It has finally happened, you find yourself stranded on the side of the road and you have to call a tow truck. “But how much will it cost?”, you think to yourself. You are not alone, we have all been there at some time or another, and it’s information that you need to arm yourself with because prices can vary widely depending upon the size of your vehicle, the time of day or even the difficulty of getting to your vehicle.
Most towing companies have a flat rate they charge within a certain number of miles from their home base. This means that if you call a towing company further away, you’ll also be required to pay mileage beyond that radius so it pays to be familiar with companies within your local area. You will find yourself in most cases being charged a base fee of $50-$75 depending on the company and this usually includes a 5-10 mile towing distance. Beyond that you are looking at anywhere from $2 to $4 per mile at most of the companies in my area, however, keep in mind that this is a rural area. In urban areas, you will see a dramatic price difference due to the higher demand for towing services in those areas.
Another factor that you must consider is the size of your vehicle. For example, you should expect a tow for a larger vehicle like a GMC Yukon to cost substantially more than towing an economy compact car like a Civic. The driver for the difference in price here is the fact that a larger tow truck is required to handle the job and it is a much greater strain on the towing equipment in order to move the larger vehicle.
If you are lucky enough to have a stalled vehicle at your home, or somewhere that you can leave it temporarily, you can get some fairly accurate price quotes by opening up the maps app on your smartphone and searching for the phrase, “towing and recovery.” In the towing industry recovery just means pulling a vehicle back onto a safe roadway from a skid or accident. This simple search yielded over 20 results all within a reasonable distance from me.
In this case, it is in your best interest to call around to at least 3 of the results to get an estimate. Prices from company to company can be quite disparate so it is better to know what to expect when you are not on the spot having to immediately have a tow. It is not uncommon for a tow, with all the services required, to cost $300 so it is good to be aware of what type of ballpark figure you are looking at. In some cases, difficult recovery and a medium-length tow can be over $1000 so be prepared. Please let me know how much you have experienced in tow bills in the comments section!