Many people wonder when it’s necessary to call a tow truck instead of driving their car home. In some cases, it can be extremely difficult to decide.

Believe it or not, I’ve actually been at a car show where someone driving a lowered car got stuck and had to be towed. The process is extremely painstaking as the car can’t just be pulled up the ramp of the tow truck.

The reasons for calling a tow truck vary, but are often based off of some unfortunate, and often unforeseen, issue that is affecting your vehicle.

Some of the most common reasons people might call a tow truck include:

  • Car Accident
  • Car Trouble
  • Mechanical Failure
  • Stuck Car
  • Legal issues/impounding of vehicle

Some of the most difficult situations to decide whether or not to call a tow truck involve car troubles and mechanical failure. This is especially true when you take into account the cost of towing your car to a mechanic plus the cost a car shop will charge you to fix it.

We’ve all seen the guy who just got into an accident a week ago and has pieced his car back together with zip ties and duck tape, but it’s important to keep in mind that this isn’t always safe.

Major frame damage from an accident isn’t always visible, but can seriously effect your ability to drive safely. This is why after anything other than a fender bender it’s a good idea to get your car towed to a shop for an in-depth inspection.

If you have the luxury of time it’s a good idea to call around to various tow truck businesses and ask them for pricing quotes. You may not realize it, but tow truck companies can charge vastly different rates for the exact same job.

I once had to tow a Honda civic that had the alternator belt snap. I called 5 different local tow businesses and received quotes ranging from $110 to $350. I would have been out $200 if I had just gone with the first company I called.

Another thing to keep in mind besides the price is the reputation of the tow company. It’s important to look up reviews for the company before you decide on it. Although uncommon, I have heard some horror stories about cars being dropped off at the wrong location, and cars being damaged during the loading and unloading process.

Hiring a tow truck doesn’t need to be painful or scary. If you take a couple of extra minutes to read reviews and ask for quotes everything should be a breeze.