For almost 40 years, I have counted on AAA for roadside assistance. Whether I had a flat tire or dead battery, AAA has been my safety net on the road. And when the time came for a new car, I learned that AAA could be a partner along every mile of my journey.

After years of driving a gas-guzzling 4×4 truck to make it through the winter storms of northern Indiana, and using our small, fuel-efficient car during clear weather; my wife and I decided to consolidate to one vehicle.

I work as the director of three programs for homeless veterans, so my car isn’t just for getting from point A to point B—it allows me to answer the call anytime, day or night, for those who have answered the call for their country. While we were in Nashville, Tennessee, visiting her mother, my wife suggested that I visit some dealerships. I found the right car at a great price and was ready to pull the trigger, except for one problem: How could I get a loan so far from home?

Before you spring for a new car, consider these four important points.

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My wife had read about AAA Auto Loans in AAA Living magazine, so I decided to see what kind of rate I qualified for. I went to AAA.com/AutoLoans, entered some information about myself and the vehicle I wanted, and in less than half an hour I was approved for a loan. And the interest rate I received was 1.65 percentage points better than anything else I had been offered. I walked back into the dealership with my auto loan from AAA and left with the car I wanted, for a lot less money.

It didn’t take long for my new car to get put to the test. Soon after returning home, our area was hit with freezing rain, followed by heavy snow. But while others slipped and slid along the road, my new all-wheel-drive kept me sure-footed and safe.

Getting financing for a new car can be a bumpy ride. Thanks to my auto loan from AAA, I had a smooth—and thrifty—journey.

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