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Old 30th July 2006, 20:34   #1
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Default Indian AAA, anyone?

Folks,

Anything like the very-useful AAA of the US in India? I wouldn't mind paying some small premium to become a member of say the Indian Automobile Association that would be theoretically spread across all parts of India and:

1. Render hassle-free and immediate road-side assistance for vehicle breakdowns on highways

2. Price benefits for members at IAA hotels/franchisees for lodging/food

3. Roads expert advice - best routes etc.

4. Car purchase

5. Cheaper fuel at IAA bunks


I feel its time that we need such a single-entity that is gregarious enough to give us a sense of relief in the back of our minds that no matter where we are across India, we will never be stranded.
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Old 30th July 2006, 20:53   #2
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Default Wiaa

The Western India Automobile Association (WIAA) has been in India for over 80 years now.
Here is their website -> WIAA.

Their head office is located in Mumbai (Bombay), and though they don't have an office in Bangalore (i assume), i believe there is a list of their counterparts in various cites on the website (or you can just call).
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Old 30th July 2006, 21:05   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theMAG
Folks,

Anything like the very-useful AAA of the US in India? I wouldn't mind paying some small premium to become a member of say the Indian Automobile Association that would be theoretically spread across all parts of India and:

1. Render hassle-free and immediate road-side assistance for vehicle breakdowns on highways

2. Price benefits for members at IAA hotels/franchisees for lodging/food

3. Roads expert advice - best routes etc.

4. Car purchase

5. Cheaper fuel at IAA bunks


I feel its time that we need such a single-entity that is gregarious enough to give us a sense of relief in the back of our minds that no matter where we are across India, we will never be stranded.
You could not have launched a topic like this any time better. I feel an organisation like 'AAA' will be a huge benefit for the burgeoning Indian car market. It could be rolled out initially in the urban centres & later to other parts of India.
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Old 30th July 2006, 21:06   #4
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AASI in Bangalore - St Marks Road. India Garage complex [Skoda, Mahindra dealerships are also in this place].

Feel that the life membership has the better features. Some business - service stations, towing etc, and some hotels offer a few benefits. But No Where close to AAA. And not surprisingly, AAA doesnot have a reciprocal arrangement with the Indian AA. Affiliation is there, but being a life member here doesnt get you any benefits with AAA.

http://www.aasindia.org
http://www.wiaaindia.com
http://www.aaui.org

Last edited by condor : 30th July 2006 at 21:15.
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Old 31st July 2006, 08:11   #5
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I am not sure AAA is all that useful anymore if one doesn't drive all that much. May be for rental cars/ maps etc. but their towing services have not been good recently. With in car Navigation systems, one doesn't need maps that frequently.

Can any AASI member chime in on the quality of Indian services?
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Old 31st July 2006, 13:53   #6
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WIAA had quite a bit of potential. However, they have stagnated quite a bit of late and are mostly useful for IDPs, PUC, transfers, etc. RTO related work, where you need not go to an agent. They have also started charging for towing services and take an age to reach you.

However, I wish they would be more helpful and pro-motorists, especially in the media. In any accident, it seems it is always the driver's fault - no mention is made of jaywalkers, bad / poorly designed roads, lane cutting motorcyclists, non-functioning signals, encroachments,
etc.
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Old 31st July 2006, 15:10   #7
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Believe it or not, I had once contemplated starting a similar concept in India. Even had a business plan for the same.

Now, I dont see the value addition as you have WIAA for all the RTO work. You have manufacturer 24 hour helplines for towing / repair on the road. Discount hotels - No thanks. Discount fuel - Not possible. Car Purchase = Team-BHP.
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Old 1st August 2006, 15:42   #8
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Quote:
Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO
Discount hotels - No thanks. Discount fuel - Not possible. Car Purchase = Team-BHP.
You have forgotten about the discounts you get on vehicle Insurance. I became a life member in 1998 by paying Rs 1200 only. I have made up for all that and much more just from the insurance companies. They also have some excelllent Road Maps which are sold at discounted prices to all its members.

Other than discounts for life members of AAA, the Insurance Companies are also liable to give you 5% discount on vehicles that are purchased under hire purchase and also if you have an Anti-theft device.

So long....
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Old 1st August 2006, 21:15   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by varunroy
They also have some excelllent Road Maps which are sold at discounted prices to all its members.

Insurance Companies are also liable to give you 5% discount on vehicles that are purchased under hire purchase and also if you have an Anti-theft device.....
Had picked up a south India map recently, but it's kind of confusing - the place markers and the place names are confusing - you have the name of a place, but dont know which of the markers around the name marks the position of the place.

