What Are The Average Tow Yard Fees?

Before you call a tow yard to take your vehicle, make sure you understand what average tow yard storage fees look like and what you can expect to be charged. WeBuyTotaledCars has the answers.

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Your car getting towed is never a cause for celebration.

Not only are you in the hole because you have to pay for the tow itself, but you also end up paying for your car sitting in the tow lot in the form of “storage fees.”

The one thing we can all agree on about fees: if left unattended, they’ll add up — sometimes to more than your car is even worth.

But how much do tow yards actually charge for storage?

How Much Do Tow Yards Charge Per Day?

The average tow yard daily fee ranges from $20 to $40 per day for storage.

Combined with the initial tow charge ranging anywhere from $70 to $150, you can expect to pay nearly $200 simply for one day after your car’s been towed.

Understand, however, that these fees can differ by place: within the city, you may end up paying less on average since the tow yards within the city are typically beholden to city contracts.

Out in rural areas, expect the costs to trend 50% higher at least.

There’s a wide range on what towing companies can charge for and how much your final bill will be. But what creates all this variability?

Why Are Towing Fees So Expensive?

When you get towed, the fees that you’re paying for usually end up being the “hook-up” fee as well as the cost per mile that the truck had to travel to your vehicle and back to their yard.

On top of those fees comes the additional storage fee if they have to tow your car to their lot (as opposed to a mechanic or junkyard).

Additionally, there are fees that are factored in dependent upon where you live and whether you’re calling during or after business hours:

  • Mileage - When your car gets hooked up to the tow truck, the fee associated with that is typically a flat one. The variable fees are usually attributed to mileage. The farther they tow your car, the higher your mileage fee will be. This is often why tow yard prices in rural areas are higher than those you would find in the city.
  • Winching - If your car’s got to be pulled out of a ditch, you can guarantee there’ll be extra fees tacked on. Winches take a decent amount of time and labor to yank a car out from between a rock and a hard place.
  • Vehicle Size - The bigger the car, the bigger the charge. Non-standard vehicles and anything bigger than a standard SUV will have higher fees in both towing and storage. Semi-trucks, for example, can get up into the thousands!
  • Time of Day - Whether or not you request tow services during business hours also affects your final charge. After hours tow services will net a higher service charge, because the tow company would have to send someone out to you after everyone’s work day was over.

Can You Negotiate Towing Fees?

Being able to negotiate towing fees largely depends on where you live.

Some states and counties have rules in place that result in a fixed towing and storage price (depending on your car type).

If you need to negotiate here are a few things you can do:

  1. Talk to the Owner - Going directly to the head honcho is probably the easiest thing you can do. The tow driver can’t call those shots, but their boss can make decisions that keep your pockets fatter. Show them your receipt and if there’s anything that seems overpriced, you can negotiate to bring the price down. ProTip: Be respectful and non-confrontational. You’re more likely to get helped out that way!
  2. Insurance Company - You can also call your insurance company and they’ll let you know if you’re being overcharged. They can negotiate on your behalf to decrease the charges as well.
  3. Lawyer Up! - A last resort is to get your lawyer involved. Find a lawyer that specializes in consumer debt relief and, if they think it’s doable, they can help you take your case to a bureau of business or judicial court. Again, this is a last resort.

How Long Before A Tow Company Can Sell Your Car?

woman frustrated making calculations

While there’s some differences from state-to-state, the average time that a tow company will keep your car before selling it is 30 days.

After that month, if you haven’t paid the storage and towing fees, the company can recover the charges by auctioning off your car.

If your vehicle is involved in any illegal activity, the tow company can hold it for as long as the authorities need to conduct their investigation.

Staying on top of when your car becomes available for you to recover is solely your responsibility, so keep the tow yard on speed dial!

Not “Towed,” But “Totaled”— WeBuyTotaledCars

Before you consider getting your car towed, think about WeBuyTotaledCars for a second.

We’ll provide you with a quote for your less-than-perfect vehicle and send out one of our partners in your area to retrieve it — FREE of charge.

Tow yard storage fees will suck the money right out of your bank account while you figure out what to do with your totaled vehicle.

Avoid the hassle of that drain by contacting WeBuyTotaledCars today!

Are There Additional Costs With Towing?

Aside from the usual, if your vehicle has a boot on it before it’s towed away, there may be a boot removal fee assessed when you try to retrieve your car.

What Happens After A Parking Violation?

Most car insurance policies won’t cover towing costs if your car was removed for a parking violation. Policies tend to cover towing after a collision or if roadside is included in your coverage. Towed for parking violations and moving old vehicles are not covered.

Can Towing Companies Charge Whatever They Want?

They’re privately-owned companies; they can charge whatever they think is fair. They’re largely unregulated and only affected by their market and what their competition is charging.

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