Save time, money by planning for car problems

March 1, 2013 4:33:31 AM PST
If you need to have your vehicle towed after a crash, your problems could go from bad to worse. But we have some tips on how to save time, trouble, and money after a crash.

The roadside is not the place to decide where to send your car if it needs repairs. Experts say not knowing where to have a tow truck take your car could cost you hundreds of dollars.

After an accident is no time to wonder where you will have your car towed, as Lisa Richardson knows all too well.

"This whole bumper was pushed in; the trunk was pushed up," she said.

Richardson says after her accident last year, she took a tow truck driver's advice on where to have her car fixed.

Richardson says it took three months to get her car back, and insurance only paid for a portion of the rental car fees, costing her hundreds of dollars.

The pricey lesson could happen to you to.

"Don't make that decision on the side of the road. Be very, very careful about signing anything," said Monica Russo with the Houston Better Business Bureau.

Russo says drivers should know right now -- well before a collision may take place -- where they will have a car towed if an accident happens.

"Find a body shop before you ever get into an accident, so you know exactly where to go. Don't use the tow truck driver's referral," Russo said.

Drivers with newer cars typically have the vehicle towed back to the dealership, but you have the right to have the car towed anywhere you like.

AAA Texas has already checked out dozens of collision shops so you can easily, and without charge, decide where to send a wrecked car.

"You type in the ZIP code -- either the ZIP code of where you live or the ZIP code of where you are -- if you want to a repair shop that is affiliated with the AAA brand," said Sarah Schimmer with AAA Texas.

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