Towing is a common practice done around the world when your vehicle is unable to operate correctly. Most car owners in the US will need to have their car towed at least once in their lifetime. The cost of a tow varies greatly depending on your location, the size of your vehicle, and the distance the tow needs to cover.
While costs are pretty varied, there is still some consistency between each company that helps us provide you with an estimate of how much a tow truck cost. We will take you through everything you should know about towing, including the cost.
Why Do Cars Get Towed?
In essence, there exist a multitude of reasons why you might need a tow trunk. While most situations are avoidable if you play your cards right and are adept with the inner workings of your car, some sadly are not. For example, there’s a vast difference between needing a tow since your vehicle is so severely damaged you can’t drive it compared to not having jumper cables in your car, which results in your vehicle’s battery dying out.
You can use a tow; however, one situation is much more avoidable than the other. To avoid yourself from getting towed, here are some tips you should follow:
- Always have an idea of the inflation of your tires
- Have an understanding of your fuel levels
- Understand the methodology of changing a flat
- Always keep an extra tire in the back of your vehicle
- Keep jumper cables in your car
- Always have some extra oil in your car
What Does a Tow Company Do?
The purpose of a towing enemy is to provide a rudimentary level of assistance to a car owner at any point. Calling a tow company can often prove extremely useful, especially when caught in particular pesky situations.
Here’s an example of some of the services an average Tow Company offers:
- Gas Delivery (In case your car runs out of gas)
- Start the car (In case your vehicle runs out of battery)
- Unlocking Doors (If you end up forgetting the keys)
- Tire Change (If you have a flat and don’t have an extra tire / don’t know how to change it.)
- Move an immobilized vehicle around
What Affects The Cost of Towing:
Before we talk about the actual average cost of towing, some factors get into the markup charged for towing, which can significantly affect tow truck costs.
In most cases, towing costs have a base rate of about $50 but can considerably shoot up to about $120, mainly dependent on how far the tow truck is from you. Generally, the base fee is set at $50 and will be required regardless of the distance you need your vehicle to be towed. A flatbed tow is always much more expensive than a standard tow.
An accidental car that is being towed is usually much more expensive. Moreover, if your vehicle was towed and impounded, that comes with extra fees and fines. These can also increase the overall cost of towing.
Does Insurance Cover Tow Truck Costs?
Your auto insurance generally covers towing costs under specific requirements if you had opted in for it when you signed up for your insurance plan. Otherwise, you will have to be paying for towing out of your pocket.
Plus, you will also need to pay even if the tow truck driver can make the car function perfectly without towing it anywhere specific. This situation will still warrant the general base charge of $50 alongside an extra amount for all the mechanical hours to make the vehicle function again.
Are Tow Truck Costs Consistent?
As mentioned earlier, a Tow Truck Cost is generally a ballpark amount that can be spot on or very off. Unfortunately, no natural way currently exists for you to identify if the tow truck company you’ve chosen is cheaper or more expensive than the average.
As such, there is no absolute consistency between the companies. But, you can always enjoy the fruits of healthy competition as prices are generally increasing to accommodate new drivers who can work at lower rates with no issues.
How Much Does a Tow Truck Cost:
In the US, tow trucks are a common occurrence and are a fair bit cheaper than other companies but still extremely expensive when you need a tow in an isolated area. However, the average tow costs about $110. These figures, as mentioned earlier, are highly local.
You can expect tow companies to charge you anywhere between $2.50 to 7% per mile. The more expensive amount is expected to be applied to heavy-duty companies like trucks and wagons.
If your tow is between five and seven miles, expect a total cost figure ranging between $30 to $100 (The base fee is an essential factor to consider here)
Next, if you have a relatively longer tow, then it will take you back anywhere between $100 to $250 depending on the task at hand.
Lastly, for a tow that goes over 100 miles, you can expect to pay more than $300, which is quite a hefty sum. Finding a mechanic nearby to your vicinity can help in the overall cost of your towing as he can quickly identify tons of issues present under the hood that would not be caught.
Tow Trucks and Special Conditions:
As mentioned earlier, a few special conditions revolve around the cost of Tow Trucks which can significantly affect their price. Other than impounding and accidents, another critical part is the terrain in which your vehicle needs to be towed.
If the car is in terrain that does not allow the truck to travel at an optimum speed, you might be charged more for all the time you indirectly waste as your care takes a long time to go to a suitable workshop. In any case, make sure to negotiate beforehand as it helps you get a clear picture of what rate you can expect.