Towing, or using one vehicle to move a disable second vehicle, is a common and useful service. It's also one that's much more complicated than it seems, requiring lots of vehicle and industry specific knowledge to ensure safe transport. If your car is broken down at the side of the road, chances are good that you do not have time to call around for referrals, but choosing the right auto shop or towing service is important in getting the job done well. That's what makes knowing a few tips before you call so important.
When it comes to towing services, what you know and do before the tow can save you a lot of hassle later. It's always important to consider these tips:
Know Your Situation
Before you call the auto shop or towing service, collect as much information about the situation as possible and provide it to the service. Things like location, type of vehicle, condition of the vehicle, and whether or not the vehicle is stuck can help the service decide what type of tow truck to send and what equipment to bring.
Choose Your Auto Shop
When possible, choose to use the auto shop that does your car maintenance for your towing service. Not only do you already know that they are reputable, they can also tow your vehicle directly in for service.
Find Out if the Towing Service Has the Right Tow Truck for the Job
There are three main types of tow trucks: flatbed, hook and chain, and wheel-lift. Not every company has each kind of truck. Some car problems might require one type, and not be fit for another. Improper towing can create additional damage, and not asking the right questions or providing enough information could cause delays in waiting for another vehicle to show up.
Contact Your Insurance Company
If your insurance company is involved, find out with which towing service companies they already have an agreement or which they prefer. This information not only keeps you covered if it's a provided service, it gives you a great idea of reputable tow providers.
Find Out About Fees and Payment
Before you contract for towing services, find out about the fees, how far they will tow, and accepted payment methods.
Needing a tow can be pretty stressful. The best way to minimize the frustration is by investing a little time in getting the right facts and providing the best information.