How much does a tow truck cost? 
How much does a tow truck cost? 
Published in January 2024
Tow truck prices in Australia
How much does a tow truck cost? Generally, tow truck prices range from about $165 up to $450 as a base price. Tow truck cost will largely depend on how far you have broken down from the towing truck company you choose. Some towtruck companies charge a flat fee up to a certain distance before implementing a towing cost per km. There may be other additional charges too, such as for the type of vehicle you need towed.
There are plenty of reasons why you might need a tow truck. You might have a flat tyre and not have a spare, be involved in an accident, have run out of fuel, or have engine problems. All these problems may require you to call in the expertise of a tow truck driver.
A tow truck company usually has a wide range of truck and tilt trays based on the size of your car and can offer towing services in and around your local area. If you have been in an accident and your car is written-off, or you need your car towed for any of the above reasons, tow truck prices are quite competitive and there are plenty of companies and drivers waiting to assist.
In this guide, we explore:
- What affects tow truck prices
- Towing prices
- Tips for what to do when you need a tow truck service, and
- How to get free tow truck pricing quotes.
What affects tow truck prices?
How much is a tow truck? The final cost of towing a car is determined by a range of factors. Tow truck hire cost usually starts with a base price, but let’s look at six factors that can increase your overall towing cost:
1. Travelling distance
While many towing companies charge a hook up fee with a certain amount of kilometres travelled included, towing costs are usually charged per kilometre for anything outside of this range. It’s a good idea to call a company that is close by, but you will also need to factor in the distance the towing company will have to travel to drop your vehicle off, and longer tows will cost a lot more.
2. Time of call-out
While there are plenty of towing services that offer 24-hour towing, tow truck hire cost is generally higher during off-hours, and you can expect to pay $50 or more extra than during regular business hours.
3. Day of the week
Similar to the time of call-out, the day of the week you need the service will affect the towing car cost. Car towing prices can have extra surcharges attached for weekends and public holidays. You can expect to pay about $75 or more extra for these days.
4. Ease of access to hook-up your vehicle
The position that your vehicle is in when the tow truck arrives will dictate how easy it is to hook-up. If it’s difficult to hook up because space is tight or your vehicle is facing the wrong way, you may incur an extra fee.
5. Size of your vehicle
A motorbike or a small car is going to be a lot cheaper to tow than a large vehicle. For larger vehicles with a heavier curb weight, towing costs will likely be higher.
6. Type of tow truck required
In the case that your car cannot be driven anymore, then a different type of tow truck will be required to move it. Heavier vehicles also will require different trucks, and tow truck pricing will be more expensive.
You might like: What you need to know about getting your car towed
How much does a tow truck cost per km?
How much to tow a car? Towing cost per km is usually tiered, with cheaper towing prices for breakdowns that occur up to 10km from the towing company, and more expensive towing rates for those within a 50km radius.
Many companies charge a flat fee for hook up between $100 and $150 for the first 10 km, and then charge additional towing rates per km of $3 to $10. You can find a car towing cost calculator for Australia online if you want to get a good indication of the total cost of a tow truck in your case.
Each state is unique when it comes to getting a tow truck price. Generally, you’ll find a fixed car towing price of about $165 for a towing location within 10km, right up to about $450 for a towing location within a 50km radius.
In states such as NSW, the recommended maximum tow truck cost is $235. Each state will outline their own charges as per the state or territory Department of Transport.
If you’re a member of a state or national roadside assistance group such as NRMA or RACQ, your care package or policy will cover car towing prices to a service or regional centre within a specific towing km range.
Additional towing costs for different vehicle types
Your total car towing price is also determined by your vehicle type. For a regular car, you might receive a tow truck quote with a base rate of $100, plus $3.50 for every kilometre, while a heavy vehicle could cost 20 to 25% more. A motorbike might have an $80 base rate for towing, plus $1 for every kilometre travelled.
If you’re in need of a tow truck driver, you should always ensure you are safe first. If you’re on a busy road, keep your hazard lights on to warn other vehicles and drivers of the hazard ahead. Once the tow truck is engaged, have alternative transport arranged to get yourself home safely. Make sure you get contact details for the tow truck driver. In the event of a car accident with other involved parties, exchange your details.
When you need your car towed, find a friendly and experienced tow truck driver that offers a competitive service. If you need a towing service, explore options in your local area. Highly recommended providers will understand how to offer quality towing services with affordable tow truck pricing.
Getting a tow truck quote
When your car breaks down and you’re in need of a tow truck driver, you don’t often have the luxury of asking about tow truck prices first. When you need a tow truck or towing of your vehicle, it’s usually a highly stressful situation in desperate need of roadside assistance. This means, most people will take the first quote for towing a car without even considering their options and the hiring process.
If you’re in a situation where you require a tow truck, get a fair price with a car towing quote through Yellow Pages. You can compare multiple tow truck quotes before making your decision.
Still wondering how much does it cost to tow a car? Be sure to have all the right details on hand for the towing companies. Let them know the specifics of where you are parked (street, garage, hill or between cars), the make, model, and year of your vehicle type, and whether you have roadside assistance or insurance that covers the cost of towing. Tow truck drivers will also want to know if your vehicle is still drivable and where the drop-off point will be.
*All prices quoted were sourced at the time this cost guide was written and should only be used as an estimate.