Our History

Members First - Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

At the turn of the century, only an estimated 23,000 motor vehicles were registered in the United States, compared to 17 million horses. Roads were treacherous and driving restrictive. Vehicles, unreliable at best and scorned by owners of horse-drawn carriages, were targeted with unfair traffic laws.

Fortunately, conditions began to change in 1902 when delegates from nine independent motor clubs representing fewer than 1,000 members came together in Chicago to form the American Automobile Association. Its mission was simple: to combat unfair traffic laws and campaign for better roads and more reliable vehicles.

And so our tradition of service was born. Over the years, AAA, through its tradition of helping members and the traveling public on numerous fronts - roadside assistance, school safety patrol, driver education curriculum, travel and touring information, and lodging and dining recommendations - has become one of the most recognized and respected names in the world.

Recently, AAA celebrated its 111th year anniversary. From its beginnings as the motorist's ally to today's wide-ranging service organization, AAA has remained committed to serving the needs of its members.

Meeting and exceeding members' diverse needs at every stage of their lives is a priority of the association. Key initiatives to enhance member services include:

  • strategic travel alliances with Disney® and Hertz®, as well as major air, tour and cruise companies a comprehensive financial services and products partnership
  • research and development of in-vehicle assistance and navigation devices
  • state-of-the-art trip planning software in AAA's Internet TripTik®/Traveler, providing members with round-the-clock access to reliable and updated routing and other travel information
  • convenient, 24/7 club access through www.AAA.com for AAA members with Internet access
  • and many more initiatives on the horizon!

Over the years, AAA has become recognized as:

  • the nation's leading provider of emergency road service and automotive-related expertise
  • the world's largest publisher of travel information and one of the world's largest leisure travel agencies
  • one of the fastest growing financial products and services organizations in the United States
  • a top performer in the life insurance industry
  • one of the most active advocates for the welfare of the traveling public

A rather impressive list, wouldn't you agree?