I drive an older car that I always knew would break down some day in a bad place and need towed. I figured I could always easily look up the number of a towing company using my phone's internet service if I ever needed to. Recently, my car started making an alarming sound that led to me pulling off the road while driving down the highway. It then wouldn't start back up. I grabbed my cell phone and went to do a web search to find a local towing company, and I realized I had used up all of my data plan for the month! It was late at night, so I had to call and awaken friends until someone answered who could help. I created this blog to help others avoid the same embarrassment as me. Always keep the number of a tow truck company in your car.
Needing to tow your car to a repair shop can happen at any time. If the towing is needed during business hours, you can feel lucky; you can have the towing company take it right to your mechanic. However, if you need the car towed outside of normal mechanic business hours, then you have to make a decision: Tow the car to the shop and leave it there with instructions, or tow it home and then have it towed yet again the next day? Some mechanics have a dropbox where you can leave a key and a service form, and they'll contact you the next day. But that might not be the optimal choice in some cases. It may sound like an easy choice at first, but there may be more to consider than you realized.
The Mileage Is an Issue
Towing companies often charge based on mileage. For example, if you have an auto club membership that allows for some free towing, you'll be limited in terms of radius. Go any farther, and you'll need to pay for the extra towing distance. If you have to pay for the whole towing distance because you're not in an auto club, then you could pay a lot just to get to one particular place because of how far away it is. If it's nighttime, and you need to tow your car, how far away is your home versus the shop you'd go to? The closer location may be the answer.
Whether You're Familiar With the Shop Is Another Issue
You also have to be familiar with the repair shop. If you just moved to a new city, you can tow the car home and then tow it again the next day when you've decided on which mechanic you'll bring it to. Unless you already know of a good mechanic in the area, it will be a better option to bring the car home and then take time to research where to go. Don't leave the car at a strange repair shop, no matter how good the reviews are, if you're not going to be able to speak to the repair technicians before they get to your car.
Getting Around Plays a Role
With the car out of commission for a while, you'll have to seek alternative transportation. If the towing company agrees to drive you home after towing the car to a repair shop, then you have a solution. If you have access to a rideshare app and can get picked up quickly, that can be another option. If not, however, have the car towed home so you are safe that night.
A nearby mechanic that you know and trust may be a great place to tow the car after hours so that you don't have to tow it a second time in the morning. But if you don't know of a good mechanic, and you might have trouble getting home after leaving the car at a shop, it's better to have the car towed home, even if that means you have to call again the next day to have the towing company come back out.
For more information about hiring a tow truck service, reach out to a local company.