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When stuck on the side of the road, seeing a tow truck might feel like a guardian angel has just landed but before committing to anything, here are a few things to note:

Always ensure that the vehicle is being towed to the address as instructed by the insurance company. Some tow truck operators strike deals with certain companies to take over the vehicle repairs or charge additional storage fees.

The towing industry is not regulated, so there are no set rates. The towing associatio­ns have agreed on preferenti­al rates with their partners, so it’s advisable to use a truck that’s affiliated with the United Towing Associatio­n of SA (086 118 8272), Natal Towing Associatio­n (086 168 2682) or the South African Towing and Recovery Associatio­n (086 107 2872). Ensure the tow-truck operator displays his associatio­n’s sticker.

Never allow the tow-truck driver to call your insurer unless you’re injured. Know who your insurer is and display “do not tow” stickers, if you have them. Know what your policy covers and what you’re liable for.

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