You never know when you will need a tow truck to get you off the road, so knowing how much a towing service usually costs is very important.
The national standard cost for a tow service is $95. But the average costs range between $75 to $125 for the first 5 to 10 miles, depending on the tow truck service provider. For the subsequent miles, you will be charged an additional $2 to $4 per mile.
Tow companies provide different costs for their tow services. Although most of these companies follow the national standards, rates may change depending on how far you are, your vehicle’s size, and the time of day. It is important to take these factors into considerations, so you will be well-informed of the current rates for tow trucks in case you need one.
Average Cost of Tow Service
The rates you will pay if you avail for a towing service will vary. The standard minimum rate is $50, and most tow truck companies add in additional costs, depending on distance, vehicle size, and time of day. But generally, tow rates are offered as follows:
|Service Offered||Average Rate|
|General Tow Truck Rate||$75 to $125|
|Flatbed Towing Rate||$95 + $3.50 per mile|
|Rate per Mile||$2 to $4 per additional mile|
|After Hours||$5 to $150 additional cost|
According to Distance
Tow service costs will vary depending on the distance. Typically, the base rate is $50 to $125 dollars for the first five to ten miles of local towing. If it’s a tow truck ook-up then it will usually cost around $75. For long-distance towing, you have to pay an additional $2 to $4 per mile on top of the base rate that tow service companies offer.
For example, the company’s tow rate is $50 for the first 5 miles and $4 for every additional mile. You will be towed for 50 miles, so you will have to pay around $230.
Average costs per mile:
|5 mi||$35 to $125|
|10 mi||$65 to $125|
|20 mi||$105 to $185|
|50 mi||$165 to $300|
|100 mi||$325 to $450|
According to Vehicle Size
Aside from a distance, the type of vehicle you are in will also affect the towing service costs you have to pay. Smaller vehicles like motorcycles will cost you less, while larger and heavy-duty vehicles will cost more. For example, a motorcycle will cost you about $75 to be towed. This rate already includes a towing distance of 5 to 10 miles. Additional mileage for the tow truck service will cost you $1 per mile.
For heavy-duty and larger vehicles like trucks, you will have to pay an additional 20-25% of the fee or around $10 to $35 for the towing service on top of the standard costs.
A general breakdown for tow truck cost is below:
|Vehicle Type||Average Tow Costs|
|Motorbike||$75 + $1 per mile (over 10 miles)|
|Car (Flatbed Rate)||$95 + $3.50 per mile|
|Large or Heavy-duty Vehicle||$10 to $35 additional cost (20-25% additional)|
According to Time of Day
The time of day will also affect towing service costs. Tow services will charge an additional fee for after-hour tows starting 8 or 9 PM until 6 to 8 AM. The rate you pay will differ for each company, but most will tow truck companies will charge you at least $5. Some will charge as high as $150 for a one-time fee.
For example, you need a tow truck service at 10 PM for 5 miles. The towing service rate is $15 for after hours, and the flat rate for 5 miles is $50. Your total cost will be $65. If you have to be towed for additional miles, then the additional mile rate will apply.
When Would You Need a Tow Service?
Although most cars today are reliable enough with their new systems and machinery, there are still incidents on the road requiring a tow truck. Here are some of them:
It can be frustrating when your on the road and your tire suddenly pops. This can be because of low pressure, shard objects on the road that pierced the tire, or damaged threads. Lucky for those who know how to change tires and brought a spare tire. But for those who don’t, you will need a tow truck to help you out.
It can be alarming when you are driving, and you suddenly see your engine smoking. That means it’s overheated, and if that happens, it is best to stop the car and call for a tow service. They can also refer a mechanic to you who can check the problem and fix it. Of course, this will also incur additional costs.
Accidents can happen anytime on the road. And most accidents are due to collisions. It can be colliding with another vehicle, an electric post, or a traffic island. If you happen to land yourself in a collision, you may need to get a tow service to get you depending on the damage. If you are not sure about the extent of damage, it is best to call tow truck technicians to assess the damage.
NOTE: If you are not 100% sure that your car can still be driven, do not drive your car. Wait by the side and call tow truck technicians over.
Run out of gas
Although this is not as common as before, there are still people who do not check their gas before driving. If you happen to be one of those unlucky people, then towing service will be your best bet. It does not necessarily mean that you will get towed. You can ask for a gas delivery as most tow truck companies offer that service too.
What Other Services Do Tow Truck Companies Provide?
Aside from the standard towing service, most tow truck companies also provide additional services. These services incur additional costs. Some of these services and their costs are outlined in the table.
|Other Service||Average Costs|
|Jumpstart your car||$50 to $120|
|Unlocking your car||$65 to $120|
|Change your tires||$50 to $100|
|Deliver gas to you||$45 to 65|
|Winching and Accident Clean-up||$100 to $150 per hour|
Does My Insurance Cover Tow Service Costs?
Car insurance policies do not usually include costs of tow service. But if you availed of roadside assistance, then you can get an add-on tow truck coverage. Most auto insurance carriers offer roadside assistance plans that are affordable and can cover over 50 miles of towing distance.
How Much Will It Cost to Join a Roadside Assistance Club?
The prices and perks of joining roadside assistance can vary depending on your location. The membership fee can also range from $52 to $144 annually. For example, AAA provides a Classic plan with 5 miles of tow service at around $56 annually year, while the Plus plan with up to 100 miles costs $91 annually. Allstate provides an Advantage plan at $150 for a tow truck per year, while the Platinum Elite is $250.
You will never know when you will suddenly get a flat tire, get stuck in a ditch, or run out of gas. In these cases, if you do not have a friend that is available to rescue you, your next solution is a tow service. That is why you must have a general idea of how much you will need to pay for the service. Although the costs will vary for every tow truck company, the general minimum standard of $50 may still apply. The other services provided by towing services also have additional costs, depending on the service.
If you pay for a tow truck or any other service, they usually charge flat individual costs, but if you are a member of roadside assistance, the fees can be considerably cheaper. Make sure to check with your car insurance if there is any roadside assistance you can avail of.