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Need A Tow: Here’s What to Know

Good tow truck companies are sometimes tough to find. Today, having your vehicle towed can take a bite out of your wallet or pocketbook. Depending upon the region of the country, the average cost of a five-mile tow can range from a low of $35 to a high of $125 or about $7 to $25 per mile. Several types of tow trucks are available, such as flatbed trucks, hook & chain, wheel-lift, and other types. Every type of tow truck has a different purpose. Ask the tow truck company about the types of trucks they use. Explain your situation and ask what would be the best type to use. Look up reviews and recommendations for tow truck companies. If possible, search for one that has a certification or specializes in collision towing. Check for credentials. Ask about payment options, if they are insured and any warranty coverage. Ask your insurance agent about preferred towing companies. If you have time, do a background check on the chosen towing company.

More tips: ask family and friends for tow truck company recommendations, confirm the towing company’s references, credentials, licensing, and insurance. Ask the tow company for the ETA (estimated time of arrival) and about their usual response time or rate of efficiency. Try for an established company but don’t rule out newer ones that have good response records and good reviews. Check for the types of services the towing company offers to customers. In addition to towing, does the company offer roadside assistance, flat tire repair, bring fuel to you when you run out of gas? What type of specialty towing do they offer?

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Most people prefer to use a flatbed tow truck versus the hook & chain type of truck. Today, most towing companies use flatbed tow trucks. Check with your insurance company to see what types of tow services are covered, types of trucks suggested to use, and the percentage of coverage of the overall towing cost. But let’s face it, in an emergency, usually, the closest tow trucks respond to your call. But, it is highly suggested to have a preferred service at the ready that is local to your area of residence or area of the city where you work or reside. Whether the tow call is for an accident or roadside assistance, likely, your insurance will cover most of the cost. But to be sure, check with your insurance agent so that you don’t have “sticker shock” when you see the tow bill. Most insurance companies cover towing charges within a certain mile radius which usually involves towing the vehicle to your residence, local mechanic garage, or the nearest car dealership whichever is the closest to your vehicle’s current location. If the towing distance is past the mileage limit that your insurance company will cover, ask how much more the charge will be to tow the vehicle. Ensure that you know how much your insurance company will cover on the total tow bill and how much you will have to pay.

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