Your vehicle can be towed for valid reasons, i.e., if you park in a loading zone. But sometimes, it is the towing company that only wants to earn fees. These enterprises are here to pull or transport your indisposed or, in many cases, disabled vehicle using a tow truck or a “wrecker”.
Towing companies are mainly involved in towing heavy or light motor vehicles both locally and long-distance. However, towing industry statistics show that they also provide various incidental services, including emergency and storage road repair.
We listed some interesting stats to help you learn more about the industry and be prepared if you need to have your vehicle towed. You will find out more about important data in the towing industry, like the number of companies and workers, salaries and the market size.
Towing Industry Stats (Editor’s Choice)
- On average, businesses charge a fee of $75 to $125 per towing service.
- Towing charges of large or heavy-duty vehicles are 20–25% higher.
- There are 47,618 businesses and 113,885 employees in the car towing industry in the US.
- A towing industry worker in the US earns an average yearly salary of $42,000.
- The fatality risk for workers in this industry is about 15 times higher than in other private sectors.
- 91.3% of tow truck drivers are men.
- By 2028, the global roadside assistance market will reach $38.5 billion.
Towing Industry Statistics
Towing industry is experiencing a boom in the United States and worldwide. An increase in disposable income leads to more vehicle purchases, putting more vehicles on the roads and making some drivers park improperly or get into an car accident.
We’ll present you with some informative stats and numbers about the towing industry market size and costs of towing a vehicle.
1. In terms of revenue, the automobile towing US market size is $11.3 billion and is expected to experience a growth of 2.9% in 2022.
The yearly growth of this industry has been 5.5% from 2017 to 2022. Interestingly enough, the towing industry grew faster than the American economy overall.
We can attribute this growth to the increasing number of vehicles on American roads. Naturally, the more vehicles there are, the more will be improperly parked, get into accidents, or break down somewhere along the road.
2. The average towing rate is $75 to $125 per service, with a minimum of $50 for local towing.
Apart from the basic price, you need to add 2–4 bucks for each additional mile. Several parameters that affect towing costs are company and region, the vehicle type and size, and the time of day towing occurs.
Many companies offer free estimates, but you should check your car insurance policy, as those usually include towing services.
3. Estimated towing charges of large or heavy-duty vehicles are 20–25% higher.
Since a vehicle size has a massive effect on the total towing cost, it’s expected that a large or heavy-duty vehicle will require you to spend more money. These types of vehicles are usually towed on a flatbed tow truck, especially in the case of an accident.
However, hiring a flatbed tow truck costs more than regular dolly towing. Generally, the price is $95 plus $3.50 per mile. Although it’s more expensive, this option is much safer, so it’s worth considering.
4. With about 500,000 dispatched tows a year, United Road Towing, Inc. is the largest towing company in the USA.
(United Road Towing)
United Road Towing provides vehicle towing, impound, recovery, and excellent vehicle management in the public and private sectors.
The company’s extensive network of regional and local brands dispatches about half a million tows annually. Furthermore, they sell more than 60,000 vehicles and manage more than 300,000 impounds in the US each year.
5. There are 47,618 businesses and 113,885 employees in the vehicle towing industry in the United States.
Interestingly, this industry has no businesses with a towing industry market share of over 5%. However, it’s expected that the number of companies and employees will grow after the pandemic eases and more cars return to the roads.
6. 57% of all tow truck drivers have a high school diploma.
A university degree isn’t typical among drivers in this industry. For example, it’s reported that only 15% of tow truck drivers earned an associate degree, while 14% earned a diploma.
Those with a high school diploma earn more than others. Their annual salary is $43,036, as shown in towing industry statistics in the USA.
DeVry University and the University of Phoenix are the top two college choices for all drivers in the research.
7. The fatality risk for towing industry workers is approximately 15 times higher than in other private industries.
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and the Bureau of Labor Statistics give us alarming data about the accidents in the vehicle towing industry.
As these unfortunate towing facts show, there was an annual rate of 42.9 deaths per 100,000 full-time tow truck workers (191 deaths in total) and 204.2 non-fatal injuries per 10,000 FT workers each year.
