How To Start A Towing Business


A towing service business is a good solid business opportunity. Cars will always break down and the owners will need them towed to a repair center. Illegally parked cars will always need to be towed away to impound yards. Automobile accidents happen on a regular basis and the vehicles involved need to be towed away. Therefore, there will always be a need for a towing service. Tow service operators perform many services for stranded motorists. If you are considering starting a towing service business you should know the requirements and how to succeed in this industry.

Tow_truck_-(275) _Blizzard_of_2010You will need to determine if you have the necessary skills needed to successfully operate a towing service business. You should have a good driving record and be skilled in knowing how to operate  tow trucks and related equipment safely and efficiently. You  should also be aware that tow truck operators face many hazards on the roads themselves.

Do you already know how to drive and operate a tow truck or will you require training? Have you worked for a towing service and have some knowledge as to how to operate a towing service business? You should also be familiar with the area you intend to operate in. You should be pleasant and able to provide good customer service.

Tow_truck (275)Once you decide to start a towing service business there are many other things you will need to take into consideration. You will need to find out how much the permits and licensing fees will cost. Determine what your financial resources are.

Will you need to obtain financing? If so, will you be able to easily make the payments? Do you have a client base? Do you know who your competitors are? Will you tow cars for the general public? Will you handle bank and finance company repossessions? Will you haul vehicles for police departments? Do you have an impound yard? Do you want to be available to work 24 hours per day? How much will your insurance cost? What is the amount of income you can reasonably expect to earn? You will need to answer these questions and many more in order to make a good business plan which is accurate.

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The first order of business is to formulate a business plan. A good business plan will help guide you in the operation and the direction in which you want the business to grow. Determine what your financial resources are. You will need to accurately estimate the amount of capital that you will need.

If you already have a tow truck that is one expense you don’t have to consider. However, if you need to purchase a tow truck you will need to do research in order to find about the wide variety of choices available in the marketplace. Most tow truck operators prefer flatbed tow trucks. Flatbed tow trucks are also the preference of stranded motorists who find themselves in need of a tow truck. This is because flatbed tow trucks contain a large empty bed in the back of the truck. Through the use of hydraulics, this bed can be inclined and used as a ramp. Once the vehicle is in place the flatbed levels out which enables the vehicle to be safely hauled away.

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Once you purchase a tow truck your first order of business is to get the appropriate insurance on the truck. Next you will need to secure a license from your county or state. Rules vary from one area to another so you will need to know the rules in the area in which you plan to operate. You will need to show that you have proof of insurance. You will also need to determine how much the permits and licensing fees will cost in your area.

Armed with your license you can begin marketing your business. There are two types of towing services. One type of towing company handles what is termed consent towing. Consent towing is when clients call towing companies to have them tow vehicles at their request. These people will be happy to see you when you show up. Non-consent towing involves vehicles which are towed by other than the request of the owners. These vehicles may have been parked illegally or they are being involuntarily repossessed, etc. If this is the case you will need to be able to deal with angry people and possibly find yourself in dangerous situations.


Decide if you want to work for business owners, government agencies, the general public or all of them. Call on potential clients if you are seeking to work for business owners or government agencies. If you plan to work for the general public you will need to advertise your services. You might want to consider placing a Yellow Page Ad or ads in neighborhood publications. You should also call on repair centers and develop relationships with them so that they can refer their customers to you when clients need to have vehicles towed to their repair center. You should have a good quality cell phone. You will also need to have business cards, receipt books and possibly flyers available to hand out to clients and potential clients.

In addition to having a good tow truck you should have amber strobe lights and flood lights. Also, plan to have roadside assistance equipment as well as flares and traffic cones. Determine if you need a GPS Unit. You should also have some basic auto tools which can help in making minor repairs.

You will need to decide what type of payments you will accept. There are costs for accepting credit and debit cards. If you choose to accept these types of cards you should know what the fees is for using them. You may of course choose to accept cash only. Tow truck drivers of course consider their own personal safety when making decisions.

Take the time to make a realistic business plan. If you do so you can regularly check your progress and know if you are on track with your established goals. If not you can determine what changes you will need to make. Knowledge and experience will guide you in the successful operation of your towing service business.

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