Do you tip tow truck drivers?

Are you wondering: "Do you tip tow truck drivers"? Whether or not you tip tow truck drivers is primarily based on personal preference. However, most tow truck drivers appreciate tips. In general, you should consider tipping your tow truck driver $5 for small jobs and $10 for large jobs.

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Rachel Bodine graduated from college with a BA in English. She has since worked as a Feature Writer in the insurance industry and gained a deep knowledge of state and countrywide insurance laws and rates. Her research and writing focus on helping readers understand their insurance coverage and how to find savings. Her expert advice on insurance has been featured on sites like PhotoEnforced, All...

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Written by Rachel Bodine
Feature Writer Rachel Bodine

Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years (BBB A+). He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like and Safeco. He reviews content, ensuring that ex...

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent Daniel Walker

UPDATED: May 5, 2022

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Things to Remember

  • In general, you may choose to tip your tow truck driver as much or as little as you feel they deserve, although tips are always greatly appreciated
  • You may want to consider tipping $5 for small jobs, such as changing a tire or unlocking your car, and $10 for large jobs, such as towing your vehicle or helping you in bad weather
  • Some companies may discourage tipping, especially if you have roadside assistance coverage from your auto insurance, but you can still choose to tip if you wish

Do you tip tow truck drivers? Answers may vary based on opinions about the skill required to complete tow jobs, whether tow truck drivers already make enough money, and whether towing services are covered by your auto insurance policy.

Read more below about the generally-accepted rules about tipping your tow truck driver, how much tow truck drivers make, and how much towing services can cost.

If you need help finding auto insurance with roadside assistance to reduce your tow truck expenses, enter your ZIP code into our free quote comparison tool above.

Do you tip tow truck drivers?

Do you tip a truck driver? In general, tipping truck drivers is appreciated but not required. However, customer opinion varies on whether tipping your tow truck driver is necessary. Therefore, some people make judgment calls based on how valuable their service was. They factor in how much the tow truck driver helped with their car, how skillfully they completed the task, and how much work went into helping them.

It is especially appreciated if you tip your tow truck driver after they have gone above and beyond to help you. Here are some instances in which you should highly consider tipping a tow truck driver:

  • They help you late at night
  • They tow your car a far distance
  • They help you in a difficult area
  • They have a hard time getting your car out of a difficult situation
  • They help you on a dangerous highway
  • They help you during bad weather
  • They provide quick and helpful service

In some instances, a company may discourage tipping, such as if you have towing coverage from your auto insurance company. Therefore, the tow truck driver may not expect a tip, but that doesn’t mean you can’t give them one. Even if you’re told not to tip, you can still give one if you feel it is deserved.

There are also some instances in which tipping your tow truck driver may just be unacceptable. For example, if they are rude or unprofessional, you may not feel that they deserve a tip. In addition, if they damage your vehicle, then that’s an obvious reason not to tip. You could also choose not to tip if you feel they are overcharging you, but this can sometimes be difficult to determine.

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How much should you tip a tow truck driver?

To make it simple, you can tip your tow truck driver however much you want to or can afford. However, there are some general rules that you may want to consider.

For example, many people say that tipping $5 for small jobs and $10 for large jobs is sufficient. Small jobs would include things like changing a flat tire or helping you unlock your car, while large jobs include things like towing your car or having to help in bad conditions.

Today, it’s very easy to leave your house without cash, so if you’re unable to tip, you can always express your disappointment at not being able to tip the tow truck driver and ask if there’s something else you can do to help them. For example, you might be able to take a few business cards to give to other people, or you could offer to leave a good review online.

Should you tip roadside assistance?

Do you tip tow truck drivers from AAA and other roadside assistance programs? In general, the same rules apply to tow truck drivers from roadside assistance programs. However, as we stated above, some companies may discourage tipping if you have roadside assistance coverage where your insurance pays for the services.

How much do tow truck drivers make?

Let’s take a look at the average salaries and hourly wages for tow truck drivers in each state:

Average Tow Truck Driver Salary by State in 2022
StateAverage Annual Salary for Tow Truck DriversAverage Hourly Wage for Tow Truck Drivers
New Hampshire$42,190$20.28
New Jersey$47,471$22.82
New Mexico$37,300$17.93
New York$49,206$23.66
North Carolina$41,798$20.10
North Dakota$49,431$23.76
Rhode Island$53,085$25.52
South Carolina$41,248$19.83
South Dakota$45,090$21.68
Washington, D.C. $46,494$22.35
West Virginia$34,699$16.68
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As you can see in the table above, tow truck drivers don’t make a particularly large salary. Therefore, tips are greatly appreciated for their hard work.

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How much does it cost to get your car towed?

The average cost to tow a car will vary based on your location, the time of day, the type of vehicle that needs to be towed, and how far you need to be towed. However, the base towing fee is typically between $35 and $100, which may include the first 5-7 miles. If you need to be towed further, expect to pay an additional $2.50 to $7.00 per mile.

If you need to be towed after a collision, expect to pay even higher rates, since there are additional costs that come with towing a damaged vehicle. In addition, if your vehicle is stuck, expect to pay between $50 and $250 more for using a winch to pull you out.

If you’re worried about the cost of towing services in an emergency, your best option is to have towing or roadside assistance coverage with your auto insurance company. Enter your ZIP code into our free quote comparison tool below to find an affordable auto insurance policy that includes roadside assistance.

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