Calling a tow truck is probably not something you planned to do, and it may not be something you’re particularly happy to to do. Your first question might be how much it will cost to repair your car. The second might be “How much does it cost to tow a car?” Every towing operation is different and it might be difficult to pin down an exact price prior to the tow. You might be envisioning triple dollar signs.
If your car insurance policy includes roadside assistance, getting a tow can be completely FREE! That’s why, as a general practice, our experts always recommend roadside assistance when creating our auto insurance quotes. Including this type of coverage in your policy can ultimately save you time and money in a sticky situation. Here’s an idea on the average cost of a tow, the cost per mile, and why towing is priced the way it is.
How Much Does It Cost to Get Your Car Towed?
The cost of having a car towed depends on how far you want the car to go, but the average cost of a tow is usually about $109. Costs for a tow can depend on your location and car. Towing your car can cost anywhere from $75 – $125.
According to Cost Helper, the following are common prices based on distance:
- 5 miles or less: $35 – $125
- 40 miles: $125 – $275
The cost may go up if you need your car towed at night, a weekend, or a holiday. The same is true if the terrain is difficult, like if you’re in the mountains on narrow, winding roads. If the car is stuck in a ditch or in mud, the cost could be $50 – $250 an hour because of the need for a winch.
Also, keep in mind that a standard tow costs less than towing a car due to an accident. Towing a car from the scene of an accident typically comes at a higher cost.
To skip this hassle, you can get a AAA membership for only $52 to $144 a year and you can get your vehicle towed up to 100 miles. These memberships can be purchased from other roadside assistance companies as well. Most of the companies will also offer additional services within this membership such as flat tire repair, gas refill, and jumpstarts.
How Does Tow Pricing Work?
Most tow truck companies will charge a hook-up or base fee, then charge a per-mile fee on top of that. Cost Helper reports that the hook-up fee could range from $35 – $100, and the per-mile fee could go from $2.50 – $5. However, some tow companies include the first five to seven miles in their base fees. Another thing to consider is your state government may have placed a limit on how much a company can charge for a tow. So, if you think that the prices you’re being offered are outrageous be sure to check on that.
Does My Car Insurance Company Cover Roadside Assistance or Towing Costs?
That depends on your car insurance company. Most insurance providers will offer roadside assistance as an additional coverage (it’s not included in the minimum limits of auto insurance). This means you have to add it to your car insurance policy and pay an extra fee on your premium. It may be worth phoning your agent to see if you have roadside assistance coverage or how much it would cost to add it.
If you do have roadside assistance through your insurance company, be sure to check if it has a limit for mileage and/or expense. For example, your insurance company may cover up to $100 for a tow. Or it may give you $150 for up to a 25-mile tow. Or maybe you’ll be lucky and they cover a 50-mile tow regardless of price. You need to check and see what kind of coverage your roadside assistance offers so you know what’s covered before your car conks out on you.
Pro tip – Keep your receipt from the towing company if you plan on getting reimbursed by your insurance company.
What if I Need to Get My Car Towed After an Accident?
If you were in an accident, the cost of towing your car would most likely be rolled into the cost of the claim, so it might be covered even if you don’t have roadside assistance. But of course, everything comes down to your policy, so be sure to read it very thoroughly and ask your agent any questions you may have.
As you can see, towing prices vary. Much of the cost of towing a car depends on how far you need to go. It’s a good idea to have a reputable tower picked out ahead of time so that you know who to call if you have car troubles. Check out some online ratings and ask your family and friends for recommendations. A little bit of preparation can go a long way.
If you’re looking to compare rates on car insurance, we can help! We can help you get car insurance quotes so that you can save money. To get started, fill out our online form using the button above or give us a call.