What to Look for in a Towing Company

Many of us have experienced the all-too-inglorious situation of being stranded on the side of the road, and in need of a towing service to rescue our vehicle out of its helpless state. While it’s easy enough to go with the first towing service you can find, you might want to do a little homework first, because not all towing companies are created equal. Keep the following tips in mind when evaluating potential towing services, so that you can be sure that you’re getting the most bang for your buck.

1. Appropriate Location

When choosing a towing company, one of the first things you’ll have to find out is whether or not they can serve your location. The last thing you would want to do is to waste your time explaining the particulars of your situation, only to find out that you’re outside of their service area.

2. Hours of Operation

The best towing companies are available 24/7, because they know that there’s no such thing as a planned accident. If a towing company cannot be there when you need them, keep looking.

3. Good Response Time

The most nerve-wracking aspect of being stranded on the roadside is having to wait for what seems like an eternity before the tow truck shows up. It’s even worse when you’re waiting at night, or during a heavy rainstorm. A quality towing company should have good response times, which means that they should be able to get to you quickly, or in a reasonable amount of time. Check online reviews for prospective towing companies to see what other people’s experience has been along these lines; it could save you quite a bit of frustration should you ever find yourself in a jam.

4. Years of Experience

You want a towing company that has been “battle tested”, and has years of experience in getting vehicles out of all kinds of precarious situations. This experience definitely comes in handy in terms of knowing what type of truck and equipment will be needed to safely transport your vehicle based on the specific make and model you have.

5. Quality Equipment

You wouldn’t hire a handyman that only had a hammer and a screwdriver, and neither should you hire a towing company that doesn’t have the proper equipment to do the job. For example, if your tow truck guy shows up with some beat-up, rusty chains and a raggedy winch, you know you’re in trouble. A professional towing company will invest in the right kind of equipment to accommodate all different types of vehicle weights and sizes, so that they can offer maximum flexibility to meet their clients’ needs. This is important not only in terms of being able to service a wide range of clients, but it’s also vital to ensuring that your vehicle is transported safely.

6. Licensed and Insured

Many states require tow truck operators to pass certain certification tests in order to be in business. You should definitely double-check to make sure that the towing company you’re working with holds all of the proper licensing in this regard. You should also make sure that the towing company carries insurance. The ideal towing company will have a comprehensive corporate insurance policy that absolves you of any legal or financial liability if any damage occurs to your vehicle while it is being towed. In addition, it’s a good idea to shop around to find a towing company that will accept your vehicle’s insurance, so that you can lower your out-of-pocket expenses in relation to getting your vehicle towed.

7. Good Communication

Unfortunately, the towing industry is infamous for administering “sticker shock” to its clients, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Be sure to choose a towing company that has a reputation for clear communication and above-board pricing. Your towing company should be able to furnish you with an itemized bill that outlines the exact services being provided, as well as the specific mileage and all related costs. With this type of honest and professional communication, you won’t have to worry about being hit with any nasty surprises that could put a dent in your wallet.

Dealing with an incapacitated vehicle is enough of a hassle already–you definitely don’t want the added stress of working with a sub-par towing company! Use the criteria outlined above to help you make an informed decision, so that you can choose a towing company that will provide you with quality service that can fully meet your needs.