If your car gets into an accident or if it breaks down in the middle of the road, you would definitely require a towing service in order to move your car from the side of the road and get your vehicle towed and take it for storage or repair. Coming across wrecks and breakdowns while driving a car is very common and therefore, in such situations, it is important to be aware of the factors to be considered before booking a towing service to avoid any type of towing scams. Since the cost of towing is generally high, it is advisable that you go for a reputed company that will cost you a bit more than a random company that could be a scam and later cost you your car.
Things to keep in mind to avoid a Towing Scam
Here are a few things that you should consider before booking a towing service :
- Reputation of the company : To receive a high quality service of any kind, the first thing that you need to do is check the reputation of the company. Since towing involves an asset as big as your car, you would like to go for a reputed company that has enough experience in this field. Your company service provider should be licensed with the relevant authorities and should also have a history of quick response to their customers.
- Avoid unsolicited service : It may happen at times that a tow truck just happens to appear at the site of your accident out of nowhere without being called by you or the police. Such tow trucks are generally from fraudulent companies. Do not give permission to such unsolicited operators to tow your vehicle under any circumstances. Unless you are sure that the tow truck belongs to a genuine company, stay clear of them and inform the police in case of any major trouble.
- Cost of towing : Since towing can be often expensive, it is advisable to discuss the cost and finalise it with the towing service company before engaging with the company in a deal and calling the tow truck to your location. Along with the cost, it is also essential to know the payment methods and whether they are willing to tow the vehicle to your desired destination or not. There’s no point in paying for your car getting towed just half the way. Compare costs of different towing services and then decide on one.
- Add collision coverage to your policy : If you are someone who is driving an expensive vehicle, you should consider getting a higher amount of collision coverage to your policy. Even if not an expensive vehicle, it is always favourable to add collision coverage to your policy as it covers the cost of everything including storage, repair, towing even if it was your fault in the accident. Your insurance company is the only one that can protect you against towing scams, so make sure you have that covered.
- Always collect receipt : When your tow truck has arrived at your pick up spot, make sure to ask for all necessary documents like paperwork proving that they belong to the company that you or the police have contacted. After that is confirmed, once you hand over your vehicle to the towing service, make sure to collect the receipt that has all the details of all the charges inclusive of towing, storage, other miscellaneous charges and where your vehicle is being towed to and stored. Make sure that the signatures of the paperwork handed to you and the receipt match. Do not let the tow truck driver leave without handing you over the printed invoice. In case you are charged incorrectly, this invoice will help you with the case.
- Roadside Assistance : In cases where your vehicle has stopped working in the middle of the road and cars are piling up behind you, being a member of any roadside assistance club really helps. Once you are a member, you have access to quick and trustworthy assistance at any time and you don’t have to worry about looking up for a towing service company on the spot. It is also beneficial as it covers almost all services like refueling, repairing and even towing your vehicle to a specified location or the nearest garage.
Yes, booking a tow truck can be quite stressful especially if you have to do it on the spot. Therefore, it is recommended that instead of waiting for an accident to happen and then choosing your towing service, you should be ready with your choice of towing service company. However, if you find yourself in that scenario, the above mentioned points are some factors that you should consider.