What is CU Drive America?

Motor Clubs & Member Empowerment

Who’s your first call when the car won’t go? If it starts with “A”, ends with “A”, and has one more “A” in-between, then you aren’t alone. Over 61 million Americans use AAA or another motor club membership for just that situation, responding to 33 million calls per year.

Just hearing “Triple A” brings a mental image of a tow truck pulling up in front of you as you eagerly wait to get moving again. Great embedding of their name into the social consciousness, by the way. A topic your favorite CU Geek wrote all about…but I digress.

The “driving” force is peace of mind.

But wait, your credit union exudes that same energy for your members! Financial wellness, empowerment, security, and more. With auto lending being a primary member service, how can you help deliver that peace of mind? (Along with a bit of high-value revenue.)

Spoiler: AAA isn’t the only game in town. A credit union-exclusive program provides that same assurance, with a surprising twist your members will love.

Editor’s sidenote: We value honesty and transparency here in the Learning Library. Yes, we offer the service described in the article. It doesn’t take away from our dedication to giving you the analysis you want and deserve. This article compares what millions of drivers use today with what you can provide. At the end, we hope you’ll have information necessary to decide if it makes sense to learn more about the solution.

The Benefits You Expect

Motor Club Benefits

Motor clubs are more than towing coverages, even if we tend to forget. In addition, they may provide (dependent on state and plan level):

  • Battery Jump Start Service
  • Flat Tire Removal & Replacement
  • Fuel, Oil, Fluid, and Water Delivery
  • Lock Out Assistance
  • Extrication

Sometimes, they’ll also include:

  • Emergency Travel Expense Benefit
  • Emergency Destination Assistance Benefit
  • Ambulance Service Benefit
  • Theft Reward Benefit
  • Hotel Discounts
  • Identity Theft Protection
  • Rental Car & Other Discounts

Some of the benefits extend beyond the day-to-day and may overlap with some debit or credit card perks. While many members may never use them, each can be an added “nice to have”. But what about all the expected costs and challenges not covered in this list?

Enter CU Drive America

Burdens of Car Ownership (AI)
How an image generator sees “financial burdens of car ownership”. Like carrying multiple cars…I’ll accept the metaphor.

Owning a car is expensive. Between higher interest rates and increased car pricing, the average monthly payment for a new car today is $738 and $532 for used. To ease the sting, terms are expanding, with 60 to 84 months now becoming commonplace.

Then there’s insurance, fueling (EVs may cost less to charge, but it’s still there), and the unexpected costs of repairs. The latter is why you offer VSCs, yet we understand they sell at lower rates just because they’re expensive.

It’s often passed over, yet regular maintenance is essential, and can reduce the chance of getting caught by surprise with a costly breakdown. “A well-oiled machine” and all that.

Unfortunately, it can get expensive. The days of a $39 oil change seem to be gone. And batteries, brakes, even wiper blades all produce sticker shock. Not everyone can afford to keep to a regular schedule, nor do all the recommended maintenance items.

How can your credit union help members take the best possible care of that so-important collateral, while recognizing the challenges they might be facing?

We discovered CU Drive America, a credit union-specific motor club some time back. After detailed review, including discussions with the leadership team, we believe it can help your credit union and members in ways the three-letter one does not.

The Benefits You Weren’t Expecting

Benefit Icons of CU Drive America

Unlike most motor clubs, CU Drive America steps up for your car when things are going fine. By helping cover the costs of maintenance, these benefits keep wallets a little fuller and cars running a little happier. Cash benefits can be paid directly to the service provider for:

  • Oil Changes
  • Brake Pads/Shoes
  • Battery (ICE vehicles)
  • Cooling System Maintenance and Lube
  • Wiper Blade Replacement
  • Safety Inspection (where required)

Imagine your members going into a shop, getting all their recommended maintenance done, and paying little to nothing, thanks to that cool benefit from their credit union. Do you think they would think more highly of their relationship?

With CU Drive America, a well-maintained car can be a credit union perk, benefiting the member and protecting the collateral, while reducing the risk of negative financial spirals.

More Than Paint Deep

Car Ding Repair

Sometimes, it’s not the maintenance that gets you. It’s a wayward pebble, pothole, or someone’s (we name no names here) slippery fingers who lost the keyfob and no one knows where it went. Each can mean costly body or tire repairs, along with expensive replacements.

Did you know a replacement key fob can be between $500-$850? That wipes out the emergency savings of 45% of Americans. We don’t believe a lost key should put you in debt.

And then there’s the issue that the value of the car, your credit union’s collateral, drops correspondingly until the key fob is replaced (most come with two). CU Drive America relieves that burden, covering the cost of replacement, and maintaining the vehicle’s value.

Beyond key fob loss protection, CU Drive America also includes coverages you may be used to seeing in other motor clubs:

  • Paintless Dent Repair: Minor dents and dings to the vehicle’s body panels? Covered. It also covers the cost to repair the front windshield from minor cracks and chips caused by small roadside debris. (For states without $0 deductible windshield repair.)
  • Tire Road Hazard Protection: Hitting unexpected rocks, nails, glass, wood, or even tree limbs can take all the air out of your day…and your tires. Repairs are covered if their vehicle’s tires incur damage from these hazards on a public roadway.

Again, maintaining both aesthetics and real value, while relieving members from these unexpected expenses.

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Plan Term Options

Unlike typical motor clubs which are renewed annually, CU Drive America is built to offer a 3-year plan for simplicity in offering. Longer is available upon request. Members may opt for the program at loan closing and include it right in their monthly payment.

The wild part? Drivers who use the maintenance benefits alone will experience savings compared to the big provider we all know. And that doesn’t account for coverages available if something goes wrong.

Credit Union Benefits

Revenue Destinations

Your members aren’t the only ones who gain from CU Drive America. There’s substantial value for your credit union including:

  • Non-interest income – Similar to other protection products in most states, your credit union will receive a “net rate” chart, which can be marked up as you see fit. Most credit unions use a $200 mark-up.
  • Interest income – Using the average member rate of $799 (3 year term) and assuming a 72 month loan at 8% interest will generate a $209 yield.
  • Protect the credit union’s collateral – Benefits that preserve, even restore, the value of the vehicle is important for both institution and owner.
  • No insurance license required – CU Drive America is categorized as a “motor club” and does not require special agent licensing in any state.
  • Simple forms & admin – Set up your system to simply map out a PDF form. No changes are necessary to core or LOS.

We “Due” Our Due Diligence

Backed by an “A” rated insurer, CU Drive America is a division of Driven Solutions, which has delivered motor club solutions for over 50 years. They provide peace-of-mind for 12 million members.

Before Driving Off…

Motor club benefits are a necessity in today’s car-centric world to protect you and/or your family should the unexpected happen. CU Drive America eliminates that worry for your members while also providing cash benefits they can and will use to keep their vehicles running smoothly for years to come.

All at a price point similar to AAA comparable plans, while within your member’s monthly payment budget.

Is CU Drive America a fit for your credit union? Maybe. Let’s talk it through so you can make the best decision for your institution and members.

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Joe Winn - CU Geek

Blogger. Speaker. Futurist. Part-time Jedi.

Dedicated to helping your credit union, large or small, deliver mission-focused financial empowerment to your members. And make a positive impact on your community while you’re at it.