How Can You Get Your Car Towed for Free?
Last Updated on October 6, 2023
So you need to tow your car but don’t want to pay a fortune. What can you do?
Fortunately, there are ways to get your car towed for free. You could contact your auto insurance company, for example. Or, you may have free towing with your car warranty, roadside assistance membership, Costco membership, credit card, or phone carrier, among other options.
Keep reading to find out some of the best and most effective ways to tow your car for free.
Top 5 Best Ways to Get Free Car Towing
You may already qualify for free car towing. Depending on your memberships or car insurance coverages, you could get your car towed for free.
Here are some of the best ways to get free car towing:
Call Your Insurer: Many insurance policies come with roadside assistance coverage. You may already have free towing through your insurer. Typically, your insurer’s free towing covers a certain limit – like 20 miles – or the distance to the nearest service station. Check your policy or call your insurer to verify. If you already have full coverage car insurance, then it may cost just a few extra dollars per year to add roadside assistance to your policy.
Check Your Warranty: If your vehicle is relatively new and still under warranty, your manufacturer could provide free towing or roadside assistance. Many warranties include free towing for unexpected car troubles. Check your warranty to see if you’re still covered. Or, call the dealership with your vehicle identification number (VIN).
Contact your Phone Carrier: Many are surprised to have free towing with their wireless carrier. Your cell phone provider may extend roadside assistance to you. As long as you have your phone on you at the point of service, you could qualify for free towing through AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, and certain other major carriers. Typically, you need to add one of the following roadside assistance plans in advance to qualify for free towing from your carrier:
Get a Roadside Assistance Membership: If your vehicle needs to be towed, it may be worth buying a roadside assistance plan to cover a single tow – especially if it’s a non-emergency situation where your vehicle is sitting at home. Roadside assistance providers like AAA and others include towing with membership. This may not work for emergency situations where you need towing immediately, but it could help in non-emergency situations.
- All Visa Credit Cards: All Visa cardholders get up to 5 miles of towing for $69.95 per service call. It’s not free, but it’s a significantly lower rate than you would normally pay for towing. As long as you have a Visa card, you qualify for Visa’s fixed-rate towing benefit.
- Chase Sapphire Reserve: The Chase Sapphire Reserve credit card provides you with up to five miles of towing at a fixed rate of $50 per service call.
- United MileagePlus Club Card and United Explorer Card: These two credit cards offer the same benefit as the Chase Sapphire Reserve card, giving you up to five miles of towing at a fixed rate of $50 per service call.
Costco Membership: Costco does not automatically extend roadside assistance or towing to members. However, if you buy insurance through Costco, you may have roadside assistance, giving you free towing up to a certain limit. Regardless of whether you’re a standard or executive Costco member, you do not receive free towing automatically as a Costco member.
Sell Your Vehicle: If you have an old vehicle that needs to be towed, then consider selling your vehicle. There may be a salvage yard, auto shop, or mechanic in the area who can buy your car and tow it away. If you just need an old car removed from your property and are looking for free towing options, then selling your vehicle may be one option.
How Free Towing Works
The free towing methods above work in one of the following ways:
- Free Towing Up to a Certain Limit (Like 10 to 25 Miles): Most roadside assistance plans offer free towing up to a certain limit. Typically, you get free towing for 5 to 10 miles. Then, you pay a fixed rate per mile.
- Free Towing to the Nearest Service Station: You may have free towing to the nearest service station, regardless of how far away that service station is. That service station could be the closest gas station or mechanic.
- Discounted, Fixed-Rate Towing Per Service Call: All Visa cardholders can pay a fixed rate of $69.95 per service call.
- Free Towing with No Limit: Some of the best roadside assistance plans offer free towing with no limit. You can have your vehicle towed to the nearest service station, even if it’s over 100 miles away, for example. Typically, you need the highest tier of AAA membership or the equivalent to qualify for free towing with no limit (or free towing with high mileage limits).
- Discounted Towing Per Mile: Some of the free towing options above give you a discounted rate on towing. Instead of paying $1 per mile, for example, you could pay $0.50 per mile. For longer tows, you could save a considerable amount.
- Free Towing Up to 3 or 5 Times Per Year: Most roadside assistance plans have a fixed limit on the number of free towing service calls you receive. For example, you might receive three to five free towing calls per year.
Is Roadside Assistance Worth It?
Roadside assistance may or may not be worth it. Some drivers are willing to pay extra for peace of mind, while others find roadside assistance an unnecessary expense.
Some things to consider when getting roadside assistance include the following:
- If you already have full coverage car insurance, then you should be able to add roadside assistance to your policy for a few extra dollars per year. Most major insurers offer roadside assistance for $20 to $50 extra annually.
- You may also get discounted roadside assistance through your credit card company or phone carrier.
- Roadside assistance covers more than just towing. It also covers flat tire changes, fuel delivery, vehicle lockouts, and other roadside emergencies.
- Roadside assistance programs may offer discounts on travel and other services, such as hotels and rental cars.
- Buying roadside assistance can be more cost-effective than paying for individual services out of pocket.
- It can also help maintain the value of your vehicle by ensuring it receives prompt and professional attention in the event of a breakdown.
You can get your car towed for free in multiple ways.
You could check your warranty or insurance policy to see if you have free towing, for example. Or, you may already have free towing via your credit card or phone carrier.
Check the free towing methods above to see if you qualify for free towing.