With road travel surging, I’m Amy E. Feldman with what you need to know about the laws—or lack thereof—on tow truck pricing.
A Michigan woman involved in a multicar pileup on the interstate was relieved when, shortly after the police arrived on scene, a tow truck showed up to remove her damaged car. That is until she got the towing bill for nine thousand forty-eight dollars. Shockingly, the tow truck company had not acted illegally because the Michigan court struck down a law that had made it illegal to charge a price grossly in excess of the value of a good or service.
And that’s not unusual—most states have very few laws that govern tow truck operators. Some states, like Pennsylvania, have laws that say if a car is involuntarily towed away, the rates must be reasonable. But if the car is towed from an accident scene, the law doesn’t set a maximum price for the tow so ask before the car gets hooked up how much it’ll cost so you don’t pay more for the tow than the car is worth.