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Some Things to Consider Before Calling a Mechanic After a Collision

By Raymond Ezilon.com articles Published 10/14/2008 | Auto and Trucks

Even though you may be relatively unhurt after a collision, there is no question that the event is traumatic.  In some cases, you may erroneously feel that it is best to have the car towed to your regular mechanic.  Unfortunately, if you do not know the details of what will happen after your vehicle is towed, you can find yourself with egregious towing and storage bills.  In some cases, you may even find that the mechanic you trust the most is the very person that will abandon you when you most need help.

To begin, you will find that law enforcement personnel will act to call a tow truck on your behalf.  Typically, these towing agencies are provided with a retainer in exchange for being on call.  Before you call for roadside assist, or contact your mechanic, it will be of benefit to make sure that you know if a tow truck is already on the way.  In most cases, you will need to provide your insurance information, so that the towing agency can bill for the service.  Without a question, you should not let anyone else take on this bill, as they will add extra charges that will ultimately come out of your insurance  settlement.

Unless you have the vehicle towed to your home, you will have to pay a daily storage fee.  If at all possible, you should find out where the vehicle will be taken, and how much they charge.  In general, you will have anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes to find the cheapest storage site.  Even if you do not think you will get into a collision, you may still want to call some local towing agencies to find out how much storage costs. 

Without a question, you should not simply trust that your own mechanic will charge you a cheaper rate, let alone try to trust them when insurance money is involved.   This is especially important to consider if your mechanic has other cars available for sale.   Even though your mechanic may be honest and ethical,  almost all of them will force you to pay cash for the towing and storage fees before they will release the vehicle.  In many cases, they may even try to leverage this debt in order to force you to purchase another vehicle from them.  As may be expected, you will have to come up with the towing and storage money before the insurance company settles your claim. 

In today's economy, auto dealers and mechanics are struggling to keep their businesses open.  At the same time, the nature of automobiles and collisions makes it horribly easy to add potentially fraudulent “subcontractor” fees to towing and storage bills.  Without a question, if you can prevent your vehicle from being placed in storage, you will at least be able to save some money.  At the same time, you may find yourself highly disappointed in the actions of a mechanic that you trusted during less severe circumstances.