The chances are that when it comes to the cost of hiring a tow truck, you haven’t given it much thought until now. Now that you’re considering it, you have an immobile vehicle giving you a headache. You want to call a towing company, but you’re afraid of how much the tow truck will cost and you don’t want to know you’re being taken for a ride. Fear not friends; with Epilitos Towing help is on the way.
Several factors determine the total cost of a tow, but let’s start with average figures. Most towing companies will charge between $50 to $125 for a local tow (fifteen miles or less), or a $30 to $75 hook up fee and $2 to $5 per mile for towing longer distances.
Pretty straight forward, right? Not so fast turbo. There are a few things you should know that might make that price increase. Below are some situations that may cost you more:
Trapped or Stuck Vehicle
If a vehicle is trapped in the mud, it may take quite a bit of time and effort to get it unstuck. This can increase the cost of your overall tow bill by several hundred dollars. Make sure to let the towing company know the situation upfront, and get a quote before they get started. Some may charge as much as $200 an hour to winch a car out of the mud.
Accident scene clean-up and towing are almost always more expensive than the average rate. The hazards involved for the tow truck driver and your vehicle are higher, and so is the cost. Specialized equipment may also be required to remove a car from the scene safely. Your insurance company typically covers these costs.
Nights and Weekends
Some towing companies charge extra for nights, weekends, and holidays. $100 minimum fees for late-night service is not uncommon.
Heavy Duty or Exotic Vehicles
Heavy duty and exotic vehicles will often cost more to tow. A tractor-trailer, for instance, requires a specialized recovery vehicle. An expensive exotic car will usually require special equipment to tow, and the insurance liability to the towing company can be extreme. You can expect to pay a 20% to 50% premium in these cases.
How to Steer Clear of Excess Charges
What can you do to steer clear of inflated charges, and keep from being taken advantage of? Here are a few things to keep in mind:
Check Your Insurance Coverage
There’s an old saying, “Failure to plan is planning to fail.” In this case, failure to plan for a breakdown may cost you time and money you can’t afford. Most automobile insurance companies offer low-cost, roadside assistance coverage. If you haven’t looked into this option, do yourself a favor and check it out. For a relatively minor increase in premium ($14 to $50 a year), you won’t have to worry about the potentially stressful details.
Check Your Vehicle’s Wear And Tear Regularly
Be mindful of your vehicle’s wear and tear items. Check the tread depth of your tires. Pay attention to your fuel gauge. Listen for abnormal sounds, and don’t ignore that funny smell coming from under the hood. “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
Not all breakdowns require a tow. When you’re deciding which company to call, make sure they offer roadside assistance as well as towing. Often jumpstarting your vehicle, changing a tire, or putting some fuel in the tank is all you need to get you moving down the road.
Talk To Your Mechanic
Have a conversation with your mechanic. Who do they recommend? If you trust the people that keep your car or truck running smoothly, you can probably trust their favorite towing company.
Ask The Police For Non-Emergency Help
If you’re out of town, calling the non-emergency number for the local police or sheriff’s department may be a smart move. It doesn’t hurt to have a state trooper come out to assist you, particularly late at night, staying safe is important. Local authorities have a list of companies they use to move disabled and abandoned vehicles from the roadway.
How much does a tow truck cost? Not as much as you might imagine. However, it pays to think ahead and work with a well established and trustworthy towing company.
If you have any questions, give us a call at Epilito’s Towing. We would love the opportunity to talk with you and earn your business.