A Detailed Guide About How Much Does It Cost To Tow A Car?

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The cost of having a car towed depends on how far you want the car to go, but the average cost of a tow is usually about $109. Prices for a tow can count on your location and car.

Towing your car can cost anywhere from $75 – $125. According to Cost Helper, the following are average prices for towing a vehicle:

  • Short tow (under 3 miles): $75
  • Medium tow (3 to 10 miles): $100
  • Long tow (10 to 50 miles): $125

If your car needs to be towed more than 50 miles, the cost can increase significantly. For example, AAA charges members $332 if their car needs to be towed more than 50 miles (plus a call-out fee and other fees). If your car is 9,500 pounds or heavier, the average tow price can increase by $5 per mile.

Short distance towing

The above rates are for short-distance towing if your vehicle breaks down or runs out of gas within a few miles from your home or office. Most tow truck drivers will offer a flat rate to transport your car within a certain radius, usually 3 – 10 miles.

Medium and long-distance towing

If you need to have your car towed further away, the cost will be higher. The driver will have to pay for gas and time on the road. Most tow truck drivers charge a per-mile fee that starts at $1 per mile, with an additional daily service fee, regardless of how far the car is towed.

Trailer tows

Depending on your trailer situation, you can expect to pay anywhere from $100 – $300 for a tow. If you have a small trailer, the driver will usually transport the car on the back of their tow truck. However, if you have a larger trailer, such as a boat or RV, the driver will need to use a flatbed truck, costing more.

Wheel lift tows

If your car needs to be towed by a wheel lift, you should expect to pay around $80 – $110. Most drivers charge this fee because it is more difficult to tow vehicles using a wheel lift.

Heavy-duty tows

If your vehicle weighs 9,500 pounds or more, the low cost can increase significantly. If your car is heavy-duty (such as an 18-wheeler), you can expect to pay anywhere from $5 – $20 per mile. The driver will also need additional permits and insurance to transport these vehicles on the highway.


Depending on where you live, taxes may also apply. For example, if your car is towed out of California, you will be charged a mileage tax of $3.07 per mile.

The cost of having a car towed can vary depending on how far you need it to go, the weight of your vehicle, and the type of tow truck that is used. Most drivers charge a per-mile fee, with additional service fees for longer distances. Make sure to ask your tow truck driver about any other taxes or fees that may apply before you agree to have your car towed.

How does pricing work?

Depending on the driver, how far you want your car to go, and your car’s weight or size, towing can cost anywhere from $75 – $125. If you need a tow more than 50 miles away, expect to pay significantly higher rates. Some flatbed trucks are used for hauling larger trailers, which can cost around $100 – $300 depending on the type of vehicle being towed. Taxes may also apply.

Read more: Who is a Business Lawyer? What does a business lawyer do? The Complete Overview

What do you need to know about price gouging and how to avoid price gouging?

Price gouging is, unfortunately, a common occurrence during disasters and emergencies. When your car breaks down and you need to have it towed, it’s essential to be aware of avoiding being taken advantage of by predatory tow truck drivers.

You can do certain things to protect yourself from price gouging while having your car towed.

  • Firstly, try to get a quote in advance for the cost of the tow. This way, you’ll know exactly what you’re expected to pay and won’t be vulnerable to price gouging. If the tow truck driver tries to charge you more than the quoted price, don’t be afraid to stand up for yourself and refuse to pay the excessive fee.
  • Secondly, find a reputable towing company with a standard pricing structure. Some unscrupulous providers may try to charge more than they should, but you can avoid this by choosing a reputable company.
  • Finally, always be sure to read the terms and conditions of any towing agreement before signing anything. This will help ensure that you aren’t held liable for any additional fees or charges incurred during the tow.
  • By following these tips, you can avoid being taken advantage of during this difficult time and get your car towed without worrying about being overcharged. Stay safe and stay informed.


  • Do I need to be with the car when towed?

No, you do not have to be in the car. It can be towed from one location to another without any issues.

  • What should I do if I see a broken-down car on the side of the road?

If you are a witness and feel safe to do so, pull over and offer assistance. If you are uncomfortable or unsafe to stop, please call 911 and report the broken down vehicle.

  • What type of tow truck should I call for my car?

This will depend on the weight and size of your vehicle. If you are unsure, it is best to call a tow truck company to assist you.

  • What is the difference between a flatbed and wheel-lift tow truck?

A wheel-lift tow truck has a metal arm that lifts the car by the front or rear wheels. A flatbed tow truck has a platform on which the vehicle is placed and towed away.

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