If you experience an accident in Alabama, one of your primary concerns may be how to move a damaged vehicle from the scene. Often, a towing service is required to safely transport a vehicle that is inoperable or heavily damaged.

Tow trucks are not free, however, and their cost can vary widely depending on several factors. Take a closer look at how much it can cost to tow a car in Alabama and what factors can influence that total.

How Much Does It Cost to Tow a Car in Alabama?

Average Cost to Tow a Car

The average cost of a tow nationwide is approximately $109 to $125 for a tow under a five-mile distance. However, numerous variables can quickly increase the actual cost of towing your car following an accident. These factors include:

  • How far the tow truck driver needs to go to reach you and transport your car
  • The type of tow truck required and any additional equipment needed
  • What time of day it is
  • What the weather conditions are like outside

Here is how each of these factors can impact the overall cost of your tow in Alabama.

The Distance of the Tow

First, the total distance the tow truck must drive to complete the tow will be a significant factor in your final cost. The truck driver’s expenses increase if they must travel a substantial distance to reach you and tow you to safety. You are paying not just for the towing equipment but also for the truck’s fuel and the driver’s time.

The Type of Equipment Needed

Depending on your situation, there are several different types of tow trucks and towing equipment. For example, the tow truck needed for a totaled vehicle is not the same as the wrecker needed to tow a large commercial vehicle. The bigger and more complicated the equipment needed to move your vehicle, the greater the cost to you.

The Time and Weather Conditions

Another key factor that can impact the amount you pay for a tow is the time of day and current weather conditions in your area when you call for assistance. For instance, if your call comes in after hours when a driver is not on duty, there may be an additional cost for someone to respond. 

Similarly, if there is inclement weather, some towing companies may charge extra to respond to those conditions.

You Might Need a Tow Without Realizing It

Often, it’s obvious when you need towing services. If your car is totaled or inoperable following a crash, a tow truck is essential. 

However, you may need towing services without realizing it. Your vehicle may appear safe to drive when it could be leaking fluid or missing vital parts. In such cases, your vehicle might not be roadworthy and could pose a danger to yourself and others.

If you are unsure whether you can safely drive your vehicle away from an accident scene, it’s best to err on the side of caution and ask for a tow truck.

Types of Tow Truck Available

When you or the police call for a tow truck, the dispatcher will ask for information about where your vehicle is and what type of vehicle you have. Generally, the company will send one of the following:

  • A flatbed tow truck
  • A truck with a hook-and-chain apparatus
  • A tow truck with a wheel lift
  • A heavy wrecker

Although each of these vehicles performs the same task, their methods of performing this task are different.

Flatbed Truck

A flatbed tow truck is distinguishable from others because it has a large, flat deck that can be rolled off the rear of the truck at an angle. Once there, powerful winches and cables pull the towed vehicle onto the deck. Then, the deck moves back into place atop the rear of the tow truck, and the towed vehicle is hauled away.

Hook and Chain Truck

The “classic” tow truck, a hook-and-chain truck, has a cable with a hook attached to one end. The other end of the cable is attached to the tow truck. The hook lifts the front or rear of the towed vehicle into the air, leaving the other end of the towed vehicle to drag on the ground. The tow truck then pulls the towed vehicle behind it.

Wheel Lift Truck

This type of truck works very similarly to a hook-and-chain truck. However, instead of hoisting a vehicle’s front or rear end using a hook and cable, a wheel lift truck uses a pneumatic metal bar to lift the vehicle’s front or rear wheels. Then, the truck drags the towed vehicle away.

Heavy Wrecker

These enormous tow trucks are equipped with specialized equipment to haul away large commercial trucks and buses. They may have a hook-and-cable apparatus, a wheelbarrow, or both, and they can even flip over vehicles that are upside down.

Paying Your Tow Bill After an Accident

There are several ways you might be able to pay your tow bill after your car has been hauled away. Because Alabama is an at-fault state, ultimately, the driver who caused the accident is responsible for paying the tow bill. If the other driver’s insurance denies responsibility, you may have to pay the bill initially until the matter gets sorted out.

In general, your personal car insurance does not automatically reimburse you for a tow bill. You may need to purchase roadside assistance from your insurer for a separate fee before they will cover a tow bill. If you have questions, contact your insurance provider, and ask them to explain your benefits in detail.

Interested in Joining AlaWreck’s Network of Providers?

If you are a tow truck service committed to exceptional service and are interested in joining AlaWreck’s network of service providers, fill out this easy online form to get started. AlaWreck and its allied service providers proudly assist Alabamians in recovering from a car accident. 

Turn to AlaWreck After a Car Accident in Alabama

Towing your vehicle is one of many concerns you may have after a car accident in Alabama. That is where AlaWreck comes in. 

We can help you navigate the path ahead after a crash through a comprehensive range of services, from free wreck reports and medical consultations to free car service discounts to area repair shops. We can also connect you with the car wreck resources you need to move forward and protect your future. 

You are not alone after an accident. Let AlaWreck help you take the next steps with confidence. Contact us to learn how we can help you today.

Scroll to Top