How Much Does a Tow Truck Cost?
A tow truck is one that is capable of moving another vehicle from one place to another. A tow truck business is a type of business that earns from towing or offering roadside assistance or repair to various vehicles. It runs a repair facility and, in some cases, holds repossession operations. When buying a tow truck with this business in mind, it pays to obtain a vehicle that can perform the towing job well and provide the services as expected. There are numerous tow truck choices and being able to find the best one can have a positive bearing on the future business endeavor.
How much does it cost?
- Like a car, the make and model of a tow truck will greatly dictate the price. A premium, newer tow truck may cost as much as $100,000 while a used, older tow truck could cost as little as $5,000. Since the price ranges will greatly vary, most tow trucks will be anywhere between the $10,000 and $80,000 price range. However, do keep in mind that some models can cost a lot more (or less) than this.
- At Towing-recovery.nelsontruck.com, for example, a tow truck supplier in Seattle, Washington, a work-ready 2012 Dodge 4500 4×4 SLT unit costs $78,900, while a reconditioned 2012 Dodge 5500 SLT costs $69,900. A 2012 Freightliner M2 High tow truck costs $88,500.
- Truckertotrucker.com provides a list of tow trucks for sale, including the following:
- 2012 Kenworth T270 – $102,792.04
- 2012 International Durastar – $80,000
- 2000 International 9200I – $93,500
- 2007 International 4400 – $44,900
- 2005 International 4200 – $28,500
- 2000 Freightliner FL60 – $25,000
- 1989 Western Star – $5,700
- Truckpaper.com lists a number of tow trucks for sale, including:
- 2011 Ford F650 – $90,000
- 2012 Ford F650 – $71,575
- 2013 Ford F550 XLT – $67,900
- 2012 Ford F550 XLT – $64,000
- 2011 Ford F550 XLT – $59,995
- 2012 Dodge RAM 4500HD – $59,995
- 2006 Ford F650 – $49,900
- 2006 Ford F650 – $39,900
- 2008 ford F550 XLT – $39,890
- 2007 Ford F450 – $38,999
- 2004 Ford F650 – $37,999
- 2008 ford F550 – $36,995
- 2004 ford F450 SD – $34,500
- 2004 Chevrolet Kodiak C4500 – $29,500
- 2004 Chevrolet Kodiak C4500 – $21,995
- 2005 Ford F450 XLT – $24,450
- 2001 Ford F450 – $20,000
- 1990 Ford F450 XLT – $12,400
- 1990 Chevrolet Kodiak C6500 – $9,000
What is going to be included?
- Depending on the make or model, tow trucks can either be brand new, used or reconditioned units that come with a warranty. The most common tow truck types are boom trucks, hook and chain, wheel-lifts, flatbeds/rollbacks and integrated self-loaders.
What are the extra costs?
- When buying a tow truck for towing services, it is important to obtain certain tools and equipment that are vital for vehicle towing and transport. These include tow chains, tow chains and straps, winch cables and accessories, snatch blocks, winches and accessories, wheel chocks, jump start, vehicle entry and lock out tools, hitches, tow dollies and components, heavy duty wrecker accessories, and motorcycle tie down and accessories.
- Buying a tow truck for business purposes entails applying for a towing license and registering the business with the state office and county clerk. It also involves purchasing business insurance, including general liability, property, auto and worker’s compensation insurance. A surety bond is also needed to help cover other costs related with lawsuits or settlements.
- Tow truck insurance is also required. It is designed especially or towing professionals who own or drive tow trucks. Standard vehicle insurance coverage will be included in any tow truck insurance plan. These include bodily harm, auto liability, and collision, to name a few. Other coverage options designed specifically for tow trucks are on-hook, garage keepers, cargo coverage and garage liability. For more information, see: “How Much Does Tow Truck Insurance Cost?”
Factors that influence the price:
- Type. Tow trucks come in different types including the following: wheel lift tow truck, flatbed tow truck and boom tow truck. The wheel lift tow truck is designed to wrap a metal yoke around the frame (axle) of the vehicle to be towed, and then attached under its front or rear wheels. The wheel lift tow truck then lifts the front or rear portion of the vehicle from the ground using a hydraulic or pneumatic hoist as it is towed. Flatbed tow trucks, or rollback tow trucks, feature a large empty bed at the back of the truck, which can be inclined so that it becomes a ramp on which the vehicle can be placed, and then leveled out using hydraulics. The boom tow truck is equipped with an adjustable boom winch suitable for pulling from vehicles from ditches or culverts. Of the three, the boom tow truck is usually the most expensive.
- Make and model. Newer tow trucks usually cost more than older makes and models as these units often have better and more sophisticated features. Plus, they may also come with features that make the trucks more efficient in towing vehicles.
- Specifications. Tow trucks come with an array of specifications and features. Buyers have to be specific with their actual purpose for buying a tow truck. Often, recovery cases require heavier trucks with more equipment and tools than those trucks for basic services such as roadside repair and towing to repair shops.
Tips to know:
- Tow truck dealers usually provide financing options to customers who plan to buy tow trucks. Make sure to check the offerings and find a financial plan suitable for your financial capabilities.
- Inquire about the warranty that comes with the tow truck. Many tow truck suppliers offer standard tow truck chassis manufacturer warranty as well as a one-year body manufacturer warranty. Some provide a range of extended tow truck and towing/recovery equipment warranty alternatives that are offered for purchase.
- Several tow truck dealers have a large inventory of tow trucks, parts and accessories. This gives them the capability to build any custom vehicle onsite.
How can I save money?
- Buying a tow truck is an expensive endeavor as it involves a huge amount of money, especially when purchasing a fleet. By buying used tow trucks, you can save several thousand dollars.
- There are different types of financing. Buyers can purchase or lease their tow trucks. The terms and conditions for these two choices can vary depending on the sales facility and the financial institution. A tow truck can be financed on site, through a bank or through other conventional financing methods. When choosing to lease a tow truck, a buyer should review all the terms and stipulations of the lease or financing agreement. Also, the tow truck should be covered if repairs are required.