Volvo recently announced that it is expanding its complimentary services for owners to include “Tow for Life,” which promises roadside towing of all Volvos in the U.S. regardless of vehicle age or model — in perpetuity. If that sounds like it’s too good to be entirely true, Tow for Life indeed comes with a number of caveats.
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For starters, Volvo is only going to tow you for free to a Volvo retailer for repairs.
“It’s a commitment to all our customers that cars will be taken to experts who use genuine Volvo parts and repair methods,” Scott Doering, head of customer service for Volvo Cars USA, said in a statement.
But “genuine Volvo parts and repair methods” means you’re likely going to be paying more for your repairs than if you took your car into your favorite neighborhood auto repair shop. And if you don’t want to get your car serviced at the Volvo location? You’re on the hook for that tow.
As far as the “any age or model” part, your vintage Volvo is definitely covered by the program — even if the dealership it’s towed to doesn’t have the capacity to service it.
“If parts or competency are the result for a Volvo being turned away, the customer will not be charged,” said Jim Nichols, product and technology communication manager for Volvo Cars USA.
Won’t be charged by Volvo, that is. The company that tows your car elsewhere for repairs, no doubt, will expect some form of payment.
You also better hope to break down relatively close to a Volvo dealership, as the free towing is limited to a 25-mile radius. That may work fine for city dwellers, but Volvo owners who live or frequently find themselves in the middle of nowhere are probably going to end up paying at least something out of pocket. Luckily for those owners, however, Nichols said that any mileage beyond 25 miles will be discounted.
If all this “free” sounds not so much, owners always have the option to enroll in Volvo Roadside Plus, Nichols said. For $89.99 a year, Volvo will cover the cost of your tow for miles 26-100, plus a menu of other services. That 100-mile limit is still for a tow to a Volvo dealership; however, Roadside Plus will tow you up to 25 miles to any other location you want.
All that said, it’s important to reiterate that Tow for Life is a complimentary service, but Volvo Roadside Plus is not. Bottom line: Volvo owners should be sure to read the proverbial fine print to ensure they understand the free part of this free service.
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