How Much Does It Cost to Tow a Car 20 Miles?
Last Updated on October 27, 2022
If your car breaks down and needs towing, then you could face a hefty repair bill.
It typically costs $80 to $250 to tow a car 20 miles in the United States. Most roadside assistance policies, however, come with complimentary towing coverage. If you have AAA or roadside assistance through another provider, then you may pay nothing for 20 miles of towing.
Keep reading to find out how much it costs to tow a car 20 miles, whether or not you have free towing, and more.
Table of Contents:
- Average Towing Cost
- Does Insurance Cover Towing?
- Does Roadside Assistance Cover Towing?
- Roadside Assistance Coverage Might Be Worth It
- Factors That Affect the Cost of Towing a Vehicle
It Costs $80 to $250 to Tow a Car 20 Miles
Based on average nationwide towing rates, it costs anywhere from $80 to $250 to tow a car 20 miles.
Rates vary based on location, towing company, the reason for towing, the type of vehicle, and even weather and traffic conditions. If you need winching, or if your car is being towed after an accident, then you may face additional penalties.
If you have roadside assistance, then roadside assistance could cover towing at no additional charge. Most roadside assistance plans – either through third parties like AAA or your own insurance company – cover towing to the nearest service center.
If you have car insurance, then your car insurance company may or may not cover towing. Car insurance may cover towing if you have added roadside assistance to your policy. Or, the at-fault driver’s insurance company may cover towing after an accident.
Does Insurance Cover Towing?
A standard car insurance policy does not cover towing. However, if you have roadside assistance through your car insurance company or a third-party provider (like AAA), then you could pay nothing for towing.
Here’s how insurance and roadside assistance companies cover towing:
A Standard Insurance Policy Does Not Cover Towing: An ordinary car insurance policy does not cover towing for vehicle breakdowns. Insurance is designed to cover unexpected damage to your vehicle.
Insurance May Cover Towing After an Accident: If your vehicle was involved in an accident, then insurance could cover towing. Typically, the insurance of the at-fault driver covers towing of any damaged vehicles after an accident. If you have liability-only coverage, then towing is not covered. If you have full coverage car insurance, or if the other driver was at-fault, then insurance should cover towing.
Insurance Covers Towing If You Have Added Roadside Assistance: If you have added roadside assistance to your car insurance policy, then your car insurance will cover towing. Most insurers offer roadside assistance for an extra $10 to $50 per year. This roadside assistance covers jumpstarts, vehicle lock-out service, and towing up to a certain limit. Some roadside assistance plans cover towing to the nearest repair facility, while others cover towing up to 5, 10, 20, or 100 miles without added cost.
Does Roadside Assistance Cover Towing?
Many drivers pay extra for roadside assistance from third-party companies like AAA. Or, some drivers have roadside assistance through their credit cards or insurers.
If you have roadside assistance, then you may receive 20 miles of towing without additional charges. Your roadside assistance policy could cover 20 miles of towing.
Here’s how roadside assistance covers towing:
- A standard roadside assistance policy should cover 20 miles of towing without extra cost; at the very least, most roadside assistance policies cover towing to the nearest service center, up to a certain limit
- Some roadside assistance policies cover towing to the nearest repair facility, while others charge towing up to specific limits (like 5, 10, 20, or 100 miles)
- If your roadside assistance policy has a mileage limit, then you’ll pay a fixed rate per extra mile beyond this limit (you might pay $5 per mile beyond a 10-mile limit, for example, or $50 extra for a 20-mile tow)
- You can buy roadside assistance directly from a provider like AAA; or, you can buy roadside assistance through your insurance company or credit card provider
Roadside Assistance Pays for Itself with a Single 20-Mile Tow
Roadside assistance may be worth it.
Typically, roadside assistance costs $20 to $150 per year. If you need a single 20-mile tow every few years, then roadside assistance could pay for itself.
Most roadside assistance policies come with multiple complimentary tows per year. A plan typically includes 3 to 5 tows per year, for example. Beyond that, you may be required to pay an additional fee.
Consider your budget, risk of breakdown, and other factors when deciding if it’s worth it to add roadside assistance to your policy.
Factors Affecting the Cost of Towing
It costs $80 to $250 to tow a car 20 miles in the United States, on average. Depending on your location and other factors, you could pay significantly more or less than that amount.
Factors that impact the cost of towing include:
Location of the Incident: Do you need towing in a residential area or in the middle of a city? You should pay a standard towing rate. If you need towing on the beach, in a ditch, in a remote area, or on a dirt road, then you could pay extra for towing.
Winching: If your car is on the side of the road and can be easily reached by the tow truck, then you may pay a standard towing rate. If your vehicle is in a ditch and needs to be winched, however, then you could pay extra.
Distance from Service Center: Most roadside assistance policies cover towing to the nearest service center, up to a certain limit.
Distance to Reach You: You may only be 20 miles from the nearest service center, but you could also pay more for towing if the towing company has to travel a long distance to reach you. If you’re in a remote area, for example, then there could be a service station nearby but no towing company.
Time of the Incident: If you need towing in the middle of the night, then you’ll typically pay more for towing than you would in the middle of the day.
Size of Vehicle: Larger vehicles may require specialized equipment to tow. The towing company may need to send a bigger towing truck for a 4×4, large truck, or bus, for example.
Exotic Vehicles: If you have an exotic, rare, antique, or collector vehicle, then you could pay more for towing. Exotic vehicles may require specialized towing equipment.
Condition of Vehicle: If your vehicle was involved in an accident, then you could pay extra for towing. Damaged vehicles may require additional handling and specialized equipment, for example, to prevent further damage.
Weather Conditions: Towing companies may charge extra during severe weather conditions. You could pay more for 20 miles of towing after a blizzard than you would on a sunny day, for example.
Based on all of these factors, you could pay anywhere from $50 to $500 to tow a vehicle 20 miles. However, the nationwide average is $80 to $250.
Final Word on Average Towing Cost
It costs $80 to $250 to tow a car 20 miles, on average, in the United States. You could pay significantly more or less depending on a number of factors.
If you have roadside assistance, then you could pay nothing for 20 miles of towing. Most roadside assistance policies include 20 miles of towing at no additional charge, for example. Others cover towing to the nearest service center.
Your insurance could also cover towing after an accident. The at-fault driver’s insurance should cover towing after an accident, for example. However, a liability-only policy does not cover personal towing.
Contact your insurance company or roadside assistance provider to verify you have towing coverage. Or, call towing companies in your area to get an estimate on the cost of 20 miles of towing near you.