Thinking about a tow truck service call is usually the last thing from someone’s mind when they are planning a trip, or even just during regular drives around town. But, unfortunately, needing a tow truck is not something that can be scheduled, like changing the oil or rotating the tires.
Drivers typically need a towing service when the car has broken down or can’t start, or if there’s been an automobile accident. In a normal household budget, this would be considered an emergency expense that should be planned for – and hopefully not needed.
Here are some things to remember ahead of time, to take the stress out of the situation should it ever happen.
Find out what typical towing charges are in your area, and for your type of vehicle, and work that into your household budget expenses. Set money aside for two or three tows, and then you’ve got funds available should the need ever arise.
Another alternative is to research your car insurance policy, because it might include some type of towing service in the coverage. Normally, there are limitations on the type of tow needed and the distance the car will be towed, so it’s good to know that in advance also.
Also, joining a membership club that offers towing as a member benefit is another popular choice. The monthly or annual fee for AAA of Michigan, as an example, can usually be offset by the member discounts that are given at local restaurants, hotels, and car repair shops. Just like with your car insurance, you need to know the particular coverages for the plan you subscribe to, because there can be different levels of member benefits.
Plan to keep a few critical things in your vehicle, in case you ever break down. An emergency kit with first aid supplies will be helpful if there’s been an accident, until qualified medical care arrives. Car emergency kits can also contain flares, warning triangles, and other items to mark that you’ve broken down. Extra bottles of water and some non-perishable snacks might come in handy if you have to wait a short time for the tow truck to arrive.
Finally, many people have mobile phones now, and searching for a tow truck in the city you are stranded should bring up a few providers to call. Keep in mind that car insurance policies and auto club memberships may require that you use specific towing companies in order to be reimbursed for the towing expense.
A little planning ahead of time will make the need for a tow truck service a little less stressful, if it ever happens to you or a family member.