner, marketing director at CAA. “And when you think about how much it can cost to get your car towed, for example, when something does happen, the fix is often more expensive than the price of the membership—without the added reassurance.” That reassurance isn’t tied to your car either—it’s tied to you. So, whether you’re the driver or a passenger, whether you own the car or not, CAA will come to your side when you call. (No wonder CAA is Parent Tested, Parent Approved—it goes where you and your kids go!) Read on for all of the ways CAA can help, especially as we head into the winter months. Winter is in our DNA as Canadians, but being “winter wise” with CAA protection means you’ll be ready for whatever the chilly months have in store.
Towing: I’ve called for a tow a few times, both on my own and with my kids in the car, and I can’t describe the relief I felt when the tow truck came into view. Different membership levels offer a range of distances for towing, from 10 kilometres with the Basic Membership and up to 320 kilometres with the Premier option. CAA tow truck drivers also go through comprehensive training, so you know you’re in good hands.
Battery service: A dead car battery is enough to ruin your whole day—especially in the winter. CAA can provide a boost if that’s all you need, but they can also come to the rescue with a battery replacement in most cases. They’ll venture to wherever you are (with the exception of some remote areas) and swap the battery for you right then and there. “If you need a new battery, you’ll also get Member, all-in-one pricing that includes the battery, installation and safe disposal of the old one, versus the separate costs of each at other places,” says Steiner. “Our batteries are also under a three-year total replacement warranty, plus three more years of pro-rated warranty.”
Flat tire service: This one’s pretty self-explanatory, but so important. CAA will come to your aid in the event of a flat tire and put your spare on for you. If you don’t have a spare, they’ll tow you to your mechanic or one of the CAA-approved auto repair shops for a replacement.
Lockout services: I’ve touched on this one already. If CAA can’t unlock your car, they’ll call a locksmith who can. It’s also worth noting that should you accidentally lock your kids or pet in your car, CAA will prioritize the situation. “Those calls go to the very top of the list and we are there super quick,” says Steiner. “We take Member safety very seriously.”
Winching services: If you find yourself in a situation that requires extraction—as sometimes happens in the winter, when sliding into a snowbank or ditch is more likely to happen—CAA can send the vehicles, equipment and technicians required to get you pulled to safety and on the road again.
The benefits don’t end with roadside assistance, either. CAA Members are also entitled to the CAA Rewards program. Members can show their card at more than 124,000 participating partner retailers and services in North America for discounts and special offers. Members can also earn CAA Dollars that can be redeemed for attraction tickets or merchandise, or used towards their membership renewals or upgrades.
Did you know…
CAA has launched the CAA Mobile Tire Change Program, where Members can pay as low as $80 to have their winter tires installed onto their vehicles right in their own driveways. The convenient service is conducted by CAA expert technicians, so you can be sure the job is done right, and there is a multi-vehicle discount* if more than one car in your household requires the seasonal tire change. If you’re a CAA Member in South Central Ontario, call1-888-444-8806 to book today.
For more information or to purchase a CAA Membership, visit https://www.caasco.com/membership.
This article contains information about membership and services available through CAA Club Group operating as CAA South Central Ontario. * For the multi-vehicle discount, there is a maximum of two tire swap services per household per day. The appointment bookings must be back-to-back sessions. One $20 discount per membership. ®CAA trademarks are owned by, and use is authorized by, the Canadian Automobile Association.