What to Know Before a Tow

No one plans on their vehicle breaking down on the road, becoming disabled as a result of an accident or being towed without your consent.

So what should you do if you find yourself in one of these scenarios? Better Business Bureau Serving Northern Colorado and Wyoming offers the following suggestions:

Know Your Roadside Assistance Policy. Many drivers have roadside assistance through their insurance policies or auto clubs such as AAA while others have a towing benefit as a result of purchasing a new vehicle. Be sure to understand the terms of the roadside assistance policy and have the information ready for the tow truck when it arrives. Remember to research the mechanic where your vehicle is towed if it’s an unfamiliar location or business.

Do Your Research. Regardless of why your vehicle is being towed, it’s your choice as to who will tow your vehicle and to what location. This is why it’s always best to research towing businesses at bbb.org before you need to call one; but if you’re in a pinch, ask friends and family members to recommend a reliable towing business. If you’re on the road, use your smartphone to check out towing companies at bbb.org or with the BBB iPhone app.

Look Around. If you find yourself in a situation where you think your vehicle has been towed without your consent, first search the area for warning signs and check the signs for a towing number to call. If unable to find a number, call the nonemergency police number to find out if your vehicle was actually towed and where you must go to release the vehicle.

Understand Towing Fees. Call the towing business immediately to ask about towing fees. If you are unsure the towing business has told you the correct amount, or if your vehicle was towed from private property, call local law enforcement to confirm the fee. Be aware tow businesses charge a fee for storage; the longer your vehicle is left with the tow business the more expensive your bill will be.

Know Your Rights. If you have paid the towing and storage fees, showed a valid photo ID, proven you are the owner or the owner has given you permission to take the vehicle, and have showed any law enforcement documents, than you have the right for your vehicle to be released. If your vehicle is damaged during towing or storing process, you have the right to recover for the damages. Be aware if you don’t pay your towing and storage fees, the tow business has the right to sell your vehicle to pay for your debt.

Start With Trust. For more consumer tips and information, visit bbb.org.

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