While any car trouble is an inconvenience, these things seem much worse when they happen along a highway. If there’s enough reaction time, you pull up by the road shoulder and try to find the cause of the problem. But often, the only solution might be to call for a towing service to bring your stationary car straight to the workshop for a mechanic’s skilled inspection. Meanwhile, you find yourself stewing in the heat and humidity—and possibly the embarrassment of causing heavy traffic.
When would you require towing service?
1. Flat tyre
Flat tyres aren’t just inconvenient—they can also put the driver in serious danger. If there’s a sharp object on the road, the tyre can get punctured. Overpumping can cause air to seep out, too.
Damage to the valve stem, tyre bead leaks, alloy wheel leaks, and a worn or ripped tyre as some of the other common causes of flat tyres. When any of these happen, you might need a tow truck to rescue your car and haul it to the workshop.
2. Out of fuel
Sometimes drivers see their fuel metre dipping precariously low but remain optimistic that they would reach their destination on the last remaining drops of fuel. It is in those exact moments that the fuel runs out and you’re left stranded by the side of the street—or worse, the highway—with nowhere to go. That’s when you call a towing service.
3. Overheated engine
Regular car maintenance helps in safeguarding your car’s engine and prolonging your car’s longevity. An overheated engine is the last thing a driver wants for one’s car—fixing it could burn a hole in the pocket. Some of the causes of an engine overheating are water pump failure, radiator blockage, low engine coolant level, and a blown heat gasket.
So when you see steam escaping from under the hood and you have to pull over to the side, you know you’ve got to call for a tow truck.
4. Car breakdowns
Car breakdowns can leave you stranded by the side of the road without a clue as to what caused the problem. Since highway road shoulders are not the best place to be figuring out what went wrong, one option is to call the Land Transport Authority’s customer service hotline. Their service is free and available 24 hours—meaning they’ll come over and tow your car to the nearest carpark outside of the expressway if you are in Singapore.
The downside to this is that unless you can establish the root of the problem, you will still be stuck with a stationary car in a carpark possibly far from your desired workshop. So the alternative option is to call for towing service directly.
5. Collisions or accidents
In the event of an unfortunate incident, like crashing into another vehicle or a tree, a tow truck would be required immediately at the scene. Depending on the condition of your car after the collision, it’s best not to continue driving until you can ascertain your safety in the car, so call your tow truck mechanics and they will be able to assess the situation for you.
If the towing service is provided by your car insurance company, that’s even better because they will be able to bring your car to one of their authorised workshops or one which you prefer.
How much would towing cost?
Towing services are varied. There’s normal towing, accident towing, flatbed towing, and even special towing services for luxury or sports cars.
You’ll be hard pressed to find prices for car towing services on workshop websites, but there are standard ballpark figures around. Car company Nissan provides normal towing service at $58 while Dollars and Sense suggests that “the usual rate of hiring a tow truck is around $70, but this is a cost that could be higher.”
More importantly, in cases of accidents where you will need your insurance company to handle the claims, it is recommended to use a tow truck company that is approved by your car’s insurer. Otherwise, you could potentially delay your claim.
It is crucial to understand what is covered by your insurance policy—a comprehensive plan is recommended as it often protects against injury to someone else in an accident, crashing into a third-party vehicle and more—and to know how their towing service works.
Having 24-hour tow-truck service that you can easily access through a hotline is convenient in times of an accident or collision when your mind is fraught with worries. If you frequently travel across the causeway, an insurance company that is able to arrange for towing service beyond the Singapore borders will also give you peace of mind in the event of an accident along the highway.