I was involved in a fender-bender yesterday, and my car could not be driven home. This was in the city, so the KPD asked me if I had a wrecker preference. I said no, but I wanted to check with my insurance company before doing anything.

While on the phone with my insurance company, the wrecker pulled up and started attaching my car. I asked them to wait, as I was still on the phone with my insurance company. The officer told me I had to get the car off the road (about 10 minutes had expired by this time), and I was effectively bullied into using the wrecker.

About 5 minutes later, the insurance company told me the wrecker company was OK, and they should take it directly to the body shop. The wrecker said they wouldn't do that, they would only take it to their lot. I asked them to take it off the truck and my insurance company would find a wrecker that would. The KPD officer then became visibly agitated, and made a veiled threat "I've been really patient with you so far..." I said although I couldn't drive it home, I could drive it off the road into a parking lot and wait for my wrecker, but he said that was not an option, that it had to be on a wrecker NOW.

I spoke with the City this morning, and they said, yes, I have my choice, BUT the normal policy is that the road needs to be cleared in 30 minutes (this was Depot Ave on a Sunday afternoon, no other cars came by the whole time we were there, and there was plenty of space on the road for cars to get by- we were effectively in the roadside parking zone).

Lessons learned:
- Have your own tow company YOU prefer (and approved by your insurance company) handy and a card in your car, and call them right away. They only have 30 minutes to get there and get your car off, or else the city-called wrecker is going to take it. You don't have time to get through the insurance company Q&A and get your wrecker there in time. Plan ahead.
- When police offers asks if you have your own tow company preference, say yes the first time, and make that call in the first minute. Don't use theirs.

The whole situation was made very unnecessarily uncomfortable for everyone because of the rush to clear a seldom-used road that wasn't being blocked, and could have been cleared in 30 seconds by letting me drive into a nearby lot or just considering the car legally parked where it was.

(I could understand if this was I-40).

Treehouse's picture


And yet, there are cars left on public roads for days. I guess the towing company doesn't make money on them.

Somebody's picture

The thing that's most

The thing that's most confusing to me about this is that the wrecker company wouldn't tow you to whatever location you chose. I wonder if you could get further clarification on that issue.

EconGal's picture

Called the insurance company?

Cancel the towing coverage on your auto policy. It's an insanely overpriced product.

Anonymous34455's picture

Towing averages $6 a year per

Towing averages $6 a year per car. I wouldnt call that overpriced.

reform4's picture

At $150 a tow

I'd need 25 years to break even. I think I'll have one tow every 25 years, pretty sure.

Digital's picture

Call Darryl Desbusk for a comment

seriously get a quote from KPD on how the cop handled it and see where it goes

reform4's picture


It's not like he did anything obviously unprofessional or illegal (just unhelpful and unfriendly...maybe because he was a young cop, saw my Rogero sticker, and isn't in the pension program yet? Lol)

I just can't figure out why he wouldn't work with me on moving the car aside or just leaving it where it was as (I think ) legally parked. I'll have to check to see if that road was yellow striped or something.

But the main point of the OP is call your insur company and be prepared, cause 30 mins isn't a long time.

gonzone's picture

I use AAA for all my tows and

I use AAA for all my tows and I call them immediately.

Pam Strickland's picture

I got stuck on Interstate 40

I got stuck on Interstate 40 outside of Crossville a couple if weeks ago. My car was on the side of the road for several hours. The trooper waited with me until the tow truck came, and the tow truck took it where I told him to, no questions asked. It wouldn't have taken so long but there was some wires crossed with my road-side assistance service. The trooper and the tow truck guy were both fantastic.

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