Monday, June 15, 2009

Car care-free

One of the wisest investments I made when living in the USA was to become a member of the Automobile Association - the $60 that I spent for the annual membership more than paid for itself when I had to have my car jumpstarted (twice), when I was locked out of my car and needed help, with all the maps that I picked up and with the discounts at some of the theme parks. I don't think I had so many benefits when I was a member of the Automobile Association of Southern India (AASI) during the mid 1990s - the only one I remember was a discount on the insurance premium.

But I am sure there are quite a few benefits on offer, besides the insurance premium discount (which still continues), for there is no reason otherwise for the AASI to have almost 25,000 active members. Headquartered in Chennai, the AASI has 12 branches, covering all the four southern states. It was the second such association to be formed in India when it was established in 1911. The first, at Calcutta, had started 7 years earlier - difficult to believe that there were enough cars to form an association in 1904!

Though membership is economical enough, there don't seem to be enough people queuing up to enroll - with about 500,000 cars running in Chennai city alone, the 25,000 membership figure seems to be rather miniscule!


2 comments:

lviss said...

NOW THAT U HAVE MENTIONED ABOUT IT , CAR OWNERS WILL MAKE A BEELINE FOR ENROLLING THEMSELVES.
BTW GETTING LOCKED OUT IN CAR SEEMS A PAST TIME FOR MOST AMERICANS. I HAVE READ ABOUT IT SEVERAL TIMES.

Shantaram said...

@ lviss: Ha-ha! That's hoping for too much!! I haven't yet got to be the first bee in the line!