It is bad enough being in an accident, without being potentially targeted by the cowboys who will try and...
It is bad enough being in an accident, without being potentially targeted by the cowboys who will try and tow your vehicle illegally.
Cities and towns across Canada are seeing a surge in unofficial and illegal tow truck companies, who turn up at the site of an accident or breakdown and offer to give the motorist a tow.
Ottawa has seen a particularly large increase in this unethical and illegal property.
Not only is it potentially costing the motorist big time, when the bill comes in. But also you are risking getting into a vehicle with someone completely unknown.
They may not have been criminally or background checked. You do not know if you will be granted access to your vehicle again. You may have to pay more than the stated price.
Added to all this, they may damage your vehicle with towing methods which are not to the requisite standard.
Even if you are planning on hiring a tow truck for reasons other than an emergency (transportation of a mobile home, off road vehicle or otherwise) it still pays to be careful who you choose.
So, how do you spot the rogue towers and recognize the good guys?
Follow our guide to sussing out the who’s who of the tow truck world!
1) What Is Their Experience?
You should carefully check that the roadside assistance operative who comes out to you has experience of towing your kind of vehicle.
This is especially true if you have a larger than usual or different sort of vehicle that needs towing.
Check the operative’s experience. Have they towed a motorcycle/ horse box/ boat before? How often have they done so?
How many drivers or operatives do they employ? How long have they been in business? These are the sorts of conversations you need to be having before you engage anyone.
2) Where Is Their Documentation?
A reputable tow firm will be properly licensed and carry ID and documentation. You shouldn’t even need to ask to see it.
Unofficial tow truck firms will most likely not have these vital pieces of documentation.
Make sure you ask to see their Commercial Vehicle Operators Registration. And also ask for proof of ID. Evidence of the company they work for should be easy to find.
3) What Do Their Customers Say?
Doing as much digging as possible around the firm you choose will ultimately pay off.
See if you can find online reviews of the company you are planning on using. What do their customers say about it?
4) How Much Will This Cost?
Always get a firm price quoted upfront before agreeing to use any tow firm. You do not want to be hit for any surprise charges or extras at the end of the process.
Ensure the price quoted really does include everything – taxes and all.
Ideally, you should get your quote confirmed in writing.
5) See Their Website
A reputable towing firm will have a proper website. Be wary about any company who does not have one.
Also, check them out on social media. Do they have a profile there?
What about their Facebook page? Are there any customer reviews on it? Do they seem like a professional service to you?
6) Ask Friends And Family
The real world is a good place to start, when deciding which tow firm to pick.
Ask around and see if anyone has had any experience with this firm – good or bad!
7) Never Accept Unsolicited Roadside Towing
Lastly, and for the reasons outlined in this post, never ever be tempted to use the services of a fly pitch tow truck service. You will undoubtedly lose out in the long run!