How Much Does It Cost To Tow A Car?

The cost of towing a car can vary widely depending on the distance, location, and the towing company, but as a general range, it can cost anywhere from $75 to $125 for a short tow. Longer tows or special towing conditions can significantly increase this cost.

The average cost to tow a car in the US is $109. The costs are also affected by vehicle time, time of day, and type of tow truck required for the job. Some insurance policies cover towing costs if you have opted for the carrier’s roadside assistance program.

You’ll be charged separately for hooking the car with a tow truck. Almost all companies charge extra if you are stuck in snow or mud.

Tow A Car

Costs per Mile for Car Towing

  • 0-5 miles: The average cost is $75 to $85, ranging from $30 to $125.
  • 5-40 miles: The average cost is $85 to $100, ranging from $120 to $270.
  • 40-100 miles: The average cost is $95 to $105, ranging from $280 to $650.
  • Above 100: Most towing companies offer specialized packages when towing for more than 100 miles.

The average towing per mile is $5, with prices ranging from $2 to $7 per mile. The towing costs increase significantly after 50 miles. The companies add the return cost because they aren’t sure they’ll find a vehicle on their way back to business premises.

Factors that Affect Car Towing Cost

Vehicle Type

The size and weight of a vehicle can affect towing costs. Heavier vehicles like SUVs or trucks generally cost more to tow than lighter ones like sedans or compact cars. On average, you might expect to pay an additional $25-$50 for larger vehicles.

Vehicle Type

Type of Tow

Different types of tow trucks are flatbed, hook and chain, wheel lift, and integrated. Flatbed towing is usually more expensive, potentially increasing the cost by $20-$40 as it provides more security for the vehicle being towed.


The farther you need your car towed, the more it will cost. Most towing companies charge a base rate (often around $50) plus a per-mile charge ($2-$4 per mile). So, for a 20-mile tow, you might pay between $90 and $130.

Time of Day

Towing at night, on weekends, or on holidays often comes with extra fees. It could result in an additional $25-$50 charge due to the increased labor and risks associated with non-standard hours.

Time of Day


If your vehicle has been involved in a collision, it may require a flatbed tow or special care, which could increase the cost. Furthermore, some companies may charge a clean-up fee for any debris at the scene. Overall, this could result in an extra $50-$100.

Stuck or Broken Down Vehicle

If your vehicle is stuck in the mud, snow, or off the road, the towing company might need special equipment to get it out. This could add an extra $50-$200 to your bill, depending on the situation’s complexity.

Motorcycle Towing Costs

Motorcycle towing is typically less expensive than car towing due to the smaller size and lighter weight of motorcycles. The cost usually ranges from $50 to $200 depending on factors like distance, time of day, and the type of tow. Remember that specialized equipment or flatbed tow trucks may be necessary to tow motorcycles, which might slightly increase costs safely.

SUV Towing Costs

SUVs, due to their larger size and weight, generally cost more to tow than smaller vehicles. The price might range from $75 to $250, with the added cost reflecting the need for more powerful towing trucks or specialized equipment. The cost could also increase based on factors like the distance of the tow, time of day, and whether the SUV is stuck or broken down.

SUV Towing Costs

Questions to ask when hiring a Towing Company

  • “What is your base rate and per-mile charge?” This will give you an idea of the overall cost. The answer should include a flat rate plus a charge for each mile towed.
  • “Do you charge more for certain vehicle types?” Some companies may charge more for larger or heavier vehicles, like SUVs or trucks, so it’s important to clarify this.
  • “Is there a higher nighttime, weekend, or holiday towing fee?” Towing companies often charge more for after-hours services, so always check if there are different rates for different times.
  • “What types of payments do you accept?” It’s crucial to know this in advance. Most companies will accept credit or debit cards, but some might operate on a cash-only basis.
  • “Are there any additional fees that might apply?” Hidden fees can come in many forms – clean-up charges, off-road recovery fees, etc. It’s important to understand the full cost upfront.
  • “Are you licensed and insured?” This ensures you’re working with a reputable company that is legally permitted to operate and will cover any potential damages during the tow.
  • “What is your estimated arrival time?” When you’re stranded, it’s important to know how long you’ll be waiting. This question can also help you gauge the company’s reliability and professionalism.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do I need a Tow Truck?

You need a tow truck when your vehicle breaks down, is involved in an accident, or is stuck in difficult terrain where driving is not feasible. Tow trucks safely move your vehicle to a repair shop or another desired location.

Does insurance cover towing costs?

This depends on your insurance policy. Some policies include roadside assistance, which covers towing costs up to a certain distance. It’s best to check with your insurance provider to understand what’s covered.

Do credit cards offer roadside assistance?

Certain credit card companies provide roadside assistance as part of their cardholder benefits. This may include services like towing, jump-starts, or tire changes. You should check with your card issuer for specifics.

Which is the best tow truck for electric vehicles?

Flatbed tow trucks are generally the best for electric vehicles to prevent potential damage to the electric powertrain. They allow the vehicle to be transported without its wheels on the road.

What other services do towing companies offer?

Besides towing, many companies offer roadside assistance services such as jump-starting batteries, changing flat tires, fuel delivery, lockout services, and minor on-site mechanical repairs.

How much does it cost to tow a boat?

Towing a boat varies based on size and distance, but it can range from $200 to $800. Some boats may require special trailers or permits, which could increase the cost.

How much does it cost to tow an RV, camper, or semi-truck?

Towing larger vehicles like RVs, campers, or semi-trucks usually cost more due to their size and weight. Costs can range from $200 to over $1,000 depending on distance, type of tow, and the specific vehicle.

Can I tow my car with a car?

It’s technically possible to tow a car with another car using a tow dolly or flat tow bar, but it’s not generally recommended due to the potential for damage and the complexity of safely controlling the towed vehicle. Additionally, it’s not legal in all areas, so it’s always best to use a professional towing service.

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