a car being towed by a tow truck

Who Recovers Car After an Accident?

January 23, 2024

After a road accident, one of the immediate concerns is the recovery of your vehicle - this process can often seem daunting, especially when you're dealing with the shock and stress that often follow an accident. In the following blog, we’re going to guide you through the process from start to finish, covering key concerns such as: who is responsible for recovering your car after an accident, the process involved, and your role in it. Let’s dive in.

Initial Response and Assistance After an Accident

Before tackling any administrative questions, your safety and the safety of others is the top priority after an accident - so make sure to check yourself and all parties involved for injury, and call the emergency services if anybody is unconscious or appears badly hurt.

Once you’ve ensured everyone is safe, your next concern is likely your vehicle: if the car is in a hazardous position, obstructing traffic, or posing a safety risk, it's usually moved by emergency services or roadside assistance. If you have roadside assistance cover, they can be your first point of call for vehicle recovery.

Parties Involved in Recovering the Car

Several parties can be involved in the car recovery process, and this may include roadside assistance providers, towing services, or accident recovery services. Your insurance company may also have preferred service providers for vehicle recovery.

In cases of serious accidents, law enforcement or emergency services may coordinate the recovery to ensure the safety and flow of traffic.

Vehicle Recovery Process

When it comes to the vehicle recovery process, this typically involves assessing the vehicle's condition and determining the best method for recovery; if the car is not drivable and needs towing, the recovery team will usually arrange for it to be transported to a garage, repair shop, or a location of your choosing. But don’t worry - this process is usually managed in a way that minimises further damage to the vehicle.

Role of Law Enforcement and Accident Reports

In accidents where law enforcement is involved, they may oversee the recovery process, especially if there are traffic concerns or legal implications; the presence of law enforcement will also usually mean that an official accident report will be filed, which you should make sure to get your hands on - this is crucial for insurance and legal purposes.

Owner's Role and Responsibilities in Car Recovery

a damaged car loaded on a tow truck

As the vehicle owner, you have certain responsibilities in the recovery process; for example, it's essential to provide accurate information about the accident and your vehicle to the recovery team. Additionally, if you have specific preferences for where your vehicle should be towed, communicate this clearly, and ensure that you remove any important personal belongings (such as your phone, wallet/purse, or credit cards) from the car before it’s towed.

Circumstances Affecting Car Recovery

So, when might you get your car back? Several factors can influence the car recovery process, and these include the location of the accident, the extent of the vehicle's damage, and the type of insurance coverage you have. In remote or difficult-to-access areas, recovery might take longer; similarly, if the vehicle is severely damaged, special equipment might be needed for recovery, which can also affect the process.

In summary, the recovery of your car post-accident can be slightly complex, so knowing your rights and responsibilities before an incident occurs can help you navigate the situation more effectively should it arise. For more detailed information on post-car crash guidelines and accident recovery services, don’t hesitate to reach out to a member of our team for guidance.


How long does it typically take for a recovery service to arrive at the accident scene?

The response time for a recovery service can vary based on your location, the time of day, and the service provider's availability. In urban areas, the response is typically quicker, often within 30 to 60 minutes. In more remote or less accessible locations, it may take longer. Your service provider should be able to give you an estimated time of arrival when you contact them.

Who pays for the vehicle recovery after an accident?

The cost of vehicle recovery after an accident is usually covered by your car insurance, especially if you have comprehensive coverage. If another driver is at fault, their insurance may cover the recovery costs. However, if you're not insured for this service, you will likely have to pay out of pocket. Always check your insurance policy details for specific coverage related to accident recovery.