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Situational & Operational Factors That Affect The Cost Of A Towing Job

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If you have ever needed to have your vehicle towed, you know that this is not an inexpensive service bill. If you just needed your vehicle towed because it broke down in a parking lot, and you didn't need your vehicle pulled out of a ditch, the overall cost of a tow bill can be confusing. Here are some situational and operational factors that influence the overall cost of your towing bill.

Situational Factors

The first thing that you have to take into consideration when you get your bill is the situational factors that applied to your specific towing job. Here are a few of the situational factors that will affect your overall cost:

  • Time Of Day: Generally, it costs less to have your vehicle towed during the day than it does to have your vehicle towed late at night. It is harder for the tow driver to see when they have to hook your vehicle up to their tow truck at night. Hooking up a vehicle at night, especially alongside a busy road at night, is also not a very safe situation, which can also increase your overall bill.
  • Location Of Your Vehicle: Where your vehicle is located will greatly affect the cost of your bill. If your vehicle is broken down at your house or in a parking lot, and the tow truck driver can easily access your vehicle with minimal equipment, you may not be charged as much as someone in a stickier situation. If your vehicle is stuck in a ditch or a hole somewhere, and requires more than the basic equipment to get it out, you'll probably end up paying more to have it towed.
  • Condition Of Your Vehicle: The condition of your vehicle affects the equipment that has to be used as well as the ease of the job. If your vehicle is in good shape, the job will be relatively easy. However, if your vehicle has been involved in an accident and is all mangled up, it will be much more difficult to move, which can cost you.
  • Distance: Finally, the last situational factor that can affect your bill is the distance the tow truck has to drive to get to your vehicle, as well as how far they have to tow your vehicle. If your vehicle is outside of the city limits, and has to towed a great distance, you'll end up paying more than if your vehicle needed to be towed a short distance.

Operational Factors

Like with most services, you are not just paying for what you need. You are also paying for the overall operation factors that allow the service you need to exist in the first place. Here are some of the operational, or overhead, factors that influence your towing bill.

  • Start-Up Costs: The first thing you are paying for are start-up costs. Starting up a towing company is not a cheap endeavor; the average price of a tow truck is around $60,000 to $75,000. Large tow trucks with lots of equipment can run up all the way up to $500,000. To employ an entire fleet of tow trucks will require some hefty monthly payments.
  • On-Going Vehicle Costs: In addition to paying the car note for all of their tow trucks, towing companies have to pay an annual insurance premium for each truck. They also have to pay for regular maintenance as well. Additionally, tow trucks are not the most fuel-efficient vehicles, and require a lot of gas.
  • Labor Costs: To start with, towing companies have to pay their tow truck drivers. For drivers that work at night, in unsafe situations, and that work overtime, they have to pay them extra. They also have to employ staff to run their dispatch center, in order to answer incoming calls. Many tow lots also employ security guards to watch over the vehicles they tow and ensure that nothing happens to them while they are under their care. These three jobs generally need to be filled 24 hours a day.
  • On-Going Business Costs: Finally, tow companies have regular business costs just like any other business. They have to lease office space for their dispatchers, and they have to lease out the lots where they store their vehicles.

The next time you need to have your vehicle towed somewhere; don't be surprised when you see the bill. Remember, there are numerous situational and operational factors that go into the final cost of your bill. Contact a towing company in your area, such as A & A Towing Anytime Anywhere, if you have any questions.