The towing industry can be a lucrative one, and if you’re not aware of some common scams, you could end up paying a hefty bill for services you didn’t ask for or require. You may be surprised at how common these types of scams are and how often they occur after an accident. That’s why it’s important to educate yourself, so you don’t end up falling for these scams and tricks. Here are five of the most common types of traps drivers fall for:
1. Tow truck drivers may tell you the damages are worse than they appear, convincing you to use their services, so you don’t harm someone else on the way home or to the repair shop. Use your best judgment to observe and document the damages before trusting the tow truck driver to make that assessment for you.
2. A simple detour or prolonged storage period can drastically increase your bill. In some instances, the driver could make a wrong turn or take you to a repair shop you did not request. When this happens, the time spent towing your vehicle can significantly increase, so make sure to specify before leaving the scene of the accident where you are going and the specifics of the mileage cost.
3. When too many vehicles are at the scene of an accident, it becomes a safety hazard and another obstacle for authorities to do their jobs. Since collision towing is competitive, police are aware that many tow truck drivers will race to the scene of an accident to compete for the job. You should avoid this pitfall by calling a tow truck driver you’ve previously researched instead of hiring one who shows up on site.
4. Due to the competitive nature of the industry, drivers may use language to make accident victims feel comfortable and safe using their services. The phrase “I’ll take care of you” can go a long way in a victim’s mind after a collision, and tow truck drivers know how to exploit your vulnerability following a startling accident.
5. Many body shops will pay the tow truck driver to bring them damaged vehicles. Because of this, it’s a good idea to pick a body shop beforehand or consult with your insurance company on their preference so you don’t get scammed into a low-quality repair shop that will upcharge for services.
The best way to avoid getting scammed is to be aware of how this industry works. That way you don’t find yourself spending more than what you have to for repairs. Consult with the police officers on site and your insurance company before letting anyone load your vehicle and drive it to a repair shop to save you time, money, and lots of stress.
Of course, not all tow truck drivers are out to trick you or get your money, but it is a common practice. And while it usually comes down to these drivers wanting to make some extra cash to provide for their own families, you shouldn’t have to suffer additional financial pressure because of an aggressive or deceitful towing company.