Tips for Preparing Your Vehicle for the Towing Process

Owning a car sometimes means calling for a tow truck. This isn’t very fun, but it’s helpful to know that they are available when necessary. You may require towing due to an unexpected breakdown. Professional towing is also a great way to transport your vehicle when moving. Regardless of why you’re getting your car towed, you should remove anything from the vehicle before getting it towed.

Check out this checklist to avoid forgetting items

  1.  Prescription medication (in case of an emergency it should be taken with you)
  2. Registration and insurance papers
  3. Refillable prescription bottles (in case of an emergency they should be taken with you)
  4. Inexpensive items that may be valuable to others (such as loose change or jewelry)
  5. Keys

After removing all of your belongings from the vehicle, follow these steps before a tow truck arrives:

1.) Take Pictures of Your Vehicle

If you’re concerned about a hit-and-run incident or vandalism, take pictures of the vehicle and the surrounding area before the car is towed. These photos will come in handy when dealing with insurance and filing police reports. They’ll also help if there are any disagreements among the driver, owner and towing company.

2.) Inspect Your Tire Pressure

Tires are essential to a safe tow. If they are underinflated, overinflated or have any other problems, the driver may refuse to tow your car. Any changes in tire pressure can be dealt with while stationary and before transportation.

3.) Coordinate with Your Rental Car Company

Most rental companies will tow a car if the driver has adequate insurance to cover an accident. However, this is conditional on the location of the accident or breakdown. This is why it’s important to check with your company about their policies regarding towing. You can also inform them of your situation beforehand, or before you leave the lot.

4.) Have An Emergency Contact Number

If you’re unable to take care of your vehicle, inform the rental car company of an emergency contact number and give them the information. This will make it easier to find a reliable tow truck company who can assist you, especially if you’re somewhere unfamiliar.

5.) Disengage Your Emergency Brake

Having your car towed with the emergency brake engaged can be a real hassle. The driver may even refuse to drive your car if they see it’s on. So, remove the cable for the emergency brake immediately before you call for a tow truck.

6.) Disable Your Vehicle

If your vehicle is being towed for repairs, ensure it doesn’t accidentally start during transportation. To do this, remove the keys from the ignition and lock your doors, to prevent a thief or passer-by from stealing it. If you’re transporting an old car with little value, it may be worthwhile to have the car disconnected from its battery if it is still connected.

Getting your car towed isn’t an ideal scenario, but it’s crucial that you take the proper steps beforehand to avoid any issues.

Additional Read: Car maintenance & Repairs

Myths About Your Local Towing Services

There are a lot of misconceptions about the towing profession. Many people feel like these drivers are out to get them, but that’s not always the case. Here are some common myths and the truth.

  • Towing companies just want your money. This myth comes from the fact that the local towing service is called to remove illegally parked vehicles from lots, after regular business hours. Many people feel that they are being scammed because of the high costs involved with this service. However, these charges help pay for the taping off of areas and other administrative expenses related to the job.
  • Towing companies won’t tow large vehicles. This myth mainly comes from the fact that larger vehicles are more expensive to move than smaller vehicles. Also, it takes longer for a tow truck operator to hook up a large vehicle. However, towing companies are required by law to tow anything that is illegally parked.
  • You have to wait if you need a tow late at night. It is true that some towing companies only operate during business hours. However, most of them offer 24-hour towing services in Burnaby. If you need a tow late at night or on a holiday, you should call ahead and check if the company offers these services before your vehicle is towed.
  • Most towing companies are dishonest. This myth is based on the fact that there are dishonest tow truck drivers who will charge whatever they want to move your car, regardless of the cost. You should always ask for an estimate before agreeing to have your car towed away.

Additional Read: Everything to know about your car’s oil replacement

Ways to Avoid Tow Scams

Although it might seem like you’re doomed to get ripped off every time, there are ways to avoid getting scammed. Here are a few:

  • Ask for an estimate before the tow begins. Many drivers will tell you to wait until they arrive and then charge whatever they want, but this is illegal in many states. If the driver won’t provide an estimate upfront, find another towing service.
  • Find out how much it will cost before the car is hooked up. This varies a lot depending on the size and location of your vehicle. If you can’t get a definite figure in advance, find another towing company that gives estimates over the phone.
  • Ask for the driver’s credentials before allowing them to move your vehicle. This includes a business card and proof that they are licensed. You should also check their identification as well.
  • Ask for an itemized copy of your bill. This will help you verify any extra charges you may have received, and make it easier to contest them.
  • If the driver gives you a higher price than promised, show them your phone to prevent them from adding any extra charges without notification. You can also ask for another quote from another company to save some money.
  • Don’t give the driver your credit card information over the phone. If you decide to hire them, do so in person.

If none of these tips work, contact the authorities immediately. There are many scams out there that these drivers use to rip off their customers and it’s important to stand up for yourself when necessary. You have a right to safe and reasonable service from anyone who is trying to tow your vehicle. Be sure that the driver isn’t trying to rip you off!

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