Getting your vehicle towed involves the process of having a tow truck take your vehicle to any destination. This is most commonly your residence or a repair shop and usually isn’t more than a trip of five miles. As of last year, the average cost of a 5-mile tow trip is between $35 and $125, which means an estimated $7 to $25 for each mile of the tow. This average price also includes the tow truck’s base rate, which is also known as the hook-up charges.
Any extra fee charged by the towing company depends on the type of car, which could be up to a 25% fee if the vehicle being towed is a heavy-duty vehicle or truck. Several insurance companies also offer free towing services to their customers. Tows are typically free for the members of many automotive clubs including members of the American Automobile Association. What’s interesting is that the membership fees of these automotive clubs or adding the towing service to your car insurance plans usually cost around $15 per month.
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Typical costs of towing a car
Normally, having a vehicle being towed to a residence, repair shop, or any other destination using a tow truck involves a base rate or a hook-up fee. This fee is usually around $35 to $100, and the first five to seven towing miles may be covered in the base fee sometimes. If not, the towing companies usually charge $2.5 to $5 for every mile.
However, these are average prices and in some areas where there are no legal limits on the towing charges or where111 there are no competing businesses, the towing costs can be higher. However, a typical tow of five miles or less will cost you somewhere between $35 and $125. Similarly, a 40-mile tow could cost you around $125 to $275, while a 100-mile tow will cost you around $275 to $600. If you want to have your vehicle towed several hundred miles, you may have to pay over $1,000.
Costs for heavy-duty vehicles
Some towing companies also charge an additional 20-25% for towing heavy-duty vehicles or trucks. Towing a heavy-duty vehicle could also cost you twice as much as far as the base rate is concerned. However, rates per mile are normally in the same range as for normal vehicles.
If the vehicle that is to be towed is off the road in a ditch or stuck in the mud, total costs may also increase because the vehicle will require winching out of the ditch or mud and towing will take longer. This task is usually billed at $50 to $200 per hour, while some companies charge separately for vehicle recoveries that require a winch.
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Insurance companies and auto club memberships
Several auto insurance companies provide a free towing service. This and other services are often provided as a part of the roadside assistance package.
On the other hand, auto club memberships cost $15 to $360 or more per year and the fee depends on the services offered such as a free towing service provided to a specific vehicle or a specific driver, regardless of their vehicle.
Some companies also charge overtime for towing services at nights, holidays, or weekends. Some services charge significantly more during the late hours or on holidays.
Shopping for a car towing service
You can seek the recommendation of your mechanic, friend, or neighbor to find a towing service. If you’re far from home, you can contact the local police to suggest to you a company that has the equipment and requisite training.
When you’re calling for a towing service, be sure to provide the exact description of your vehicle, nature of the problem, and exact location. Members of an auto club or roadside assistance will be typically provided with a phone number to reach in case of any such emergency.
If your car is disabled by the roadside, make sure that the vehicle is safely away from the flow of traffic. Make sure that the hazard lights are on and if possible, put out warning triangles or flares. While you’re waiting for a tow truck to arrive, gather all your personal items that you wouldn’t want to leave in the car.