If you have ever been in a situation where your car has broken down on the side of the road, you know how frustrating it can be. On top of the possible expense of the repair, you also have to figure out a way to get your car to a repair shop that can get it back on the road. For the most part, the only way to do this safely is to call a tow truck. Unfortunately, this usually adds another expense on top of the price of the actual repair.
Knowing how much it costs to tow a car can help you be prepared if you experience a breakdown and can’t drive yourself to the shop. While it can be a nerve-wracking experience to do this, knowing how much it might cost you ahead of time can take some of the stress away. You can even set aside an emergency fund just in case you end up on the side of the road with a vehicle that won’t start or drive.
Why Would a Car Need to Be Towed?
There are a number of reasons why your car might need to be towed, but there are a few that are more common than others. Some of the most common roadside issues, such as a dead battery, an empty fuel tank, or a flat tire, can be fixed right then and there and don’t require the car to be moved to a garage or shop. However, major engine issues like an overheating engine usually have a root cause that you can’t solve on the side of the road. When this happens, you will need to call a tow truck.
One of the other most common reasons a tow truck will need to be called is an accident. If you have been involved in a collision that has rendered your vehicle unusable until it can be looked at by a mechanic, getting it towed is going to be your only option. However, if you have insurance, you can sometimes roll the cost of the tow into your claim.
How Much Does It Cost to Tow a Car?
There are a few different factors that determine the price of getting your car towed. However, the average cost of a tow is around $109 nationwide. In general, you can expect to pay anywhere between $2.50 and $7 per mile. If you are far from your destination, such as your home or a mechanic, you could end up paying quite a bit for your tow.
The price of your tow can also change depending on the individual circumstances of the situation. The size and make of your car might require extra equipment or techniques to get it on the truck. If you need a tow during the evening, during the weekend, or during a holiday, you can usually expect to pay more for the service.
How Is Tow Pricing Determined?
Most towing companies will charge you a flat fee for making the trip out to your car and getting it hooked up before it is moved at all. The hook-up fee will be anywhere between $35 and $100 depending on the company and when you have called them. From there, they will charge you by the mile, which is why it can be so expensive if you need to get your car towed a long distance.
Depending on your state, there may be laws about the maximum amount a towing company can charge you. If you have gotten a tow and feel that you were charged an excessive amount, it might be worth looking into and seeing if the towing company has violated this law.
Does Insurance Cover Towing?
If your car is involved in an accident and needs to be towed, you should be able to include this in your claim. However, if you need to be towed for any other reason, such as an engine failure or transmission problem, it might not be covered if your policy doesn’t include 24/7 roadside assistance. Many insurance companies offer this as an add-on with their policies, and if you know that your car is susceptible to issues, it could be a good idea to make sure this is included in your coverage.
What Extra Services Would a Towing Company Offer?
Many towing companies offer services outside of towing that can be helpful in the event of an emergency. These services usually include things like battery jumping, gas refills, tire changes, and lock picking. If you find yourself with an empty fuel tank or a dead battery, calling a towing company might be the right thing to do. They can help, and these services are much cheaper than having the car towed to a garage to have them fixed.
Protect Yourself From Towing Fees With an Extended Warranty
If you want to make sure you have access to a tow truck whenever you need it, an extended warranty can help. Many extended warranties offer 24/7 roadside assistance in their coverage, so you can be sure that you won’t be stuck on the side of the road with a dead battery or a more serious issue with your engine. Getting the right warranty can make a big difference in your vehicle’s safety and your confidence when you are on the road. Explore our extended warranty provider reviews and buying guide to find out which extended warranty will work best for you and your vehicle.