KUWAIT: In this file photo, vehicles are seen at a car repair shop in Kuwait. This picture is used for illustration purposes only. – Photo by Fouad Al-Shaikh

By Nawara Fattahova

KUWAIT: There is no fixed price set by the ministry of commerce for transporting vehicles by tow trucks. Each operating company sets its own price. Some tow truck drivers tell customers there is a fixed price of KD 8, which is not true. Many motorists in Kuwait have fallen victim to some tow truck operators, who try to exploit their situation when they are in trouble in the middle of the road. Many, if not most of them, know they can ask for any price of the vulnerable people, who have no other choice.

After contacting five different companies, each of which has numerous tow trucks operating in various areas of Kuwait, they offered similar prices. But the rates are definitely much lower when ordering a tow truck than stopping one on the road. Prices start from KD 4, depending on the distance. For instance, from Salwa to Shuwaikh, the price ranged between KD 8 to 10 at the five companies. You can even get a lower price after bargaining. The charges for moving a vehicle with a tow truck in the same area was between KD 4 to 6 at all these five companies.

Some tow truck drivers try their best to cheat customers, especially women, assuming they don’t know the market price and exploit their situation. After bargaining, the driver may drop the price a little. If you are not stranded at an isolated place, it’s better to call a tow truck service rather than flag a passing truck.

Certain factors affect the price. “The price may reach KD 20 for the same distance if the vehicle has no wheels, damage to its suspension, or is seriously damaged. Also, the price will increase if the car key is not available,” Omar from International Sham Company told Kuwait Times.

All those contacted agreed that the time of using the service does not affect the price. “Whether it is a weekday or weekend, day or night, the price is the same. The price can be negotiable and the customer can make a deal with the driver. There are no fare meters in a tow truck, and the price is decided in advance,” said Ahmad from White Man Company.

Some companies also charge higher prices for sports vehicle, claiming that these vehicles need special care, as they have lower ground clearance and require a hydraulic tow truck. A few companies also charge higher prices for an SUV compared to a sedan, while others don’t. If you have to use a tow truck but believe the price charged is much higher than the abovementioned rates, take an invoice from the tow truck driver and file a complaint at the Customer Protection Department.