Come the end of July, Napa AAA members looking for maps, insurance assistance or other auto club help will have to travel a little farther.

Napa’s American Automobile Association branch will close effective July 31.

“The lease for our Napa branch on Trancas Street was not renewed this year,” said AAA spokesman Michael Blasky.

Napa has been home to an AAA branch office since 1928, noted spokesperson Casey Brennan.

However, “We are always evaluating the best options to provide value and keep AAA affordable for all of our 6 million members,” she said.

After July 31, Napa customers will be directed to AAA offices in Vacaville, Sonoma, Santa Rosa and Fairfield.

The Fairfield AAA location is a new joint branch and auto repair service center at 1495 Gateway Blvd., said Blasky.

According to the statement, no Napa employee positions were eliminated as a result of this closure.

“All will be relocated to nearby branches in the North Bay.”

Branch employees have been notifying members about the pending closure for several weeks, a AAA spokesman stated.

A sign posted on the Napa AAA door notes the upcoming closure. “We apologize for the inconvenience,” it reads.

Brennan said that there are 13 employees in Napa who would be relocating to other AAA branches. In 2009, there were 17 full-time employees in the Napa branch. She declined to provide the number of employees who work in Sonoma or Fairfield.

When asked, Brennan also declined to state the number of other AAA branches that have closed in California in recent years. However, this isn’t the first time AAA has closed branches or downsized.

In 2009, AAA closed 18 branches in California, Nevada and Utah, including the then-branch in Fairfield.

The closings were cited as part of “an ongoing effort to reduce costs.”

In 2009, the changes were said to be the result of the way members use AAA services.

“We’re expanding the services we have available online and through our toll free number, which is how a growing number of our customers choose to do business with us,” said a spokeswoman.

According to AAA, in 2009, 20 percent of AAA members prefer to do business online or over the phone, and that number was expected to grow.

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Business Editor

Jennifer Huffman is the business editor and a general assignment reporter for the Napa Valley Register. I cover a wide variety of topics for the newspaper. I've been with the Register since 2005.