How Much Does It Cost to Tow a Car 5, 10, 20, 50, or 100 Miles?

Finding yourself broken down on the side of the road or needing to move a disabled vehicle can be hugely inconvenient.

And if you end up calling a tow truck, one of your first questions is likely “How much is this going to set me back?” Getting your car towed even just a few miles can carry surprising costs, with fees ranging from $50 to $125+ depending on factors like mileage, type of vehicle, time of service, and more.

Most standard passenger cars need no more than a 5 to 10 mile tow, which averages around $65 to $125 nationwide. But specialized equipment for larger trucks or SUVs, extended transport distances, overnight service charges, and other fees can quickly inflate that base rate.

This article will explore the average price of getting your car towed in various miles, including key specifics of what’s included in towing fees beyond just cost per mile.

We’ll also look at any insurance coverage or auto club benefits that can help offset expenses. Knowing approximate rates for local tow providers before you break down can help ease some stress in an already less-than-ideal situation.

So read on for a detailed breakdown of pricing for towing 5, 10, 20, 50, or 100 miles and what to expect on your bill.

How Much Does It Cost to Tow a Car 5, 10, 20, 50, or 100 miles?

How Much Does It Cost to Tow a Car

This article will break down the average cost of towing a car for various miles.

How Much Does It Cost to Get Your Car Towed?

If you need to call a tow truck to transport your car to a shop or simply move it off the street, expect to pay around $50-$125 for a 5-10 mile tow. Beyond 10 miles, costs rise to $2-$4 per additional mile. Key factors determining your tow bill include:

  • Time of day – Night and weekend rates are higher
  • Traffic – Tows in high-traffic areas cost more
  • Company Rates – Prices vary between two companies
  • Car Weight – Heavy-duty trucks needed for large vehicles charge more
  • State Regulations – Some states cap maximum tow rates

If you call a tow truck before contacting your insurance provider, be sure to inform them later so you get properly reimbursed. Insurers have different rules regarding tow claims, so check your coverage details.

Average Cost of a Tow: $110

Cheapest Towing Company In Your Area

To get the lowest rates, research towing companies in your area before you need them. Auto clubs like AAA often provide local towing service recommendations and contact lists when you break down.

Calling around for quotes ahead of time can also give you an idea of the cheaper options.

Towing Cost Per Mile:

Here are the typical per mile tow rates based on distance:

Miles Average Cost
5 $35 – $125
10 $65 – $125
20 $105 – $185
50 $165 – $300
100 $325 – $450

How Much to Tow a Car 10 Miles?

For most breakdown tows, you’ll likely need 10 miles or less. In that range, expect average fees of $50-$125. Why the big cost range? Key variables like:

  • Time of day
  • Traffic levels
  • Company rates
  • Vehicle weight
  • State tow regulations

So a 10 mile tow for a small sedan during light traffic from an inexpensive company could be $50. But a large SUV needing a heavy-duty truck on a busy highway at night could cost $125.

How Much Does Towing 300 Miles Cost?

Once you pass 100 miles, costs rise substantially. To tow 300 miles, fees can range from $900-$1,500. At this point, other transport options like shipping your car may be cheaper at around $400 for under 500 miles. Some scenarios where you’d need a 300+ mile tow:

  • Break down on a remote highway
  • Moving to another city
  • Transporting vehicles between distant locations

What’s Included in Towing Fees?

Towing bills factor in more than just mileage. Expect to pay:

  • Hook-up fees – Connecting vehicle to tow truck ($35-$100)
  • Mileage charges – Cost per mile towed ($2-$4/mile)
  • After hours fees – Surcharges for nights, weekends, and holidays ($5-$100 extra)
  • Equipment fees – Special gear for large or difficult vehicles
  • Administrative fees – Paperwork processing, gate fees, etc

So your total tow bill = hook-up charge + mileage charge x miles towed + other fees

Average Cost to Tow a Car

Average Towing Cost $109
Cheapest Cost Per Mile $2.50
Highest Cost Per Mile $7
Cheapest Hook-up Fee $35
Highest Hook-up Fee $100

How Much Does Towing Cost at Night?

Like most services, towing companies charge higher rates in the evenings, nights, and early mornings (usually 8 pm-9 am). These after-hours premiums often range from $5-$100. Double-check your provider’s off-peak policy for exact pricing.

Is the Cheapest Tow Company Best?

When faced with an unexpected towing bill, it’s tempting to find the lowest rate possible. But is it worth the risk? Things to consider with discounted tow services:

  • Do they carry adequate insurance coverage if your car is damaged?
  • Can they handle larger, heavy-duty vehicles?
  • Are drivers properly licensed and trained?
  • Do they offer any service guarantees if problems occur?

Saving a few dollars isn’t worthwhile if vehicle safety is compromised. Make sure cheap tow providers meet basic requirements before hiring them.

