We’ve Come A Long Way

The American Automobile Association (AAA) was created in 1902 in Chicago when representatives from nine existing motor clubs agreed to join forces. Together, they went on to not only protect the rights and interests of its members and early drivers but also to promote better highway and traffic safety across the country. Today, the AAA Federation is comprised of over 30 affiliated AAA Clubs serving nearly 60 million members in the United States and Canada. Over the years, AAA’s services have expanded to include auto, home and life insurance, a full-service travel agency, automotive services, banking and financial services.

The American Automobile Association (AAA)

Motorists in the early 1900s faced a variety of obstacles. It was a time when automobiles were viewed with skepticism and the penalties for stealing horses were more severe than the punishment for auto theft. Rain often made the dirt roadways impassable and dust from dry weather hampered drivers’ vision. Because stop signs and traffic signals were nonexistent, there was danger at every intersection.

In 1902, nine existing motor clubs convened in Chicago, Illinois, to form the American Automobile Association (AAA). The goal of this new and collective organization was not only to protect the rights and interests of its members and other automobile users but also to promote better highway and traffic safety across the country.

The Origins Of The Auto Club Group (ACG)

As the number of automobiles grew through the early 1900s, so did the number of AAA Clubs across the nation – eventually numbering more than 100 regional clubs. As the 21st century approached, many clubs started to merge for strategic and geographic advantage. The Auto Club Group is one such organization, and now serves AAA Members in Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, Tennessee, Wisconsin, and the U.S. territories of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Many of AAA’s notable milestones trace their roots to the leaders of the regional clubs that now comprise The Auto Club Group. For example, during the early days of the automobile, many roads were named, but most were not marked. So, AAA Clubs throughout the Midwest began posting signs to roadside utility poles, identifying roads and telling drivers which towns were ahead and the distance to those towns. In 1917, an insurance exchange was formed by the Chicago club and by 1924, the Detroit club was writing more car insurance than any other insurance organization in the country.

“Safety First!” was the rallying cry of the early AAA Clubs, inspiring such innovations as the first stop sign, the first School Safety Patrol, the first formalized driver education classes and more. AAA’s founders were also instrumental in making Minnesota the first state to dedicate gasoline taxes and license plate fees to the construction of safer roads and highways.

The nation's first fleet of tow trucks marked the start of AAA’s legendary roadside assistance program in 1920. A three-truck fleet patrolled the streets of Chicago, creating the model for other regional clubs to follow. Today, AAA’s roadside assistance network responds to nearly seven million calls each year. Regional clubs in Tennessee, Georgia and Florida played key roles in developing AAA’s Approved Auto Repair and mobile battery replacement programs.

AAA’s entry into the travel and tourism business started early as well. The first commercially printed road maps and tour guides were issued free to AAA Members starting in the teens. And in 1926, AAA sold the first scheduled passenger tickets to members flying from Dearborn to Grand Rapids, Michigan. Today, AAA Travel stands proudly as North America’s leading full-service leisure travel agency.


Our vision is at the heart of all we do:
We help AAA Members enjoy life’s journey with peace of mind by providing innovative solutions, advocacy, and membership benefits wherever and whenever they need them.


AAA was founded over 100 years ago to advocate for driver and passenger rights, fair laws and safer vehicles — all to better promote the love of the open road and the adventure of driving. Since then, AAA has become the leading voice for the motoring public, while providing valuable membership services such as roadside assistance, a broad range of travel-related services, insurance, financial products and services, and auto repair.

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Roadside Assistance

The Auto Club Group’s roadside assistance program is comprised of five call centers, over 2,000 independent service providers, and a fleet of club-owned vehicles in select regions. Collectively, The Auto Club Group responds to over five million roadside assistance calls annually.

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Auto Service

AAA is more than roadside assistance to get you back on the road. We’re also there to help you stay on the road with an expansive number of AAA Approved Auto Repair, Total Repair Care and AAA Car Care Plus centers across our 11-state territory.

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Travel Agency

When you think of AAA Travel, you may just think of the TripTik® Travel Planner or AAA CampBook® guides. In reality, The Auto Club Group employs more than 350 full-service travel consultants generating over $500 million in sales annually.

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Property and Casualty Insurance

Through our affiliate insurance companies and a sales force of over 3,000 agents, The Auto Club Group provides insurance to more than two million vehicles and 900,000 homes. Affiliate insurance companies include Auto Club Insurance Association, Meemic and Fremont Insurance Company.

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Life Insurance

In addition to property and casualty insurance, AAA also offers members and non-members access to a variety of life insurance and annuity products to help them prepare for the future. These products include Term, Universal and Whole Life insurance, as well as a variety of products designed to supplement your retirement income.

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Banking/Financial Services

The only AAA Club with a federally chartered bank, The Auto Club Group offers a broad range of online banking services, including checking, savings, deposit accounts, auto, home and personal loans, credit card services, financial planning and trust management. Products are offered by Auto Club Trust, FSB.

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