7 Ways to get your car towed for free without paying (2024)

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Car breakdowns can happen at any time and for a variety of reasons. Regardless of the cause, being stranded on the side of the road can be frustrating and even dangerous. Poor visibility can lead to accidents, and a broken-down car can block busy roads, causing further disruption. In such situations, getting your car towed away quickly is crucial. However, commercial towing services can be incredibly expensive and may not always be accessible.

Luckily, you can get your car towed for free or at a reduced cost.

Keep reading to learn how to get your car towed cheaply or even free of charge instead of paying a high price for a commercial towing service.

7 Tips on how to get your car towed for free (or cheap)

To ensure that your car is towed quickly and affordably, it’s important to be prepared. Many drivers do not have a plan for when their car breaks down, which can be costly and dangerous.

However, several options available to you may already be at your disposal – either in your wallet or on your phone – that can provide you with free or low-cost towing services. By taking advantage of these options, you can ensure that you have a safety net in place in case of an emergency.

Here are a few ways to get free or affordable towing services that won’t dent your budget.

1. State Safety Service Patrol

In many states, such as Virginia, the Department of Transportation has established a Safety Service Patrol (SSP) to provide fast and efficient free-of-charge roadside assistance to drivers whose vehicles have broken down on busy highways or interstates. This service is designed to prevent accidents and ensure the safety of both drivers and passengers.

Depending on the state, the services provided by the SSP may vary. However, they can generally assist you with a range of issues you might encounter on the road. For instance, the SSP officers can help push your vehicle off the road to a safe location, change a flat tire, jump-start your engine, or provide enough fuel to get you to the nearest gas station.

It’s worth noting that while the SSP may not provide actual towing services, they can assist you in finding a reliable towing service if needed. The SSP can also help you navigate traffic and provide you with up-to-date information about traffic conditions that might affect your journey.

Overall, if you find yourself stranded on a busy road, the SSP is an excellent resource to turn to. Their primary objective is to ensure your safety and help you get back on the road as soon as possible. So don’t hesitate to call them for assistance!

2. Automakers

If you’re wondering if your car’s warranty still covers towing, there’s some good news. Many automakers offer towing services to their customers as part of their warranty packages. However, whether or not you can get this service for free depends on the terms of your warranty and the age of your vehicle.

For instance, if you drive a new car, you may be entitled to free towing within a certain distance of your dealership. But if you have an older car or a used one, you may have to pay a fee for towing services.

It’s also worth noting that some automakers may only tow you to their nearest dealership or approved repair shop. So, if you find yourself stranded in the middle of nowhere, you may have to foot the bill for a longer tow.

If you want to know whether or not your vehicle’s warranty covers towing, you should check your owner’s manual and warranty documentation. This will give you a comprehensive overview of what’s covered and not. Alternatively, you can call your local dealership and ask them directly. They’ll be able to give you more information and help you understand your options.

Here are some car manufacturers and their roadside assistance offers:

  • Acura: 4 years or 50,000 miles
  • Alfa Romeo: 4 years/unlimited miles
  • Audi: 4 years/unlimited miles
  • BMW: 4 years/unlimited miles
  • Buick: 6 years/70,000 miles
  • Cadillac: 6 years/70,000 miles
  • Chevrolet: 5 years or 60,000 miles
  • Chrysler: 5 years/100,000 miles
  • Dodge: 5 years/100,000 miles
  • Fiat: 4 years/unlimited miles
  • Ford: 5 years/60,000 miles
  • Genesis: 5 years/unlimited miles
  • GMC: 5 years/60,000 miles
  • Honda: 3 years/36,000 miles
  • Hyundai: 5 years/unlimited miles
  • Infiniti: 4 years/unlimited miles
  • Jaguar: 5 years/60,000 miles
  • Jeep: 5 years/60,000 miles
  • Kia: 5 years/60,000 miles
  • Land Rover: 4 years/50,000 miles
  • Lexus: 4 years/unlimited miles
  • Lincoln: Unlimited
  • Mazda: 5 years/unlimited miles
  • Mercedes: 4 years or 50,000 miles
  • Mini: 4 years/unlimited miles
  • Mitsubishi: 5 years/unlimited miles
  • Nissan: 3 years/36,000 miles
  • Porsche: 4 years/50,000 miles
  • Ram: 5 years/100,000 miles
  • Smart: 4 years/50,000 miles
  • Subaru: 3 years/36,000 miles
  • Tesla: 4 years/50,000 miles
  • Toyota: 2 years/25,000 miles
  • Volkswagen: 3 years/36,000 miles
  • Volvo: 4 years/unlimited miles

3. Car insurance companies

If you have a comprehensive car insurance policy, you may want to consider adding a roadside assistance program to your plan. This program can provide you with the help you need if your car breaks down or you experience other issues while driving. While it’s true that you will have to pay an additional fee for this add-on service, the cost is generally quite reasonable and won’t add much to your monthly insurance bill.

