How A Tow Truck Driver Almost Stole My Car
Disclaimer- You shouldn’t do what I did in this situation!
I got into an accident early this morning and wasn’t planning on writing a post today but I just had to. I have to vent and hopefully let others know how some tow truck companies are scammers and liars.
I was on my way home from dropping my younger brother off at work around 8am and from running an errand at Target. It was a normal morning, I didn’t possibly think anything would go wrong. I end up crossing over a major road during rush hour morning traffic ( two cars, one in each lane, had left enough room for me to cross) and to my surprise, another car was driving on the shoulder (side of the road) and hit me. Needless to say I was scared, shocked, and obviously mad. To make matters worse, this happened IN FRONT OF MY HOUSE! Her front bumper was damaged and my tire, front bumper and passenger door were damaged, enough to where I was unable to drive my car. Here comes the tow truck:
I have a preferred auto body shop I go to and when I tried to tell the police officer this, he said I had to go with what company he called (I later learned this isn’t true). So he arrives and puts my car on the back of his truck. During this time, I’m also on the phone with my auto body shop and they say he can bring my car to their shop. I tell the driver this and he ignores my request. He then states “ I have to go home first”… and as you can believe, I was extremely confused. What tow truck driver stops home with someone’s car on their truck before going to the body shop? I know I look young but I’m not stupid. I told him I would like my car towed to my preferred auto body shop, to which he then says “You can pay me $150 for me to take it off my truck”. Mind you, this is all happening IN FRONT OF MY HOUSE. He wanted me to pay him $150 to literally place my car back on the street…we didn’t move anywhere. For those who don’t know, you don’t pay a tow truck driver when you’ve been in an accident. Your car insurance company or auto body shop helps cover the cost.
He was arguing with me saying he wouldn’t release my car unless I paid him the money. I’m still on the phone with my shop at this point and they tell me to call 911. I end up not calling but instead get inside his truck with him and go to his house. Yes this was a completely stupid idea, but I didn’t want some random man stealing my car. Yes I was scared, extremely nervous and uncomfortable. I’m also stubborn and consider my car my “baby”. It’s my biggest purchase to date so you’ll have to get over my dead body in order to potentially steal it. There was no way I was gonna let him take my car without me. First of all, how did he expect me to get to his shop? I obviously have no car…it’s on the back of your truck!
We eventually end up at his auto body shop and this is where things get really weird. We pull in and it’s the most disgusting looking building I’ve ever seen. It pretty much looks like it’s been abandoned for years and I’m thinking to myself, “Who would bring their car here?” We get inside and it gets even worse. It’s a small office that’s completely filthy: dirt, dust, random papers everywhere. A small desk for him and there’s NO ONE THERE. No one working on cars or anything. It’s just me and him. At this point I’m terrified, I’m alone with a strange man and if he wanted to do something to me, nobody would know. We sit there and I’m waiting for my mom to come. She comes and I finally feel safe. We end up waiting about 20 minutes for my auto body shop to pick up my car, but end up leaving since we didn’t want to be around him. I was still worried about my car being there without me but I was drained and just wanted to go home.
The story happily ends with my car ending up at the correct shop. But sadly I know I’ll be without my car for about a month. I just wanted to let everyone know, you can call your own tow company (auto body shop) at the scene of an accident. You don’t pay the driver with cash upfront. For ladies, don’t get into a truck with a man you don’t know. I was alone during this time only because my mom and brother were at work. I now have trust issues with tow companies and will ONLY use my own tow company from now on. Also, for those who drive on the side of the road ( say to make a turn), please be careful. You don’t want to hit someone because technically we all shouldn’t even be driving there (I’m guilty myself).
* (For those wondering, yes I’m ok and I wasn’t injured during the accident). I also was debating whether or not to name the tow company/auto body shop in this post but I’m gonna protect myself and not. For those in the West Babylon NY area, if you’re looking for an amazing auto body shop: Dynamic Auto Body in Lindenhurst is amazing! Speak to Aimee. Feel free to check out “My Car Buying Experience: My Mistakes And What You Should Do” and “Top 5 Things They Don’t Tell You About Driving”