The Insurance discount has a cap of Rs 200/- - 5%, upto a max of Rs 200. As told to me by AASI and the insurance people at the dealer.
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Old 1st August 2006, 23:10   #10
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Guys,

Pl check out this site www.[COLOR=#22229c]viamichelin.com[/COLOR]
[COLOR=#22229c][/COLOR]
I know we are far away from such a thing because our road network still hasn't developed and marked the way it is in Europe, but we can dream.
( Hope I am not off topic)
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Old 2nd August 2006, 00:36   #11
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I think www.mapmyindia.com seems to have some good maps, but one needs to pay for directions. I was amazed at the level of detail in those online maps that mapmyindia provides to the skoda website. I am not sure whether they're going to market any navigation system. In someways the auto association services are valuable in providing say the international driving permits etc. But, they should increase their network in India.
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Old 2nd August 2006, 19:50   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO
Believe it or not, I had once contemplated starting a similar concept in India. Even had a business plan for the same.

Now, I dont see the value addition as you have WIAA for all the RTO work. You have manufacturer 24 hour helplines for towing / repair on the road. Discount hotels - No thanks. Discount fuel - Not possible. Car Purchase = Team-BHP.
I think you're right in a way, GTO. To make something like this financially viable is a real challenge. However, where I see something like a professionally run IAA announce its USP over a corporate semi-usable service is in its efficiency. Probably an IAA should have taken say 10 mins to have a tow truck at your stranded point whereas a Maruti customer care would take 1 hour.

But I guess I only speak for a very small minority in this country - the car owners group! Sad, for a country thats 1.2 billion large.
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Old 2nd August 2006, 19:56   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by condor
Had picked up a south India map recently, but it's kind of confusing - the place markers and the place names are confusing - you have the name of a place, but dont know which of the markers around the name marks the position of the place.

The Insurance discount has a cap of Rs 200/- - 5%, upto a max of Rs 200. As told to me by AASI and the insurance people at the dealer.
condor,

I'm now seriously contemplating becoming a member of some established Automobile body. It would be helpful if you could elucidate more about your experience with AASI.

Thanks
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Old 2nd August 2006, 20:48   #14
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Quote:
Quote:
Originally Posted by theMAG
condor,

I'm now seriously contemplating becoming a member of some established Automobile body. It would be helpful if you could elucidate more about your experience with AASI.

Thanks
A few advantages of AAA which I am aware and would like to share with all of us ;
# They do all your RTO work at no extra cost other than the official fees.
# All services are recorded and valid receipts are given.
# Discounts are given in certain enlisted Hotels for both boarding and lodging.
# Road maps provided at discounted rates. I find these very good both in terms of their layout as well as its paper quality. I have got rid of all other Road maps. Mostly the TTK ones.
# Discounts of 5% or 200/-, whichever is more on your basic Insurance premium. This discount is very beneficial if you own multiple vehicles owned by the same member. ( not in the name of other family members)
# You get a shinny Brass AAA badge or a Sticker on payment.
# You are entitled to the services of hiring the services of a chaufer on a daily basis, even if it is just for a day.
# Towing facilities for your vehicle to nearest garage on payment in select cities only.

I hope other members would add to this list. And also share the type of service they have utilised along with their opinions.

Other than using their RTO services and availing discounts on Insurance renewals I have not tried out any of their other services. The people on St. Marks Road, Bangalore are very cordial and genuinely helpful. I think their silent service deserves appreciation from one and all.

So long....
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Old 2nd August 2006, 22:01   #15
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Hey - I'd say go ahead and get a life membership. Varun has listed some of the main benefits, and I agree with him about the people at the Blr office of AASI. Some more benefits:

* Spouse also gets the benefits that a life member gets. Personally, I would have liked this beneficiary to have been the member's choice - like spouse or parent. Personally, I feel that my parents may benefit more from their services in specific situations.
* Vehicle valuation service for Rs 500 - you could use this if you want to buy a used [S/H] vehicle.
* Routing information - if you want to plan a trip. Also distance verification.

The map I got from AASI was a TTK. I am not saying all the maps that AASI has are like the one I got. The paper for the maps is really good.

Sticker is free, the brass badge is free with membership but addnl badges are at Rs 100 a piece.

I think the services from AASI are limited to two vehicles per member, and both need to be in your name.

A service like being able to hire a driver can be really helpful. We had a recent incident when a Team-BHP'ian had to hire a driver for an emergency trip, but the driver didnt follow instructions and instead caused an accident.

Last edited by condor : 2nd August 2006 at 22:03.
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