Towing And Tips: Are Tow Trucks Now Part Of The "Tipping Culture"?

You live in an age where baristas expect you to tip them for making a cup of coffee, where doormen want a tip, and where bellhops and wait staff still get tips. Yet, a lot of that is changing, too. More and more, service people are looking for tips. It does not seem to matter what high-paid profession they are in; they want a tip. Even plumbers and electricians may have a "tip" line on their bills for services rendered. That said, the next time you call for a tow truck, is the driver going to want a tip, too? Here is more about tow truck services, drivers, and tipping culture as it applies (or does not apply!) to the tow truck services.

​The Argument for Tipping Your Tow Truck Driver

Most of the time, tow truck drivers are not going to look for tips. They make decent money, and they may already include tips or extra fees for services rendered within the cost of the service you requested.

However, you may still want to give your tow truck driver a tip if:

  • ​He/she arrived very quickly (less than thirty minutes).
  • He/she came out in a blinding blizzard, sub-zero weather, or rain so heavy he/she was soaked to the gills when the service call was complete.
  • He/she was injured by another driver on the road, but he/she still completed your service call.
  • He/she gave you a ride the rest of the way home, to your job, etc., which is not usually part of the service call at all.
  • He/she went above and beyond.

It really is up to you, but under the above conditions, a tip would show your ultimate gratitude to the driver for coming out and helping you the way he/she did. 

The Argument ​Against Tipping Your Tow Truck Driver

You never have to tip a tow truck driver. There is nothing in Miss Manners' rule books that says you should. There is no etiquette policy, modern or antiquated, that says you should tip a driver of a tow truck. Thanks in words is often enough, and paying your bill promptly also shows your deep appreciation. If you find a tow truck driver that has a "tip line" on his/her bill, you do not have to feel obligated to leave a tip, and if the driver's service was less than satisfactory, you definitely do not have to leave a tip.