We know tow truck operators as decent, hardworking people. They come to rescue your vehicle when it’s broken down or when you have been involved in a car accident. Besides these invaluable services, tow trucks also clear the city streets and provide private parking lots of illegally parked vehicles. Parking lots are becoming harder to find and businesses need to provide their customers with these lots. Additionally, older cars are becoming more inefficient and breaking down, facilitating the need for towing services.
Before your car breaks down due to electrical or mechanical failure, needs a tire change, or gets into a severe crash on the road, you need to beware of the most common towing scams used by amateur service providers. When you know towing scams, you will be able to avoid frustrating, expensive, and potentially dangerous situations.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind to avoid being scammed by bandit tow truck service providers.
Local and state governments are federally blocked from setting a standard fee for consensual towing and storage. Consensual tow refers to when towing services take vehicles from the scene of an accident. Non-consensual tows are regulated on the state or municipal level and refer to situations when towing services take the vehicle after drivers park illegally or commit other offenses. Without statewide regulations, fraudulent tow truck companies will have a lot of room to increase towing costs.
On average, it may take anywhere between ten to fourteen business days before you receive a police report detailing a car accident. This means your car can be impounded for this duration. The best towing service providers work with your insurance company to expedite the entire process. It is advisable to secure an auto insurance policy with a company that has officially partnered with a certified local towing company.
Avoiding costly storage costs
To avoid costly storage costs, form a plan of action in advance and call your insurance company. In most cities, the police will call a tow truck company to the scene if you can’t drive your vehicle. It is not obvious that you must trust the tow truck company that police call to the scene. Your first instance would be to contact your insurance company right after the accident who would recommend a towing company for you. It is your right to decide who will tow your car and where it will be stored.
When the tow truck that your insurer or police called has arrived, ensure you collect the necessary paperwork for your record. Ask for a printed and itemized invoice that details the fee for towing, storage, and any other extra costs. Double-check to confirm that the sign on the tow truck matches what is on the paper. You should also ask for documentation detailing where your vehicle will be stored after getting towed.
Always avoid unsolicited service. You may be involved in an accident and a tow truck appears at a convenient time. However, if you or police didn’t call them at the scene, chances of getting scammed may be high.