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At some point in time, most vehicle owners will find themselves in a situation where their car breaks down or gets involved in an accident, leaving them stranded on the road. In such instances, having access to reliable towing or roadside assistance services can be a lifesaver. In this article, we aim to provide a comprehensive understanding of these services, the differences between them, and the costs associated with each.
What Services Do Towing Services Offer?
Towing services are typically offered by professional companies that specialize in moving vehicles from one location to another. The services may vary depending on the provider, but some standard offerings include flatbed towing, heavy-duty towing, accident recovery, and luxury car towing.
Flatbed towing is best suited for vehicles that cannot be traditionally towed due to their structure or condition. Heavy-duty towing is designed for large vehicles like trucks or buses. Accident recovery involves removing the wreckage from an accident scene and towing the damaged vehicle. Luxury car towing is tailored to transport high-end vehicles without causing any damage.
Difference Between Roadside Assistance and Towing Services
While both services aim to assist drivers in distress, there exist distinct differences between roadside assistance and towing services. Roadside assistance services typically include help with minor mechanical issues that can be fixed on the spot. This may encompass jump-starting a dead battery, changing a flat tire, delivering fuel, unlocking a vehicle when keys are locked inside, or minor mechanical adjustments to make the vehicle drivable again.
On the other hand, towing services come into play when a vehicle is completely immobilized due to a severe mechanical breakdown or an accident. In such cases, the car is towed to a nearby repair shop, the owner's residence, or another location as specified by the owner.
Cost for Roadside Assistance Insurance
The price of roadside assistance insurance can vary widely based on multiple factors such as the provider, the coverage level, and the driver's specific needs. However, on average, annual roadside assistance plans can range from $50 to $200. Some car insurance companies include roadside assistance in their policies for a nominal fee, while others offer it as an optional add-on.
It is crucial to compare different plans and understand the coverage details before purchasing since some may limit the number of service calls per year or may not cover specific services like fuel delivery.
Cost of Towing Without Insurance
Towing a vehicle without insurance can be quite expensive. The cost often depends on factors such as the distance to be towed, the type of vehicle, and the time of the call (night-time or holiday calls may cost more). However, on average, you can expect to pay between $75 to $125 for a local tow. Long-distance towing can be significantly more expensive, with costs ranging from $2 to $4 per mile.
Some towing companies may also charge additional fees for services like hook-up, flatbed service, or off-road recovery. Therefore, it is always advisable to ask for a detailed quote before availing of the service.
Understanding the different services and costs associated with towing and roadside assistance can help vehicle owners make informed decisions when they find themselves in a roadside emergency. While roadside assistance services can address minor issues, towing services are essential when the vehicle is immobilized.
Although the cost of towing without insurance can be steep, many insurance providers offer roadside assistance as an affordable add-on to their policies. Therefore, it is prudent for vehicle owners to consider adding such coverage to their insurance to avoid paying out-of-pocket during an emergency.