Finding yourself on the side of the road with a dead car is a situation no one wants, however it does happen and is one of the risks you take when you get behind the wheel. If your car or truck breaks down, you may have to call for a tow truck to take it to a place where it can be fixed. What’s that tow likely to cost you? The answer depends on a variety of factors.

On average, getting your car towed will cost you about $110. Towing your car a short distance will likely have you paying less, under 5 miles on average costs under $60. Getting the car towed 50 miles will cost anywhere from $125 to $350.

Services tow companies offer

Tow trucks offer more services than just towing a car, most offer a full roadside assistance platform. The cost you pay will vary based on what your needs are and your vehicle. Calling to get a quote from multiple tow companies in your area is usually the best way to go.

  • Delivery of gas to the client’s location
  • Jump starting a vehicle
  • Performing tire changes 
  • Transporting an immobile vehicle 
  • Pulling a stuck vehicle 

How does tow truck pricing work?

Having a tow truck come to get you and your car and tow you to a mechanic or back home can be expensive. Typically there is a fee just for booking the truck. Most tow companies charge a flat fee of around $50 and then charge $2- $4 per mile thereafter. Hook-up costs can range anywhere from $35 to $100.

Things that will drastically impact the price include what type of vehicle you are towing and what type of tow truck you need. If the wheels don’t roll you will need a flatbed truck. If you are towing a motorcycle the cost will vary. If you are getting towed on a night, weekend or holiday you will definitely be paying more for the tow truck driver’s inconvenience, so be sure to factor that into your estimate.

Towing ServiceRates
General Tow Truck Rates$50 + $2- $4
Flatbed Towing Rates$95 + $3.50 per mile
Motorcycle Tow Rates$75 + $1 per mile (over 10 miles)
Mileage Rate$2 – $4 per additional mile
After Hours$5 – $150 additional cost
Large or Heavy-duty Vehicle$10 – $35 additional cost (or 20%–25% more)

How much does it cost per mile to tow a car?

Overall, getting your car towed will cost you about $110 on average. Towing your car a short distance will likely have you paying less , under 5 miles on average costs under $60. Getting the car towed 50 miles will cost anywhere from $125 to $350. See the chart below for pricing guidelines and give a few tow truck companies a call to get quotes.

It is important to note that towing a car from the scene of an accident will cost you more, but the cost will generally be covered by your insurance policy.

MilesAverage Cost
5$35 to $115
10$65 to $125
20$105 to $185
50$165 to $300
100$325 to $450

What is the cheapest way to tow a car?

The cheapest way to tow a car is by using roadside assistance or having your insurance or extended warranty company tow the car. If these are not options for you, calling a friend or family member with the proper experience and equipment to pull the car is your next best option when keeping prices low.

If none of these options work for you and you have to call a professional, try finding one on Google, Facebook or even a listing site like Angie’s List or Craigslist. To find the cheapest option you should call multiple tow companies, give them the details of your situation and where you’d like to be towed to and get a quote.

Does insurance cover towing a car?

The answer to this question is that yes, in some cases insurance will cover the cost of your tow. However, it does depend on the insurance provider and what your policy includes. When you sign up with your insurance company, they will ask you if you want to add on extras. Roadside assistance is one of the extras that you can tack onto your policy, but it will increase the price of the policy premium. In most cases it can be a good idea to add on the extra cost because it will cost you less than what roadside assistance would cost you otherwise.

When signing up for insurance, ask how much the premium will go up by adding roadside assistance. If the cost is less that $100 per year then it is a decent deal, but ask what the limitations are with roadside assistance.

You can add roadside assistance to your existing policy and calling them for more information isn’t a bad idea.

If you do have roadside assistance through your insurance company, call them up and have them send you a tow! While you are on the phone, find out what the mileage limitations are and how reimbursement works. In some cases the insurance company will facilitate you and your car’s rescue. In other cases you will pay for a tow service and the insurance company will pay you back. In other cases the insurance company will cover you on a certain tow mileage and any further you will have to cover.

Will insurance cover my tow costs after an accident?

Getting towed after a car accident is a different situation entirely. Typically the cost of the tow is rolled right into your claim and will be covered regardless of if you have roadside assistance or not. It will always come back to your policy. The paperwork will tell you what the insurance company will pay for and this is a good question to ask when deciding on an insurance policy.

Be sure to read the fine print and understand what you are purchasing.

How far will AAA tow a car?

AAA will tow you 5 to 200 miles if you are a member and find yourself in need of a tow. These numbers vary based on what package you purchase with AAA. The company offers full roadside assistance benefits from gas, towing, tire changes and lockout services.

AAA is the best-known roadside assistance company, though there are several others like All-State Motor Club and AARP. A roadside assistance membership will cost you anywhere from $50 to $150 per year with these companies.

AAA’S MEMBER BENEFITS

These benefits are straight off of AAA.com

  • Towing: You get towing to your nearest gas station, AAA-approved auto repair shop, or preferred mechanic. The amount of miles you get varies, depending on which membership option you choose. Members are responsible for the payment of extra expenses beyond that limit. The AAA Classic Membership provides 5 miles per breakdown. The AAA Plus Membership provides 100 miles of towing per incident. Lastly, the AAA Premier Membership provides up to 200 miles of towing per household. It also gives you 100 miles of towing for three extra service callouts.
  • Flat tire service: If your tire pops or goes flat, you get them inflated or changed on request.
  • Emergency fuel delivery: If you’re stuck without fuel, you get a fuel delivery. The amount is enough to get you to the nearest gas station.
  • Car battery service: If your vehicle’s battery breaks or fails to start, you get jump-started or an emergency battery replacement.
  • Mechanical first-aid: If your vehicle isn’t running, you get on-the-spot minor repairs. This excludes auto part replacements or supplies.
  • Locksmith service: Did you lock your keys in your car? Roadside assistance helps you to regain access inside your vehicle.

Do your credit cards offer roadside assistance?

Some credit cards also provide complimentary or low-cost roadside assistance as a cardholder benefit.

For example, many Visa credit cards come with Visa’s Roadside Dispatch benefit. It charges a flat $69.95 for a standard service call, which includes towing of up to 5 miles; beyond that distance, the cardholder pays the difference. The standard service call also includes jump-starting, tire changing, lockout service, and fuel delivery.2

So it pays to know what your credit card will cover before you need to use it and also what phone number to call if you do.

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