To put things into perspective, there were only 2.9 deaths per 100,000 full-time workers in other industries, while the non-fatal rate was 98.2 per 10,000.
8. As automobile towing industry statistics indicate, the average yearly salary of a tow truck driver in the United States is $42,000.
Broken down, this comes to $20.57 an hour. The lowest salary in the industry amounts to $29,000 a year, while the top 10% make $61,000. Alaska has the highest average tow truck driver salary ($59,299), followed by New Hampshire ($50,754), and Rhode Island ($50,738).
Also, women earn less than their male counterparts in the industry. For example, for every dollar a man makes, a woman makes 93 cents.
9. National Express does car towing from state to state for an average of $0.7 per mile.
This company is one of the most notable vehicle towing/transportation businesses in the US, offering reliable, safe, and timely transport of all kinds of vehicles—from broken-down cars to luxury old-timers—to any state in the US.
Their general prices per mile are $0.45 for cross country vehicle transport, $0.75 for distances of at least 1000 miles, and $1 for up to 500 miles. In addition, the National Express’s website features a car shipping calculator, which is the fastest way to get price estimates.
10. According to tow truck driver statistics, 91.3% of tow truck drivers are male.
Out of the total number of tow truck drivers (31,154), only 5.5% are women, and 3.2% are unknown. Moreover, the number of female tow truck drivers has declined in the past few years. For example, there were 5.75% of female drivers in this industry in 2018.
Regarding race, drivers are predominantly White (64.5%). In addition, American Indian and Alaska Native people comprise only 0.9% of tow truck driver demographics.
Roadside Assistance Statistics
Roadside assistance and breakdown coverage represent services for drivers whose vehicles have undergone minor electrical or mechanical failure that leaves the user stuck along the road.
These services include jump-starting a car, assisting in changing a flat tire, towing a vehicle, pulling out a car stuck in the snow, and aiding individuals locked out of their vehicles. On top of that, they provide a small amount of fuel if a vehicle has run out of it.
11. Vehicles older than 10 years are two times more likely to break down on the road, towing statistics explain.
(Allied Market Research)
More than half of the vehicles on the roads are older than 10, and older vehicles have more significant chances of suffering mechanical and electrical failures. In most cases, roadside support can fix the problem on the site without towing the car to a repair shop.
12. 54% of roadside breakdown cases happen due to problems with tires.
(Car Insurance Comparison)
A flat tire or another tire-related problem is bound to happen to all drivers at some point. Statistics on the use of towing services can attest to that. For example, 95% of drivers reported experiencing one or more disabled vehicles while they were on the road.
If you can manage to fix these issues on your own, you’re golden. If not, roadside assistance will take care of you.
13. Towing service segment’s revenue made up more than 30% of the American and Canadian roadside assistance market profits in 2020.
We can see why towing is the most profitable segment in the whole vehicle roadside assistance market. Moreover, roadside assistance trends over the past few years ensure that it will stay dominant on the market, as there will always be vehicle breakdowns and crashes, and thus the need for towing.
14. The global roadside assistance market will amount to $38.5 billion by 2028, growing at a CAGR of approximately 5.5%.
(Acumen Research and Consulting)
It’s predicted that Europe will still be a dominant force in the vehicle road assistance market due to privately managed motorways and reimbursement charges for towing.
Global towing vehicle market forecasts for the Asia Pacific region estimate that the increase in disposable income and the need for cars will lead to the fastest-growing CAGR in the next few years.
Some of the major players in the roadside assistance industry are AutoVantage, SOS International AS, Access Roadside Assistance, Viking Assistance Group AS, ARC Europe SA, and Best Roadside Service, among many others.
15. The roadside assistance statistics show that the US and Canada roadside assistance industry was valued at $5,300 million in 2020.
The major players in the North American region are AXA Assistance Canada, Canadian Automobile Association, Allstate, Access Roadside Assistance, and Intact Financial Corporation, among others.
By 2026, the roadside assistance market in these two countries will grow at a CAGR of 3.66% and reach $6,632 million, roadside assistance statistics estimate.
