How Much Does it Cost to Tow a Car?

Last Updated on May 19, 2024
Written by CPA Alec Pow | Content Reviewed by Certified CFA CFA Alexander Popinker

Towing a car is when you have a tow truck come to your location and take the vehicle to your desired destination. Most cars are towed a maximum of five miles and the most common trip is to the repair shop or the owner’s home. So how much does it cost to tow a car?

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 a car has to be towed. You will also get the hook-up cost included in this average, which is the base rate for the tow.

The towing company might charge other additional fees, depending on factors like the type of the car. In the case of a heavy duty car or truck, additional fees could amount to more than 25% of the base rate.

Depending on the car insurance plan you’re under, you might be entitled to free towing services, as these are offered by several insurance companies. Many auto clubs also offer free tows to their members, one of the most popular ones being the American Automobile Association.

Interestingly enough it will be very cheap to add towing services to your car insurance plan or become a member of these auto clubs, as both adding the service to your plan and auto club membership fees are around $20 per month.

Your Car Insurance Might Cover Towing Prices. Here’s an article on The Cost of Car Insurance

How Much Does it Cost to Tow a Car?

The national average cost of towing a car is around $110, but the car towing service will ultimately depend on factors like who you’re hiring for the job and how far you need to have your car towed. Expect rates between $2.5 and $7 per mile.

The terrain on which your car will have to travel as well as whether you need to have it towed on a holiday, during the weekend, or at night, will also influence the price you will pay.

Average prices based on distance are as follows:

Distance (in miles) Cost Range
100 miles up to $600
40 miles $125 – $275
5 miles or less $35 – $125

It’s also important to know that the cost of towing a car that’s been in a collision will be higher than the regular cost of towing broken down car.

When towing a car that got stuck you can be charged additional fees of $50 to $200 or more. These additional costs are especially common when the professional will have to use a winch.

Most of the time, you’ll only need to have the car towed to your own residence or a repair shop. For these short trips, you will usually be charged a hook-up fee. This fee is often between $35 and $120 and will include the first five to seven towing miles. For any additional mile on top of this, towing companies usually charge between $2.5 and $7 per mile.

As these prices are just averages, there are always towing companies charging more than this, usually depending on the area in which they operate and on whether there are competing businesses and legal limits on the price.

Costs for heavy-duty vehicles

When it comes to heavy duty cars or trucks, these will be priced more by 20% to 25% by most towing companies. Other companies choose to just have a higher base fee when it comes to heavy duty cars, which can be as much as twice the normal cost, while others can have an increased price per mile for the whole distance.

The total costs will also increase if the car is stuck in the mud or off the road in a ditch. This is a job that companies usually charge at $50 to $250 per hour.

If Your Car Needs an Oil Change, Then You Should Read This Article

Does auto insurance cover towing services?

Most car insurance companies include free towing services as part of some of their plans. This is usually part of the roadside assistance package along with other services.Car Towing

When it comes to auto club memberships, expect prices between $20 and $400 or more per year, although the exact fee will depend on the service package you’re getting as free towing services can be coupled with other specific driver or vehicle services.

Towing Costs Overview 

Different towing operations will need different methods and tools and will have their own challenges to get your car to the desired destination. This is why an exact price is pretty hard to estimate without having a clear understanding of the situation you’re dealing with.

Among the most common services offered by towing companies in general are:

  • Pulling a stuck vehicle
  • Transporting an immobile vehicle
  • Performing tire changes
  • Jumpstarting a vehicle
  • Delivering gas to the client’s location

Regardless of what you need, you will want to check with your insurance provider to see whether your policy covers the cost of towing your car.

Final Words and Tips To Avoid Price Gouging

Some companies could be seen as predatory in nature and will try to profit from your situation by charging very high prices for towing services. These service providers will choose to hide their pricing structure and try to charge you as much as you’re willing to pay.

This is why, to prevent this, you should talk to a towing company before you even have a problem, so that you find a reliable towing service when you need it.

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