How do towing companies charge for their services?

If you go on a towing company’s website, you will most likely not find a concrete pricing list, since there are often a lot of factors which determine the final price.

What impacts the cost of a tow?

Towing fees often start with a hookup fee which is $50-$100, depending on your location and the type of tow you are requesting. It doesn’t matter if you’re getting the vehicle towed 1 or 50 miles, the hoop up fee will still be applied to your final bill. There is also a per mile fee, which could range anywhere from $2.50 to $7.

Towing a car which had stopped working because of mechanical problems might be cheaper to tow than the one that got into a car accident. The pricing can also increase if there is extra work and time needed to get the tow going, for example pulling a car out of a ditch, or having the vehicle towed on a mountainous terrain or a steep/narrow path. Some companies charge more for towing during late hours, weekends or Holidays. Also, be sure to ask if there is a loading fee enforced.

It is important to have good communication with the tow company before hiring them to be able to fully understand everything that is factored into the pricing. Otherwise, you are likely to end up with a much higher bill than expected. Some companies might try to lowball the caller over the phone and only disclose base pricing if the customer doesn’t ask follow up questions just to get their business. Some states have caps on how much a towing company can charge for specific services. Make sure to keep the receipt in case you need to file a claim later and dispute the charges you weren’t aware of.

Roadside Assistance

If you are paying an annual fee for roadside assistance, such as AAA, it might really help you out in this situation. AAA membership normally costs under $70 and includes not only towing, but also services such as a dead car battery charge, flat tire replacement, and event key recovery when you lock the keys inside the vehicle. They partner up with local tow companies and will send assistance your way after you call them.

Car insurance companies like Geico, State Farm, and Liberty Mutual might offer incorporated monthly payments for roadside assistance as a part of your car insurance bill. Some car owners are not even aware that they signed up for it because the payment is often under $10 per month and is seamlessly deducted along with car insurance. Coverage for services included varies from policy to policy. Some have a mile limit or the number of tows per year you can use.

Make sure to contact your insurance company and find out what coverage plan you have or what are the options when signing up for a new one.

 

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