16. A classic AAA (American Automobile Association) membership costs $38 to $74 annually, plus enrollment fees.
(Car Insurance Comparison)
Drivers can add members for $25–48 per member (plus enrollment fees). A classic AAA membership includes tire, fuel, and battery services, lockout services for up to $50, and four 3–7 mile tows per year.
17. RAC Motoring Services and AA plc hold 75.9% of the towing industry market size by revenue in the UK in 2021–2022.
The roadside assistance segment in the United Kingdom is estimated at £2 billion. Although it’s highly saturated with 429 businesses, the industry is dominated by only two companies, and it will probably stay that way in the next few years.
18. A yearly roadside assistance membership can cost between $50 and $360.
If you’re familiar with towing industry standards, you may already know that roadside assistance insurance is often included in your car insurance (or as an add-on), in which case you’ll pay anywhere from $15 to $60 annually.
However, if you want to get a roadside assistance plan, you’ll have to do some leg work (or click work) to find what will suit you and your vehicle the best.
19. Mario’s Towing bought one of the most powerful tow trucks in the world for $1 million in 2014.
(660 City News, Santa Fe Tow Service)
NRC Industries from Quebec, Canada, built this super-mighty machine that set a new standard in towing trends. Not only does it have a 60-k winch and 80-ton boom, but it’s also operated from off the road, so it doesn’t create any additional traffic jams. In addition, it allows towing wrecked and disabled vehicles, even from long distances.
20. On average, US roadside assistance services receive 1.76 million calls yearly.
One of the major players in the roadside assistance market in the US reported receiving more than 5,000 calls for roadside assistance every day. And this is just for one company. It means that unexpected breakdowns occur regularly and are increasing.
Towing Industry Stats—The Bottom Line
As the number of vehicles rises, so increases the breakdown of cars and the demand for roadside help service.
On top of that, aging car fleets matched with the growth in per capita income regulate the international car roadside assistance market.
The international car roadside assistance market is pushed by vehicle demand growth all across the world.
People Also Ask
How big is the towing industry?
The towing industry is one of the biggest ones worldwide. As we already mentioned, the US towing industry revenue was estimated at $8.4 billion.
Each year from 2016 to 2021, it grew approximately 2.1%, which makes us believe it will continue growing over the next few years, as the number of vehicles is bound to increase. It’s worth mentioning that the towing industry grew faster than the American economy overall.
The grand players are Dual-Tech Inc., Danco Products, Miller Industries Inc., Global Towing Systems Kft, Erkin World Power, and Johnson’s Heavy Towing.
How much is the towing industry worth?
The global towing industry was worth $6.935 billion in 2018 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 4.34%, amounting to $8,950 billion in 2024.
Though quarantine disrupted the supply and demand chain in 2020, it’s logical that the towing industry will keep growing on a global scale, especially after the COVID-19 pandemic subsides and people get back on the road and start traveling again.
Is a towing business profitable?
Towing businesses make $30,000 or $40,000 on average (approximately $120 per tow), but these numbers greatly depend on the business’s location (city, state).
A great way to promote your business and make more money is by offering roadside assistance services, such as changing tires, lockout, battery jump-starts, fuel deliveries, and similar emergencies. Coming up with a catchy name will also bring more awareness to your business and increase your chances with possible clients.
How many tow truck companies are in the US?
In 2022, there are around 47,618 towing businesses in the US employing 113,885 people. However, although the market size is $11 billion, the industry has no major players with a market share bigger than 5%.
The number of companies is growing so fast due to the huge demand, especially now when things are going back to normal due to the pandemic.
Why are tow trucks so expensive?
First of all, starting a towing business doesn’t come cheap because towing trucks cost a pretty penny. On average, a towing truck sells for anywhere between $10,000 and $50,000.
Second, tow trucks must have more liability insurance than other vehicles (a few hundred dollars). Class B licenses and state/local permits also go for at least a few hundred dollars per permit, as towing industry statistics show.
On top of that, drivers need to maintain their operating licenses and commercial driver’s licenses (CDL), which also costs significantly.