My boyfriend drives a tow truck and one of the things I love about him is how he usually tries to give the people he tows a break.
This afternoon he got a police call where the driver decided to go to the hospital to get checked out after an accident and requested that a tow truck be called to take her car to her house. He made the judgement call to say that there wouldn’t be anyone at the house to pay him, so he took her car directly to the impound lot and drove his personal vehicle to her house to make sure that there wasn’t anyone there (he was right). If he had been wrong, he’d planned to drive that person to the lot so that they could retrieve the car, but as it was, he just left a note with the info on where to find the car.
If he hadn’t out-thought the client, he’d have had to charge an additional fee for actually impounding the car (to cover the additional gas used to drive all the way to and from the clients house). Since it’s a Saturday night and the shop is obviously closed, he will charge the woman a fee to release the car after hours, but he’s giving her the weekday rate instead of the weekend rate. He saved the woman about $50 total.
He gave a guy who’d stupidly let a person on a suspended license drive his car the same break last weekend.
Also last weekend he towed a car 10 feet (out of the way and into a parking spot) then waited like 20 minutes for someone to bring him payment so that the owner wouldn’t have to pay the storage/release fees (just the $160 police call fee). He’s driven a lot of folks to their bank so that they can pay him immediately to get their car back. He doesn’t have to do either of these things. Until he gets paid, that car is his collateral with him supposed to take it from where it got into trouble directly to the impound lot for safekeeping where he can then charge any storage/release fees that he deems necessary to cover his costs. Heck, he carries around an invoice from a rival in case folks complain about his prices because they charge a $100 “Admin Fee” on top of every other fee they can think of (in reality the only real admin costs are when the car goes uncollected and the towing company needs to file to get the Title so that they can get rid of the car).
A few months ago he would have given a couple of folks a ride except that they got so demanding and rude (as though it was his duty to drive them to their friend’s house) that he refused (though after he finished towing the vehicle he drove past where he’d left them to see if their attitude had changed, but they were gone).
I can’t guarantee that every tow truck driver is going to be a nice guy, but most that I’ve met and who I’ve heard about are. They know that if you’ve had a tow truck called you’re probably having a really bad day. Just be nice to them and they’ll do what they can to help you out. Unless you’re a DUI, in which case be prepared to not get too much sympathy.