How Much Does Towing a Car Cost?
You are in the middle of the road heading to your long awaited vacation in a secluded place somewhere in the countryside. You are so excited. Everything is going well as planned. Then suddenly, your engine just died. Holy F!
Before anything as bad as this happens to you, it would be valuable to prepare for fortuitous events even if the likelihood of them happening is too farfetched. After all, who would have expected that it will ever snow in a Southeast Asian country like Vietnam?
Before you hit the road, especially when heading for a very long drive, be sure to have a list of contacts of reliable towing companies in cases of emergencies. Of course, when you have prepared beforehand, it is more likely that you have canvassed for the cheapest and most convenient contact.
But when you are just in the searching phase, let us make your life easier by giving you some information you might need. Let us start by determining how much does it cost to tow a car?
Average Cost of Towing a Car
According to reported expenditures of AngiesList.com’s members, the towing cost ranges between $75 and $125 for a single tow service, with the national average of $109.
What you are normally charged in a towing service is the base rate which ranges around $55 to $100. This represents the basic cost to tow your vehicle at a certain maximum distance, usually five to seven miles depending on the towing company. When your destination goes beyond the coverage of the base rate, you will be charged additional fee $3.50 to $7, again depending on the towing company and if towed on weekdays or weekends, regular or holidays, and day or night.
Some towing companies may even charge as low as $35 basic tow rate for the service within the same city and an additional of $3 for the extra mile.
Examples of how some towing companies are charging for their services are presented below.
Phoenix Towing Services has the following towing prices (as quoted):
Name Price Nights, weekends and holidays Standard passenger vehicles (first 5 loaded miles free) $75.00 $75.00 Loaded miles (after first 5 miles) $3.50 per mile $4.00 per mile Low profile vehicles $85.00+ $95.00+ 3/4 & 1-ton trucks (first 5 loaded miles free) $85.00 $90.00 Motorcycles, sports bikes, customs and trikes $70.00 $75.00 Automotive lock-outs $75.00 $85.00 Tire change/flat tire (standard passenger vehicles) $70.00 $75.00 Jump start/dead battery $70.00 $75.00 Winch recovery $95.00 per hour $105.00/hour 5th wheel trailers, boats, horse trailers, RVs, toy haulers, and commercial/construction trailers Call for specific pricing Call for specific pricing Industrial/heavy equipment Call for specific pricing Call for specific pricing
On the other hand, Ace Towing and Recovery, Inc. has the following rates (as quoted):
A. TOWING FLAT RATE Flatbed (Rollback) $91.00 Wheel-Lift (Wrecker) $125.00 Trucks, vans (Over 8,000 Lbs. G.V.W.) $125.00 Tool Box $125.00 Equipment $95.00 ***FLAT RATE INCLUDES 7 FREE MILES*** Mileage Rate (one way only – from point of disablement to destination) $4.00 Trucks, Vans (Over 8,000 lbs. G.V.W.) $4.50 Towing flat rate after 10 pm – 7 am and holidays $150.00 B. ROAD SERVICE Jump start $75.00 Flat tire change $75.00 Fuel delivery – not available After 10pm – 7am and holidays #ERROR! C. MOTORCYCLE PICK UP Disabled $125.00 D. SPECIAL SERVICES Abandoned/illegally parked vehicle (Towing at vehicle owner’s expense) $135.00 Winch-outs (minimum charge) $95.00 (per 15 min) $23.75 Storage/overnight $30.00 Key pickup charge $25.00
Consider yourself lucky if you have a vehicle insurance that covers free miles of towing in cases of emergencies. If you live within California, you can get this service from AAA Insurance for an additional cost ranging from $56 up to over $119 for a five-mile, 100-mile or 200-mile free towing options.
There may be instances that the base rate is higher than the usual. This happens during the freeway or highway recoveries, no keys, no wheels, low clearance parking structures among others. If you think your vehicle have an unusual condition, be sure to talk to your towing service provider in order not to be surprised by your bill.
If your destination would be more than 20 miles, you will likely be billed a fuel surcharge. If you have an idea beforehand of the how much distance your vehicle are going to be towed, say, for example, your additional charge per mile would cross the $100 mark, negotiate with the towing company if they could offer a flat rate instead of charging you like a taxi meter.
Shopping for Towing Services
How much does it cost to tow a car might be your main concern when looking for a tow company. But you must look for several tow companies first to get estimates to compare. Looking up for tow services at Towing.com might be a good start.
Factors Affecting Cost of Towing a Car
Rarely that you would find a towing service that would charge a flat rate across all vehicle conditions and towing situation. Most of towing companies would charge differently depending on several cases such as:
- Distance – your destination, be it a vehicle repair shop or your house or that of the nearest relative or friend, would basically be the main factor in the determination of the towing cost.
- Time of day – towing during daytime and nighttime have different towing rates.
- Location – there are reasons why different towing companies have varying rates in terms of their services. One of them is the location as some areas have a higher demand of towing services than others. Another factor could be the cost of doing business in that particular area as well as the cost of living.
Other reason could be that some areas have imposed a cap on how much they can charge for their services, making them cheaper than in other places.
- Weather – extreme weather conditions make it harder for towing companies perform the service, hence you are charged for the additional effort.
- The condition of the vehicle – the situation that your car is in at the time of towing has a big impact on the towing rates. Like the bad weather, the towing company might exert extra effort in pulling your vehicle out of a pool of mud or out of a rubble.
- Type of vehicle and weight – the kind of vehicle you have might require a different kind of tow equipment as an ordinary truck might find it hard to tow compared to light vehicles that include a motorcycle or a sedan type. If that’s the case, expect higher towing prices.
- Insurance coverage – in times like this, your insurance would save the day. What you will be paying is the excess mileage beyond your coverage. But if you opted for the maximum, then you can just sit back and relax.