How Much Does it Cost to Tow a Car? (Estimated Cost Per Mile)

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We depend on our cars so much to get us from point A to point B, C, and more.

Unfortunately,  cars aren’t perfect, and things happen that can stop them from working the way they’re supposed to. 

There are not many things quite as frustrating and even scary, as having an inoperable car or experiencing a break down.

It’s a situation that usually forces you to turn to the last resort of having to get your vehicle towed.

Towing is not fun, and it’s not cheap. Keep reading to get an idea of how much towing your car could cost.  

How Much Will It Cost to Have Your Car Towed?

In general, having your car towed can be categorized as local tows or long-distance tows.

Most towing companies will charge a flat rate of around $50 to $100 for local tows (usually within 5 or 10 miles). In this case, you don’t have to worry about a per-mile rate.

For long-distance tows, towing companies tend to charge anywhere between $2.50 to $7.00 per mile towed.

That’s on top of a hook-up fee which is normally around $35 to $100.

Altogether, an average 40–mile tow could cost between $135 to $300. 

Factors that Affect Towing Cost Per Mile

There are several factors that could determine how much it costs per mile to get your car towed.

These include:

  • The towing company: different towing companies charge different rates.
  • Your car’s size: bigger cars will cost more to tow than smaller cars.
  • Location: some areas have higher average rates than others. 
  • Time of day: nighttime rates are typically more expensive than day rates
  • Day of the week: weekend rates are usually higher than weekday rates

Getting Help from Roadside Assistance – What problems can they fix? 

Most towing companies also offer roadside assistance to help get your car running again.

Of course, they aren’t able to help with every type of car problem. Somethings will need to be diagnosed and fixed by a mechanic at the shop.

Roadside assistance can usually be provided for:

Be aware that roadside assistance can often be just as expensive as getting your car towed.

Getting a jumpstart, for example, typically costs around $60 to $100.

Having your car unlocked could be around $80 to $120.

Still, getting your car back up and running quickly is much less frustrating than dealing with having to get it towed to a shop. 

Is Towing & Roadside Assistance Covered by Your Car Insurance?

In general, towing and roadside assistance coverage is an add-on for most car insurance policies.

This is typically one of the least expensive add-ons you can opt into, but be aware that it will slightly increase your premium. 

Some insurance policies with comprehensive and collision coverage also include towing and roadside assistance.

However, it’s important to read the policy to know when exactly you are covered.

Many of these policies might only cover you for towing after an accident and not for mechanical-related issues. 

If you want some peace of mind, it may be worth it to create and compare quotes from a few different car insurance companies to see which one will offer the best roadside assistance and towing policies. Not having to pay for those things when they happen can soften the blow a little bit.

How to Prevent Your Car From Needing a Tow

Sometimes, needing a tow is unavoidable.

Things like tire blowouts, engine failures, and other major issues are out of our control.

However, there are many things we can help prevent when it comes to our cars.

The best way to avoid having to have your car towed is by staying on top of routine maintenance.

Typically, the lifetime cost of keeping up with your vehicle’s regular service items will be a lot less than waiting until something major breaks that requires a tow.