Modern vehicles are complex mechanical devices that rely on many specialized systems to run properly. While drivers might have been able to address simple problems with their vehicles in the past, the computerized nature of newer cars can make them challenging to troubleshoot.
When you find yourself stranded on the side of the road with a car that won't run correctly, you will probably need the help of an experienced tow truck company. Towing services can be costly, but there are some simple ways you can keep costs low while still accessing the transportation you need to take care of your broken down vehicle.
1. Find the closest towing company.
Most tow truck companies charge a flat fee and a per mile fee for towing a vehicle. One of the easiest ways that you can reduce the cost of a tow is by locating the towing company closest to the location where your vehicle has broken down.
Most drivers will have access to the Internet on their smartphones so they can search for a local tow company. If you are planning to travel to an area where cell phone reception isn't reliable, make a list of tow companies in that area before you leave home.
2. Find the closest mechanic.
Another easy way to reduce the number of miles that your vehicle needs to be towed is to locate a mechanic that is near the area where your vehicle has broken down. Many drivers have a regular mechanic that they rely on for oil changes and diagnostics, but these mechanics might be located in a different city or metropolitan area.
Having your vehicle towed to a nearby mechanic allows you to reduce the cost of the tow. The new mechanic will be able to get your vehicle running reliably enough to allow you to drive to your regular mechanic for more in-depth repairs. It can be helpful to ask your tow truck driver for a recommendation when trying to locate a reputable mechanic in an unfamiliar area.
3. Add roadside service to your insurance policy.
Many insurance companies provide their customers with the option of adding roadside assistance to auto insurance policies. If you have a roadside service component in place, then you can contact your insurance company for help when you need towing services.
The insurance company will contact one of the tow companies within their network of approved providers, and the rate for your tow will be discounted based on the working agreement between the tow provider and your insurance company.
Keep these tips in mind to reduce the cost of tow truck services next time your car breaks down.