Most car insurance companies charge just a few dollars per month for a typical roadside assistance program, and you may even be able to save money if you pay for the service annually. Even if you only use the assistance program once, it’s still likely to be less expensive than hiring a professional towing service. Plus, you’ll have the peace of mind that comes with knowing that help is just a phone call away if you ever need it.

If you’re interested in adding roadside assistance to your car insurance policy, you should talk to your insurance company for more information. They can provide you with all the details you need to decide whether this service is right for you.

Here are some auto insurance companies that offer roadside assistance:

Allstate

Did you know that you can add basic roadside assistance to your auto insurance policy for as little as $25 per car per year? This coverage typically includes towing and roadside services such as jump-starts, fuel delivery, lockout assistance, etc.

While it is true that Allstate offers pay-per-use coverage for towing services, the cost can be quite steep at $149 per tow. This is why insurance add-on coverage is a much more cost-effective option. With this coverage, you can enjoy the peace of mind that comes with knowing that you are covered in the event of a roadside emergency without breaking the bank.

So, if you’re looking for affordable roadside assistance coverage, consider adding it to your auto insurance policy for as little as $25 per car per year.

Progressive Insurance

You can add 24/7 Roadside Assistance to your coverage if you have a Progressive policy. This service provides additional support in the event of an emergency while driving. With Roadside Assistance, you can benefit from towing, winching, jump-starts, fuel delivery, vehicle lockout, and flat tire repair.

While Roadside Assistance is not a free service, it is a cost-effective coverage option, with prices ranging from $15 to $60 annually, depending on your policy. So, if you’re looking for an affordable way to ensure you’re protected on the road, adding Progressive’s 24/7 Roadside Assistance to your policy is a great option.

Geico

Geico is a well-known insurance provider that offers a range of services, including its Emergency Road Service Coverage, which provides roadside assistance to its customers. This service includes towing your vehicle to the nearest repair facility. Whether you’re stuck on the side of the road or simply need help changing a tire, Geico is available to assist you 24/7. They also have a convenient mobile app that you can use to request help in as little as two minutes.

The best part is that you can get emergency road service for as little as $14 per car per year. That’s like paying only $1.16 per month! With this coverage, you can rest assured that you’ll never be stranded on the side of the road for long and that your car will be taken care of in an emergency. So, whether planning a road trip or just commuting to work, it’s always a good idea to have Geico’s Emergency Road Service Coverage on your side.

4. Credit card companies

It’s not uncommon to find oneself stranded on the side of the road with a car that just won’t start. This can be a stressful and overwhelming experience, especially if you’re far from home or don’t have access to reliable transportation. However, there’s a chance that the help you need might be closer than you think – in the form of your credit card.

Many people are unaware that certain credit card companies offer roadside assistance as part of their cardholder benefits. For instance, Visa, Mastercard, and Discover have cards with a roadside assistance program. This can include services like towing, fuel delivery, jump-starts, and tire changes, among others.

One of the most significant advantages of using your credit card’s roadside assistance program is that the fees are often lower than what you’d pay for a traditional towing service. For example, Visa charges a flat fee of $69.95 for towing within a 5-mile radius, significantly less expensive than most towing companies would charge for the same service.

It’s important to note that while these services aren’t free, they can save you money in the long run. Moreover, having access to roadside assistance through your credit card can provide peace of mind and make a stressful situation much more manageable. So, the next time you find yourself stranded on the side of the road, consider reaching out to your credit card company to see if they offer any roadside assistance services that might be able to help you out.

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5. Wireless service providers

It’s unfortunate that a lot of wireless service providers are gradually phasing out their roadside assistance programs. However, there are still some service providers out there who offer this service to their customers.

If you are in a roadside emergency and need a tow truck, you can contact your phone service provider to get your needed help. This process is similar to contacting a credit card company for assistance. While you may have to pay a fee for the service, it’s still likely much cheaper than hiring an independent towing company.

If you’re unsure whether your wireless service provider still offers roadside assistance, you can contact them to find out. If they do, it’s definitely worth considering, as it can give you peace of mind while you’re on the road.

Several cell phone companies provide roadside assistance to their customers. These include:

6. Car clubs

Many people turn to car clubs for affordable towing options when they have car troubles. These clubs, such as AAA or Better World Club, offer extensive roadside assistance services for a range of vehicle issues.

However, it’s important to note that these services are only available to club members. To become a member, one can sign up for a basic membership that typically costs around $60 per year. While this may seem like an additional expense, it is still considerably cheaper than hiring a dedicated towing service.

By becoming a car club member, you can have peace of mind knowing that you have access to reliable and affordable towing services whenever you need them.

7. Local auto repair shops

If you find yourself stranded on the side of the road, one of the most convenient and cost-effective ways to get your vehicle towed is by contacting the local car repair shop you frequently visit. Many car repair shops offer towing services for their customers, which can be a lifesaver if you’re in a pinch. The best part is that if you’ve already been taking your car to that shop for repairs or maintenance, you likely won’t have to pay for the tow.

It’s worth noting that local shops may have distance limitations on how far they can tow your car. Taking advantage of your local repair shop’s towing services can save time and money while getting your vehicle safely to its destination.

How much does car towing cost?