What Other Services Do Tow Companies Offer?

Beyond just hauling your car to a shop or parking area, many tow providers also assist with:

  • Gas delivery – Bring gas right to your car if you’ve run out
  • Jump starts – Use their tools and batteries to jump a dead car
  • Lockout service -Unlock your car if you’ve locked your keys inside
  • Winching – Pull vehicles out if stuck in ditches, mud or snow
  • Tire changes – Swap a spare onto your car if you have a flat
  • Minor roadside repairs – Battery swaps, hose fixes, etc

So if your car is just immobilized or needs a quick repair, a tow truck can often handle it roadside to get you moving again.

What Are the Towing Laws?

Towing regulations vary by state and local jurisdictions when it comes to pricing, licensing, safety specifications, and more.

Two important categories:

  • Consent tow – The owner requests and approves the tow
  • Non-consent tow – The owner does not request or approve the tow (i.e. parking enforcement)

Non-consent government-directed tows often have maximum rate limits tow companies cannot legally exceed. These state laws protect vehicle owners from excessive fees. So know your rights if your car is impounded or towed without your request.

Who Pays for Towing Damages?

No one wants their car to get scratched, dented, or otherwise damaged during towing. But accidents do happen, usually in the form of:

  • Scratched paint
  • Slashed tires
  • Cracked glass
  • Broken mirrors, door handles, etc

If this occurs, most tow companies are liable for damages their negligence causes. Be sure to:

  • Fully document condition before towing.
  • Get towing staff to acknowledge any new damage.
  • Consult your insurance provider on the claim process.
  • Never pay or commit to repairs upfront.

Towing Costs for Auto Club Members

  • Many auto clubs like AAA or Allstate provide members with free or discounted towing miles as part of membership benefits.

Popular Auto Club Towing Plans

Auto Club Annual Fee Free Tow Miles
Good Sam $49.95 Unlimited to nearest shop
AAA Classic $59.99 5-7 miles
AAA Plus $94.99 100 miles
Allstate Advantage $89 10 miles
Allstate Elite $164 100 miles

So check whether towing is included with your existing auto club before calling a separate tow company.

Also Check: Is It Worth Paying for AAA Roadside Assistance

How Far Will AAA Tow Your Car?

For AAA members needing a tow, exact policies depend on your tier of membership. Here is how their towing coverage generally works:

  • Classic Members – 5-7 free miles per service call, per cardholder.
  • Plus Members – One 100 mile tow per household annually, plus multiple 5-10 mile tows throughout the year.

So even AAA’s lower-classic level membership provides limited complimentary towing to help reduce out-of-pocket expenses for members.

Key Towing Frequently Asked Questions:

Still have additional questions about towing services, costs, and when insurance providers get involved? Here are answers to 10 commonly asked questions.

  • 1. Can my auto insurer help cover towing costs?

Most insurance companies will reimburse some tow claims, often with minor deductibles or use limits. Check your exact policy for details.

  • 2. When can insurance deny a tow claim?

Common denial reasons include driving under the influence, excessive repetitive claims, or failure to take preventative action before breakdowns.

  • 3. Does the car warranty cover tow services?

Some vehicle service contracts and extended warranties come with limited roadside assistance benefits like a few miles of tow coverage each year.

  • 4. How soon should a tow company arrive after I call them?

Expect a truck within 30-90 minutes, though delays happen during peak times or adverse weather. If vastly late, you can cancel without payment.

  • 5. Can I negotiate tow prices if a quote seems too high?

It never hurts to politely ask about any discounts or wiggle room on the price if it exceeds expectations. The worst they can do is say no.

  • 6. Who regulates tow companies?

State and local governments oversee licensing, safety rules, pricing limits, and operating areas. Check with your municipality for exact laws.

  • 7. Can police authorize towing vehicles?

Law enforcement can legally order non-consent impounding of hazardously parked or non-roadworthy vehicles violating statutes.

  • 8. Are tow truck services open 24/7?

Most sizable companies offer assistance around the clock, though may have limited night staffing or charge extra hourly rates.

  • 9. What if my car is damaged during towing?

If negligence like an improper hook-up causes damage, the company is generally liable for repairs. Document issues and contact your insurer.

  • 10. How can I avoid unexpected towing costs?

Preventative maintenance on your car, roadside assistance membership programs, and comprehensive auto insurance are good proactive steps for coverage.

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Unexpected towing fees can be a frustrating hit to your budget and day. But understanding typical costs based on distance and service needed can at least help you plan and compare rates more easily if the need arises.

Getting a long distance tow over 10 miles will run $100+ in most cases. Specialized equipment, overnight service, or heavy traffic can all drive prices higher.

So do some research to find a quality local provider now before you break down on the side of the road.

Staying informed on what fees are reasonable for your area will prevent any sticker shock when already dealing with the headache of car problems.

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