Getting involved in accident is quite stressful and having to deal with Tow Truck Operators in the aftermath can add to this. Wheels24 has created a list of 12 tips for dealing with tow truck operators to ensure that you and your car are assisted in a simple and safe manner.
12 Tips for Dealing With Tow Truck Operators:
1. Only use the services of the first SATRA or UTASA member to arrive at the scene of an accident. You have the right to choose to use a SATRA or UTASA member, who is bound by a contractually enforceable code of conduct, and protects you, the consumer, from being charged above market related rates.
2. If your vehicle is insured, contact your insurer or broker and ask for information on the procedure to follow – have this information available in your vehicle at all times.
3. If you have insurance cover that includes towing charges, call the emergency towing assistance number (usually on a sticker provided by the insurance company).
4. The roadside assistance services provided by automakers and cellular service providers have additional costs associated. If you purchase a new car or cell phone contract and roadside assistance forms part of the deal, make sure you are not paying extra for it if you already have this service.
5. If you make use of a roadside assistance product, make sure you know your rights: in almost all cases you or your insurer will be liable to pay the costs of towing an accident-damaged vehicle.
6. Make sure that the damaged vehicle is delivered to a repairer approved by your insurer or, if you are not insured, make sure to collect your vehicle as soon as possible to prevent the accrual of storage charges.
7. When dealing with recovery companies, always establish the amount to be charged for all aspects including towing, salvage and storage fees.
8. Get as much information about the tow operator as possible before you agree to the recovery - name of company, driver, and registration of tow truck, physical address and phone number (preferably not a cell phone).
9. Always agree on towing charges before your vehicle is towed or you might be in for an unpleasant surprise.
10. Do not sign anything unless you have read through all documentation first. If the tow operator insists, make sure that it is ONLY an authorization to tow the vehicle.
11. Remove all valuables from the vehicle before it is towed away for repairs.
12. If you are an Automobile Association member, contact the AA to arrange the tow. The AA uses only certain towing companies that comply with a code of conduct and service levels. You also have recourse if something goes wrong.