How Much Does It Cost to Tow a Car in Los Angeles?
Please understand that all the prices that are mentioned in the article are averages from companies in Los Angeles and not our prices!
First of all, prices may vary from company to company, so it's hard to say the exact numbers. We made phone calls to over ten companies in West L-A, San Fernando Valley, Santa Clarita, and East L-A, to give you some estimates and ideas for a cost of a towing in Los Angeles.
The first fee most companies are starting with is a "hook up" fee, which usually starts from $55 and can go up to $85 for a regular sedan. That cost may vary depending on the vehicle condition. For example, damaged vehicles may give some troubles in order to hook them up safely, so the price will go up. For bigger size vehicles like pick up trucks, suv's, vans, utility loaded cars, etc. the hook fee may cost up to $145.
The second fee that will be added up to the "hook up" fee is the charge "per mile," which will usually start with $4 per mile and can go up to $10. The cost will be determined according to the vehicle location & tow destination, vehicle size, make & model, and condition.
Towing Cost in Los Angeles
Usually, there is a minimum fee of $80-$100 for any tow. That means even a tow of a mile will start with this minimum charge.
We have lots of calls every day that are starting with a question of "how much do you charge per mile, I only need to tow my car half a block." The answer will be that we have a minimum charge. Most of the people won't understand that. In order to tow a vehicle even 150 feet, first, we have to come to your location, which can be 1,5 or 15 miles. Second, we need to secure the car, which sometimes can be up to 30 minutes so we can tow it safely without any damage. Third, we need to unload the vehicle safely.
I think you got the explanation for towing companies minimum tow charge.
Other fees that may apply:
Dollies: Some vehicles will require the use of dollies, that usually happens when you can't shift your gear, your steering wheel is locked, 4 by 4's and some other cases. Dollies fee will start from $50, and we saw some instances where it can cost up to $250 depending on the vehicle make & model, condition, and the tow distance.
Skates: For the same reasons as dollies, flatbed trucks are using skates. Skates cost will start from $40 and can go up to $100 depending on the same conditions that are mentioned above.
Low Clearance: Low clearance garages and underground parking lots are requiring special low profile trucks, with special equipment that is needed to recover a car from its location. Hard to say what is the cost for a low clearance tow because usually, it is an additional charge for the "hook up" fee and the "per mile" fee.
There are no differences in prices between flatbed tow and a wheel lift tow.
Companies that are operating 24/7 may charge extra for the "hook up" fee and the "per mile" fee during late hours, which is totally fine since the hourly wage for employees working night times, or overtime is higher than the usual.
Winch out: If your car is stuck in mud or requiring a recovery, you will need a winch out service. Winch out prices are usually per hour. A basic winch out can start with a $70 per hour fee and may go up to $200 per hour. If a tow is needed after your vehicle is recovered, it will be an additional cost to the per hour winch.
* You have to understand that towing cost fees have to cover other expenses for its companies. All the towing charges are calculated based on the area of the tow, minimum wage according to that area/state, fuel prices, insurances costs for all the vehicles and operators as well as high priced working compensation for the operators, vehicles maintenance, office rent and equipment expenses and more. So about a $100 in California even for 1 mile is not that pricey unless a non-licensed and non-insured operator provides it.
To sum up, a basic 10 miles tow in Los Angeles can cost around $125, but it can cost up to $250 in some situations that are depending on vehicle conditions, locations, make & model.
A 40 miles tow can cost $250 for a basic sedan tow while other tows with complications and different vehicles can cost up to $450.