A towing service can be a lifesaver in the event your car breaks down, but they can only help if you are able to give them some pertinent information. The following are the things the tow service will need to know in able to serve your situation.
It's usually easy to give a location when you break down locally, but it can be more difficult if you are in an unfamiliar area. On the highway, look for a mile marker or exit sign. At the very least, let the dispatcher know what highway you are on and what town you last passed through. If you have a smartphone or a GPS unit, you can use the unit to get your exact location before you call the tow service. Landmarks can also be helpful in a pinch. If you aren't in a highly visible spot, such as if you slid off the road, make sure the dispatcher knows where to look for you.
The dispatcher will need to know the year, make, model, and color of your car. This is simple information that is available on the sticker you can see on the frame of the driver's side door when it is opened, in the event you don't know it already. The dispatcher will also need to know what is wrong with the car. If you have a flat or are out of gas, they may be able to dispatch someone to fix that problem much more quickly than they get a truck to you to actually tow the vehicle. Don't worry if you don't know what is wrong, though, as they will still be able to send a truck out for a basic tow.
Many insurance policies include towing, so make sure you have your insurance card or policy information ready. The tow service may bill your insurance rather than you, or you may qualify for discount tow services depending on how the benefits of your policy are set up. If you aren't sure if the tow service is covered, you can call your insurance company first to check. They may be able to refer you to a local tow company, as well.
Finally, the tow company will need a final destination for your vehicle. You will need to have a mechanic in mind, otherwise, you must trust whatever mechanic the tow service works with. You can use the time you are waiting for the tow to call a few shops for repair quotes, or you can opt to have the car towed to your home and later towed to a mechanic after you have time to research your options.
Contact a vehicle towing service in your area if you find yourself stranded on the side of the road.