The amount of most memberships can vary widely, but you should take several factors into account when you are trying to determine how affordable a membership really is and whether it is actually worth the money. The ultimate decision you make is going to be based upon the club itself, the membership benefits that you are able to use, and the overall pricing. Never sign up for a club that you cannot afford, and always ensure that the club is a good match for your needs before purchasing a membership.
There are several extremes when you are looking at memberships. Some charge very little with yearly membership fees as cheap as $10 per person and others are very expensive with memberships costing as much as $500 per person. Obviously, if you are comparing the memberships you want to see a great deal more benefits offered from the club with the $500 a year membership. In fact, the list of benefits should be much larger than the other club.
Many clubs are organized to have car shows or even races. If the clubs you are considering is one of these types of clubs you want to find a club that at least offers a discount to members off the admission fee to participate in the event. If the membership fee is very high, you would preferably want free admission and enrollment. Many clubs do allow the member and at least one guest to have free admission.
Another important consideration when you are determining a fair price for the membership is are you getting a newsletter? Most car clubs offer a newsletter of some sort to members. Included in your membership should be the newsletter and for an expensive membership you should expect a copy at least once a month. For those who have much cheaper membership fees the club may not be able to afford frequent issues, or they may opt to offer the newsletter electronically by either e-mail or only on their website.
Many clubs are also known for giving free merchandise with the membership. Most common gifts are t-shirts, sweatshirts or even hats and bags. The exact gift that your club offers may vary from year to year but anyone who is paying a large membership fee should expect something. Once again, those who have very low yearly rates can typically expect the club to skip over this benefit, as the fee simply is not enough to cover the expenses. However, even those clubs that do not give away the merchandise will typically offer a store where you can purchase the merchandise that you choose.
Comparing all of the costs and benefits of a membership can be a delicate task. Most memberships that offer just a single gift, discounts of $5-$10 off events and even a newsletter for a typical club should generally cost in the range of $50-$100 a year. Much more than this the fee should cover at least your entire family, or provide some other benefit that you will use extensively to justify the expense. Many clubs that have expensive membership fees tend to offer free admission for all club events, and also allow you free admission for guests of your choice. This type of benefit can be a substantial savings if you plan on attending many events.
However, if you do not plan to attend many events if could be a waste of money. Most clubs also offer various levels of membership that will allow you to select the level that you can afford that will meet your needs. Carefully look over the options that are available and feel free to ask the club officers questions if you are confused about why the rates are set at their current levels. Asking questions and seeking clarifications is never a bad thing and instead will serve to ensure you are well aware of what is and is not included with your chosen membership.