Calling a tow truck company to transport your car is probably not something you planned to do, and it may not be something you’re particularly happy to have to do. Your first question might be how much it will cost to repair your car – it’s making a very ominous clicking sound. The second might be “How much does a tow cost?” 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. We know that including this type of coverage in your policy can ultimately save you time and money in a sticky situation. However, if you haven’t shopped with us yet, here’s an idea on the average cost of a tow, the cost of towing a car 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 type, so on a broader scale, 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
However, the cost or a tow may go up if you need your car towed at night, on a weekend, or on 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 (this according to Cost Helper.)
Also, keep in mind that a standard, my-car-is-broken 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. (Although either way it’s important that the towing business has lots of tow truck insurance just in case something happens to your car.)
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 baes fees, so be sure to ask if that’s the case when you’re considering pricing.)
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Another thing to consider is that your municipal or state government may have placed a limit on how much a tow 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 that you have to add it to your car insurance policy – you will most likely have to pay an extra fee on your premium, but most of the time it’s not too much extra. 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.
(And if you’re looking for cheap car insurance that includes towing, we would be happy to help with that. You can fill out our online form to get auto insurance quotes.)
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. In any case, it’s a good idea to have a reputable tow truck company 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. All you have to do to get started is fill out our quote form or give us a call today.