Do Tow Truck Drivers Expect Tips? recently published a report on tow truck services and whether or not you should tip a tow truck driver

In today’s culture, customers have an opportunity to tip almost any time a service is provided. In previous generations, tips were customary at restaurants; now, restaurants are just one of many places that expect and accept tips.

The report explains that while a tip for tow truck drivers is appreciated, it is not required. 

Appropriate Situations to Tip a Tow Truck Driver

An easy tow from a parking lot, driveway, or shoulder may not indicate the necessity of a tip. The trickier the situation, though, the more appropriate a tip. shares these situations where a tip is recommended:

  • The car is stuck in a dangerous spot, such as a busy highway or dark road.
  • There is bad weather or it’s late at night.
  • The driver needs to travel a long distance to reach the vehicle.
  • It takes extra work to get to the car, like when it’s stuck in mud or ice.
  • The driver provides quick or friendly service.

Even though it may be recommended to tip in these situations, it’s not necessary. 

Although there is no standard tip amount for towing, 10% to 15% is a general tipping rule that can apply to these services.

Roadside Assistance and Tow Truck Services

Drivers have two options for roadside assistance: They can purchase the add-on coverage from their car insurance provider or a stand-alone policy. 

A recent study named AAA as the best auto insurance provider for roadside assistance. In addition to covering driving emergencies like running out of gas, getting locked out, and being stuck, AAA membership also provides discounts across the country at participating hotels, car rental companies, subscriptions, events, and more.

Many of the top-rated insurance companies have a roadside assistance plan. Purchasing roadside assistance from a driver’s insurance provider is usually cheaper than a AAA membership, but it doesn’t provide access to the discounts that a AAA membership affords.

The Value of Roadside Assistance

Roadside assistance is not a required coverage. Someone in need of a tow can call a tow truck provider and arrange for a tow independently. They can choose to tip for the tow services as desired.

The benefit of roadside assistance is that a customer can pay an expected monthly or annual fee and avoid the stress of an emergency expense. That can make budgeting easier. 

The Process for Getting a Tow

Whether a driver has emergency roadside assistance coverage from their insurer, AAA, or has no coverage, the process for getting a tow is similar.

The person in need of a tow will typically call a tow company. If they have towing coverage, they may want to opt for a preferred provider when possible. Most emergency roadside assistance plans will still cover services even if they aren’t through a preferred provider. The process is often simpler with a preferred provider because they handle billing insurance.

If the driver is paying independently, they may want to compare rates before settling on a specific tow truck provider. Local tows will likely be competitive, but someone needing a long tow will want to compare the price per mile because there could be a significant difference in price.

While drivers have to pay a deductible after a crash or damage to their vehicle, roadside assistance claims don’t carry a deductible. 

How to Give a Tip

Drivers who want to give their tow truck driver a tip can simply hand the driver cash to thank them for their service. 

Melanie Musson, a nationally recognized insurance expert with explains, “Drivers without cash may wish to ask the driver if they can give them a tip through Venmo or a similar peer payment app.”

Most tow company bills will not have an option for leaving a tip.

Read’s entire report here: Should you tip the tow truck driver?

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