Being prepared for emergencies is always a good idea, especially regarding your vehicle. If you cannot get someone to tow your car, you may have to rely on the police. If they cannot assist you with their own tow truck, they may need to call a towing service on your behalf. However, it is important to note that police-requested towing can be quite expensive, with costs ranging upwards of $200 per hour.

Alternatively, you can opt for commercial towing services, which are cheaper but still come at a cost. Each towing company has its own pricing structure and billing method. For example, some may charge you by the mile, while others charge by the hour. Some companies may offer flat-rate fees, but these can be quite high.

On average, towing services in the United States cost around $100. However, the price can vary greatly depending on several factors, such as the time of day, the type of vehicle being towed, and the distance it needs to be towed. It is important to consider these factors when considering towing options for your vehicle.

How to prepare your vehicle for roadside assistance

Imagine driving your car, and suddenly something goes wrong, leaving you stranded on the road. In such a situation, your first instinct may be to call a tow truck and get your car out of the way as soon as possible.

However, it’s important to remember that a stuck car can seriously threaten your safety and the safety of other drivers on the road. Therefore, it’s crucial to take the necessary precautions before attempting to move your car.

Here are some detailed steps you can follow to ensure everyone’s safety in such a scenario:

Get off the road

If your vehicle can still move, it’s important to move it off the road as soon as possible to avoid any potential hazards or accidents. The best place to go is a flat and open area on the right-hand side of the road. This will ensure that you and your vehicle are out of the way of oncoming traffic.

However, if you cannot make it to the shoulder for any reason, any spot away from the road will do in a pinch. Remember, getting off the road is crucial for your safety and the safety of other drivers.

Make sure you’re visible

If your car can no longer move, turn on your emergency blinkers and hazard lights to alert other drivers that your vehicle is not moving. This will help them avoid getting too close to your car and potentially causing an accident.

If it’s safe, you should also pop the hood of your car to let other drivers know that you’re experiencing car trouble. This will signal them that you’re aware of the situation and taking steps to address it. In addition, you should set up emergency triangles or flares behind your car to further alert other drivers and help them give your vehicle a wide berth.

These steps are especially important if you’re stranded on a busy highway or in an area with heavy traffic. By taking these precautions, you can help prevent accidents and ensure that you and your vehicle are visible to other drivers on the road. When the tow truck arrives, it will be able to spot you easily and safely load your car onto the truck.

Secure your vehicle

If you find yourself in a situation where your car has come to a stop and gets rear-ended, you should keep a few things in mind to ensure your safety and prevent further damage. First and foremost, the impact of the collision may push your car back into the flow of traffic, which could lead to a potentially disastrous situation. Moreover, if your vehicle is parked on a slope, it could begin rolling down the hill.

To prevent either of these scenarios, it is advisable to take the following precautions: After you’ve come to a complete stop, turn your steering wheel away from the road in the direction of the curb or shoulder. Engage the hand brake to keep your car securely in place. Doing so will help ensure that your car remains stationary and doesn’t pose a threat to yourself and others on the road.

Consider staying in the car

It can be very stressful and potentially dangerous if you find yourself stranded in the middle of a busy highway or interstate in your vehicle. However, it’s important to remember that leaving your vehicle before help arrives can put you in even more danger. Instead, if you must get out of your vehicle, leave through the door facing away from most traffic. This will help to keep you out of harm’s way as you exit your vehicle.

Once you are out of your vehicle, it’s important to never leave it and search for help. It can be tempting to try and flag down passing cars or walk to the nearest town or gas station, but this can put you in even greater danger. You could get lost or end up in an even more dangerous area than the highway or interstate. Instead, stay with your vehicle and wait for help to arrive. This will help keep you safe and increase your chances of getting the help you need promptly.

Call for help

If you find yourself in such a situation, move your car to a safe location, such as the side of the road, if possible. Once you and your car are in a safe spot, you can start calling for help.

The first number you should call is 911, regardless of whether your car is blocking traffic or anyone has been injured. The operator will ask you questions and dispatch the appropriate emergency services to your location. Stay on the line until the operator tells you it’s okay to hang up.

It’s important to note that you should only call for a tow truck after ensuring you, your car, and other road users are safe. If you’re unsure, it’s best to wait for the police to arrive and assess the situation. They’ll be able to advise you on the safest course of action.

The bottom line

When your car breaks down or you get into an accident, getting it towed is often the only option. However, it’s important to note that there are usually no completely free ways to get your car towed. In most cases, you’ll have to pay for a towing service. However, there are some instances where you may be able to get a free tow.

For example, some mobile carriers and automakers offer free towing services to benefit their customers. This is typically only available while the car is still under warranty, so it’s important to check the terms and conditions.

If you’re not eligible for a free tow, there are still some ways to save money. Many credit card companies and insurance providers offer cheap towing services as part of their benefits packages. This option can be good if you have one of these cards or policies. It’s also worth checking with your car insurance provider, as some policies include roadside assistance.

Luckily, there are ways to save money on roadside assistance services, like towing. Try out these tips to cut down on costs and get back on the road as quickly as possible.