How does car insurance cover towing?
Make sure you have a tow when you need it.
We’re reader-supported and may be paid when you visit links to partner sites. We don’t compare all products in the market, but we’re working on it!
Getting stranded without your car is a highly stressful situation, but knowing you have a tow available in case of an accident can be a big relief. If you have a car insurance policy, you should be covered for it at no extra cost in the event of a covered accident, fire or theft, but there may be limits on where or how far they'll take your car. We've put together this guide to help you find out if you're already covered for towing or, if not, how to get it.
Who offers cover for towing?
Is towing included in my car insurance?
Many comprehensive car insurance policies will automatically include towing to the nearest repairer or safe location if an incident occurs. Some plans will even include complimentary roadside assistance, which may result in a tow depending on the state of your car and the particulars of the roadside assistance.
Apart from comprehensive policies, certain insurers like Youi, Budget Direct and Coles offer third party fire and theft policies which have towing costs included. Always check your policy documents to make sure you know what you're covered for.
How am I covered for towing?
For comprehensive policies, you'll likely be covered for towing in the case of any incident included in your policy (such as accidents or attempted theft) if it leaves your car in an undriveable state or far away. For third party fire and theft policies with included towing, your car will probably only be towed if the incident was a fire or attempted theft.
When you've been in an accident or your car needs a tow, you should always call up your provider first. As part of lodging your claim, they may arrange a tow on your behalf. In the event that they leave it up to you to arrange, it's still important that you've called them up to get their advice on what they may or may not cover, and also so that they can assist you in finding an accredited tower near your location so you can be reimbursed.
Most insurers do not provide a distance limit on towing, but do specify that they will only take you as far as the nearest repairer they approve or secure place of storage, like your house. But once again, make sure to check your policy details. For example, Suncorp will only cover you for a single tow, even if your vehicle doesn't end up at a repairer.
Does roadside assistance cover towing?
Yes, in some circumstances. If you obtain roadside assistance, whether it's from your insurer or a dedicated roadside assistance provider, towing should be included as part of the service.
However, unlike towing provided after an incident on an insurance policy, free towing as part of roadside assistance is usually subject to a couple of restrictions:
- Distance limits. Budget Direct's roadside assistance will only tow your vehicle for free up to 15km in a metropolitan area or 50km in a country area. Standalone roadside assistance from RAC offers free towing anywhere from 10km to 300km, depending on whether you're in a metro or country area and which tier you sign up to.
- Size limits. Your vehicle has to be under a certain weight and height, usually less than about 3.5-4 tonnes and no more than 3 or so metres high.
Whether roadside assistance is worth it depends on how likely you think your car is to face routine mechanical issues, since it won't help with a tow in the event of an accident or fire – you'll need car insurance to be covered for that. Also, roadside assistance tends to have a limited service area. While you might be covered for accidents Australia-wide, you simply may not be able to get roadside assistance in some parts of the country.
More guides on Finder
Upcoming hybrid and electric car comparison
Compare soon-to-launch electric and hybrid cars.
Campervan relocations in Australia | Where to book, what to know
Discover great destinations for campervan relocations for your adventure across Australia.
Campervan hire on the Gold Coast | Where to book, what to know
Take your vacation to the next level with a campervan hire on the Gold Coast.
Campervan hire in Brisbane | Where to book, what to know
Ready to explore the wonders of Queensland? Here’s our guide on hiring a campervan from Brisbane.
Campervan hire in Adelaide | Where to book, what to know
Cruise Australia's picturesque roads in your perfect camper from Adelaide.
Campervan hire in Tasmania | Where to book, what to know
Got the wanderlust? Explore the rugged Tasmanian wilderness with a campervan to suit your needs.
Campervan hire in Sydney | Where to book, what to know
Find your perfect home on wheels with campervan rentals in The Harbour City.
Mercedes-Benz E-Class car insurance
Find out how much the average Mercedes-Benz E-Class costs to insure, as well as how to find a prestige car insurer.
How to start an entertainment business
Here's everything you need to know to set up and grow your entertainment business.
How to start a gardening business
Here are all the things you need to know for a successful gardening business.
Ask an Expert