Torque Tips | What to do when the tow truck arrives to take your vehicle

What to do when the tow truck arrives to take your vehicle

What to do when the tow truck arrives to take your vehicle
they do their job and you do yours
Left in a traumatic state as a result of a detrimental vehicle accident that just occurred moments earlier. The last thing on your mind is being rational enough to care about small details, like if the tow truck driver and company arriving at the accident scene is someone you can trust. Rest assured that most tow truck drivers and companies are there to do their honest work and assist you in this life altering situation while making a living. By simply taking your vehicle to a repair shop after a vehicle accident, no hidden agendas. Unfortunately it is proven that more and more towing companies today try to take advantage of individuals in their shaken-up state after just experiencing a vehicle accident. We from Women-Torque want you to be prepared when the tow truck arrives by knowing the tell tales of a trustworthy towing service and what you should do when they come to tow your vehicle.

What to do before you let them tow your vehicle:

-Contact your vehicle insurance company:
No one is more educated and connected with accredited and reputable towing companies and services than your vehicle insurance company. That is why you should contact them even if it is outside of working hours. If they do respond give them the name and personal information of the towing company and tow truck driver. They will advise you on what to do as well as confirm if they are a reliable, reputable and accredited towing company or services. If your vehicle insurance does not respond keep the personal information of the towing company and service.

-Consider other towing options:
Your vehicles manufacturer might have given you access to roadside assistance services through their automobile association. Be sure to contact them before contacting an independent and regular towing company. Remember that not all these roadside assistance services offer towing your vehicle post-accident. When you call inform them that you have been in a vehicle accident and find out from the operator whether they offer towing post-accident services in your vehicle coverage.

-Remove valuables:
Before you have them tow your vehicle, take pictures of your vehicle, the accident scene and the inside of your vehicle. Remember to remove any valuables from your vehicle before they tow it away. Valuables like your radio, handbag, sunglasses and other necessities might be a good idea to remove from your vehicle.

-Double check the towing company:
When the towing company arrives that you contact even if you haven’t contacted them. Double-check that they are reputable and accredited. Contact your insurer and hear what they have to say. If you can’t confirm whether they are proceed with caution.

-Inform and confirm the drop-off location to the tow truck driver:
By law you and the police alone can provide the drop-off location. If the police do not specify that your vehicle be dropped off at any specific location. You have the right to give directions to the location of your choice- a repair shop of your or your vehicle insurance preferred choice. A trustworthy reputable and accredited towing company should not insist on any repair shops. Their towing services is for the sole purpose of removing the damaged vehicle off the road, the rest is up to you or the police.

-Read the fine print:
The towing company needs to provide you with an invoice specifically outlining listing the items and the amount as well as the rate you should pay for the services of towing your vehicle to your preferred location. Do not sign any paper work that charges you for any work order, contract or to have your vehicle repaired by a specific repair shop.

-Are you paying a reasonable quoted cost?
When you contact your insurer, confirm with them the legal and appropriate towing rates before signing anything. If they do not respond you can google the standard and maximum towing rates in South-Africa, Gauteng. The towing company cannot confirm any coverage that will be made by your insurer. By trying to push you into paying an unreasonable price saying your insurer will pay it.

-Make payment by your payment choice:
If the towing company insists that you pay in cash it might be a red flag. If you want to pay by cad by law the towing company has to allow you to do so.

-Keep any receipts:
Your insurance company may ask that you provide them with the receipts from the towing company to reimburse you on the amount you have payed, out of your own pocket. Depending on your coverage policy with your insurer.

We advise our readers to further educate and prepare yourself by doing research of the towing laws in South-Africa and in your province. Also contact your insurer to determine if they will cover the cost of towing in the case of a vehicle accident.

Written by: Ashley Roos
Edited by: Pearl Mwale