If you are looking to start off in the automotive towing business, you may not be aware of the different aspects of towing. Towing is not just showing up to pick up a car and take it to another location. There are specialities; you have to make decisions as to which one (or all of them) that you want to do.
Retail, Residential, Auto Clubs, and Repair Shops
One of the most economical ways to start into the towing business is to become affiliated with local businesses, residential communities, auto clubs, or local repair shops. Many people ask store owners, clubs, or repair shops for help in calling a tow truck when their car breaks down.
If you are on the list of trucks to call, you can quickly start building your references and making money. Also, if you are associated with a strip mall, individual business, or repair shop, you can build your network and use it to get recommendations for other businesses, growing your business just by doing your job!
Repossession of Vehicles
Getting into the repossession business, an aspect of private property calls, takes more investment and adds some more risks. If you are going to repossess cars, you have to have a place to keep the cars that you pick up until the title is cleared, one way or the other. In other words, you need an impound lot.
An impound lot is not a cheap investment. You have to own or rent the lot, provide gated access to the cars, and provide security to protect the cars you have in your possession. You also need to carry insurance on your property and coverage for any cars that may be sitting on your lot.
Other costs you will bear include:
- Additional licensing: you have to carry extra licenses to be able to pick up a vehicle without the owner's consent
- More paperwork: since you are moving the car without access to the keys (or consent), you have to be meticulous in documenting, especially so you can prove that, if there is damage to the vehicle, it was not caused by your repossession
- Higher personal and liability insurance: the private property calls business can be dangerous! No car owner wants his or her car to be repossessed
- Specialized tow truck: since repossessing a vehicle needs to be done quickly, you may want to have a specialized tow truck, such as an integrated tow truck, that can pick up a car without the driver leaving the truck's cabin
Municipal or Police Calls
You have to register your business with the city or police departments in order to receive calls to assist with removing wrecked or seized vehicles. This type of relationship can take time to build up but can be a great source of income if you are able to respond quickly and afford the higher insurance that comes with such business.
Individual Calls (Cash Calls)
Then, there is business that you get just by having your business out there. You have to spend money on marketing and advertising to get this work, so make sure that you have a way to differentiate yourself from the many other towing companies out there.
Associating yourself with just one type of towing service has risks. It is best to pick more than one area and focus your efforts on building your business and your credentials.
For towing services, contact a company such as Mark's Towing, Inc.