Choosing a Tow Truck

Tow Truck Tips:

  1. Never use a tow truck that just “shows up” to the scene of a collision.
  2. Ask if they are handling the clean-up of the collision site, and how much (if anything) they will charge you for clean-up
  3. If your insurance provider uses a specific towing company, and you don’t already have a personal preference, they would usually be a safe bet.
  4. Seek recommendations from people you trust.
  5. Don’t do business with a tow truck operator that treats you unprofessionally.
  6. Look at the state of the towing vehicle. Is it clean and in good repair? It ought to be.


If you’re dealing with a towing company for the first time, be sure to:

  • Ask how much they charge, both flat-rate and by kilometre.
  • Press for a fixed price.
  • Inquire about any extra possible charges.
  • Clearly state the amount you expect to pay.
  • Ask for the make and year of their tow truck.
  • Ask if they are a member of any larger organizations.
  • Ask if they do business with your insurance provider.
  • Ask how long they expect to take to arrive.


Choosing the right towing company is a very important step of the repair process. Though your insurance provider may have a preferred towing service, ultimately the choice is in your hands as a consumer. Often, people are anxious about getting their vehicle off of the road, but if you choose the wrong towing company it could turn the situation into even more of an ordeal. This could mean higher than expected rates, late arrivals, unprofessional service, and rough treatment of your vehicle. However, if you make an informed choice, you can feel secure that your vehicle is in good hands.

The first question you should ask yourself is if you have any existing coverage. Many insurance companies offer roadside assistance, and if you have existing towing coverage that’s a good thing. You may already have a membership to another service or auto club that offers towing services. It’s a good idea to have the contact and policy numbers for any existing coverage on hand.

If you don’t have existing coverage, the best idea is to seek a recommendation from a trusted source; friends, family, and local police officers are good people to ask. When you’re in touch with a towing company, make sure you know the exact location you want your vehicle towed to and, that you can give them the year and make of your vehicle.

Above all, only use a towing company that either you or your insurance provider arranged for. You can read more about tow truck scams here.

Made possible with the support of the Ontario Media Development Corporation.

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