No matter how careful you are or how well you maintain your car, at some point you will need a towing service. Whether it’s due to a breakdown or a car accident, if you need to call a tow truck, it’s important that you know what to expect and how to prepare your car to be towed.
Properly preparing your car will ensure the towing process runs smoothly and minimise the risk of delays or legal or financial issues.
To help you out, here is a list of things that you should do before your car gets towed. Keeping these things in mind can help you prevent damage to your car, items being stolen or other complications with the towing company.
Remove valuables and necessary items
Before your vehicle gets towed, ensure that any valuables or essential items are removed from the interior. This can include cash, jewellery, electronics like phones and laptops and essential items like documents or important charging cables.
Even though you should be able to trust your towing company, your car will be left unlocked and accessible, so there’s no point risking your valuables. Additionally, most towing companies’ policies will indicate that they aren’t liable for lost items. You should remove any items from the car that could potentially get damaged in transit.
It’s also worth going through the towing service’s terms and conditions regarding liability for lost and stolen items just so you know what you should expect in case you lose anything.
Take pictures of the car and document its condition
Before the car is towed, be sure to take photos of your vehicle from multiple angles. These photos will serve as proof of your car’s condition before it is taken by the towing company. These photos can be helpful if your vehicle somehow gets damaged in transit. If there are any disputes regarding who’s responsible, you will be able to show the photos and prove that the damage was not there prior to being towed.
Remember that some contract agreements might bind you to a particular auto repair shop. This can potentially cause you to pay more money for repairs than you need to. In some cases, you might not even get your vehicle back until the repair shop has received its payment.
It’s important to tell the towing company that your car can’t be repaired without your authorisation. If you don’t do this, you might end up paying for repairs that you didn’t ask for.
When getting your car towed, it’s important to choose a reputable towing service. Hiring a towing company that you trust will minimise the chance of such issues arising. It can also give you peace of mind during a normally stressful situation.
Disengage emergency brake and steering lock
It’s essential that you have your emergency brake and steering lock disengaged before your car gets towed. Reputable towing professionals will usually check these before towing the vehicle, but it won’t hurt checking for yourself.
In transit, some towing trucks will have two of your wheels rolling on the road. If your brakes aren’t disengaged during this time, it can cause serious damage. For flatbed tow trucks, this is less of an issue. However, you will still need to disengage the brakes as damage can occur while the vehicle is being loaded onto the truck.
Close all windows
While your car is being transported, all kinds of debris can easily get inside your car. Thus, it’s important to close your windows before your vehicle is towed.
Leaving your windows down makes your upholstery vulnerable to surface damage. With open windows, dirt and sharp debris can easily get inside your car, damaging your fabric or leather seats. Shutting your windows can also prevent theft.
It’s easy enough to forget to close your windows after you’ve arrived home from work. It’s even easier to forget when you have other things in mind like repair costs, temporary replacement vehicles and insurance policies. Make sure you don’t add to those list of worries by making sure those windows are completely shut.
Ensure the towing professionals have access to your vehicle
If you’re not going to be present when your car gets towed, ensure that there is an easy way for the towing company to have access to your vehicle. To do this safely, it’s essential that you plan ahead.
There are times when you might have to find a way to safely leave the key for the towing operators. You can hide the key under a floor mat or, to be safe, you can also invest in a magnetic key box. Additionally, if you have spare keys, that could be an alternative as well.
Know where it’s going
Depending on your situation, you might want your vehicle transported to a specific place. It might be your home, a smash repairer or the towing company’s premises. Regardless, make sure that the operators know where you want it delivered.
You might want to have it towed to your home to give yourself some time to figure out your insurance details and find a suitable auto repair shop. In some cases, you might want the car towed directly to a trusted car service centre.
Also, ensure that there’s nothing in the contract that prevents this from happening. Some companies will tow your vehicle directly to their premises and then charge you for storage fees. This is why it’s a must to call a towing service that you know and trust.
Having to get your car towed is not fun. It usually comes with a bunch of fees and plenty of headaches. To mitigate the stress involved in towing, try to remember the points that we’ve outlined above. Keeping these points in mind can make the process a little bit more manageable. Do these things properly and, hopefully, you’ll be back out on the road in no time.