Getting your car towed is a lifesaver when your vehicle breaks down on the side of a highway. Most car owners will have their vehicle towed at least once in the United States; however, not everyone has insight into the towing company charge. The towing fee can vary depending on whether your insurance provider covers roadside assistance.
Towing services go far beyond transporting your vehicle from point A to point B. Therefore, the towing service charge can be significantly influenced by external factors.
Factors Influencing the Towing Company Charge
Certain factors need to be considered in order to better understand the cost of towing a vehicle. These factors depend on various conditions that can be unique to your situation. The most influencing factors are:
- Distance of the tow
Most tow truck companies have a minimum charge that is used to cover any business costs like the cost of gas. At an average, they charge a minimum rate of $50 to tow a car over a distance between 5 – 10 miles. However, every company offers varying rates, so it is recommended to consult with your tampa towing company first.
- Type of Vehicle to be Towed
The size of your car can largely determine the towing service charge. Most companies charge a standard fee for vehicles like a 4-door sedan or hatchback. However, the costs will go up if the car is a truck or a large SUV. Typically, with the increase in size, the towing charges go up by about $10 to $35.
- Time of the Tow
The standard operating hours of a tow truck are between 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. If you require a towing service after hours, anywhere between 9 p.m. to 8 a.m., an after-hours service rate is added to the cost. While some companies charge around $150 flat fee, others charge about $5 as an additional cost.
Towing Service Charge Per Day
While towing rates are often calculated based on the distance, time of the tow, or the vehicle size, if your vehicle needs to be impounded at a lot, the rates are charged on a per-day basis. The towing company charge per day is the storage fee at an impound lot, which can range from $30 to $80 per day. Depending on where your car is impounded, you can get charged a quarter of the daily rate for the first four hours of your vehicle getting impounded.
However, if your car was towed because of illegal parking or a traffic rule infringement, you might be required to pay a fine to get your vehicle back. Depending on the severity, this fine can range from $50 to several thousand dollars. The fees will also depend on the location of your tow, the reason for the tow, and the duration for which your vehicle has been impounded.
Why Would You Need a Towing Service?
If your car breaks down on the side of a road and cannot be started again, you will need to call a towing service to tow your vehicle to your home or the nearest auto repair store. Usually, a car becomes undrivable after something breaks in the car. There can be several reasons why a car needs to be towed; the most common are issues with your starter, battery, or the engine itself.
Battery problems are the easiest to fix. Suppose your car battery levels are low, and it fails to start your car. In that case, the towing company employees can jumpstart the battery to give you enough power to reach an auto mechanic or home. However, a tow truck is your only option if your battery is dead.
Additional Services Provided by a Tow Truck Company
Towing companies offer a wide variety of services beyond just towing your broken-down car. They also provide much-needed roadside assistance, especially if your vehicle has run out of fuel; they can bring fuel to you. Some of the most common services they offer are:
- Refueling your vehicle.
- Jumpstarting your car battery.
- Unlocking a car door that has been locked from the inside.
- Pulling out a car that is stuck.
- Changing your flat tires.
- Transporting a broken-down vehicle.
A company that provides roadside assistance can help you if your vehicle starts behaving erratically when driving. They offer a wide range of services, ranging from changing your flat tires to jumpstarting your dead car. They also provide highly reliable towing services. Since most of the roadside assistance companies have tie-ups and relationships with local towing service stations, they can help you get connected with a tow service near me. Furthermore, if you have a credit card, certain issuers offer free towing services for their card holders. Additionally, some car manufacturers also provide a certain number of complimentary towing services.
AAA Towing Company Charge
AAA, AARP, and All-State Motor Clubs are membership-based roadside assistance companies that can cost you anywhere between $52 and $144 per year. Being a member can get you free towing services for your vehicle for up to 100 miles. There are numerous AAA companies you can be a part of and each company offers varying programs and costs while covering the most basic services like towing, gas refills, flat tire repair and replacement, and jumpstarts.
Roadside Assistance Membership Club
Roadside assistance membership clubs like Allstate offer plans like roadside advantage or platinum elite plan. While the cheapest plans offer roadside assistance benefits of up to $150, the costlier plans provide benefits of up to $250. These costs also vary with your location. However, while you purchase any plans, you must also inquire about the renewal fees. Doing so is essential since opting for a yearly fee for a membership can include several coupons and discounts on additional services like car rentals, restaurant meals, and hotel stays.
The Key Takeaways
While the national average towing company charge is $109, it can vary depending on the size of your vehicle and the distance it needs to be towed. Every towing company charges a basic fee of about $50 just for hooking up your car, regardless of the distance it needs to be towed. If you want to lower your towing service charge, you can sign up to be a member of a roadside assistance club like AAA or add roadside assistance to your insurance policy.