Fort Worth is seeking a new contract for a company to manage towing companies that work with the city. 

Since September 2018, the city has contracted with Tegsco, also known as AutoReturn, to manage all police initiated tows in Fort Worth. The contract expires September 2023, with no option to renew. Now, the city is seeking bids to continue managing towing services, and considering changes to the contract. 

The contract with AutoReturn has had a positive impact on the city, Kimberly Dees, the Fort Worth Police Department’s towing liaison said in a statement. It has reduced wait times for tow trucks by about 15 to 30 minutes on average. 

“This gets involved parties, first responders, and wrecker drivers off the roadways quicker, opening up traffic and reducing opportunities for secondary accidents,” Dees said. “The system allows transparency for all parties and makes the process easier for officers and wrecker drivers.”

When the city first considered contracting with a third party to manage towing operators in 2018, several companies said they would end their relationship with the city, citing concerns the company would enforce undue influence. April and Henry Tijerina, owners of Purrfect Towing, said they were initially concerned about the contract, but since the city began using AutoReturn, the process has improved.

“It’s just simply because of the automation, you know, you’re bypassing a dispatch process,” April Tijerina said. “I can only speak for us, but for us, we’ve been pleasantly surprised.”

The city’s contract with AutoReturn also allows vehicle owners to find the location of their car through a central website. AutoReturn aims to provide a more transparent experience for drivers who have their vehicle towed, said Nina Carazas, chief operating officer at AutoReturn. 

“No one’s ever had an amazing tow experience, and it’s not anyone’s fault, right?” Carazas said.  “It’s just, we haven’t created an environment or an infrastructure to provide that level of transparency.”

Before Fort Worth contracted with AutoReturn, tow fees varied by towing company.

The California-based company contracts with over 50 municipalities, counties and government agencies including Fort Worth, Carazas said.  

The last time the city sought proposals for a towing management contract, it received bids from four different vendors, AutoReturn was selected as a result of an evaluation process. 

The company receives a $22 dispatch fee for each police-initiated tow performed in connection with AutoReturn, according to the city’s current contract. Since the contract was approved, AutoReturn has dispatched over 101,000 tow trucks, according to the city’s informal report, resulting in about $2.2 million in revenue for AutoReturn. 

Then, the towing company is authorized to charge the vehicle owner according to an approved schedule of fees. Approved fees range from $150 to $500 depending on the equipment and number of employees required to complete the tow. The fees could change under the new contract. 

The list of towing providers approved by the city

A1 Wrecker
ABC Wrecker
Advanced Towing
American Tow & Auto
American Roadside
Bivins Wrecker Service
Buddy’s Towing
Cardinal Towing
Cornish Wrecker
Denny’s Towing
Edd’s Towing
Guy Simons
Lone Star
Milner Wrecker
Purrfect Towing
Ron’s Towing
Sega Towing
Sterling Towing
Texas Towing
Thomas Wrecker
Western Recovery

If you have had a negative experience with any of these towing providers, please reach out to

As a part of the process to seek proposals from AutoReturn and other towing management companies, the city met with towing operators currently contracting with the city. The city has a list of 22 approved towing providers, which subcontract with the city through AutoReturn. 

Purrfect Towing has worked with the city for decades, the Tijerina’s said. The contract has allowed their family business to add new trucks to their fleet. 

“It’s very integral to our business in general,” Tijerina said. In terms of possible improvements, Tijerina would like to see more precise mapping to the locations of car wrecks. 

In quarterly meetings with towing operators, they have requested updates to the fee schedule to account for rising fuel and operating costs, Dees said. 

AutoReturn notifies the city if the company notices a discrepancy or concern with a towing service, but it is up to the city to take action. 

The company’s primary focus is managing the logistics of getting towers to the site of an accident to free up police to focus on securing the area. 

“That’s who we really are and so we try not to get into other lanes, but we always try to be a good partner,” Carazas said. 

The city recently ended its relationship with towing provider Beard’s Towing after it found the company committed “repeated contractual violations of the city’s requirements,” including charging towing fees in excess of the authorized amount, failing to provide required information and verbally abusing city employees. The company has denied any wrongdoing.

The city expects to award the towing management contract by August 2023, implementation will begin Oct. 1 2023. 

At the Fort Worth Report, news decisions are made independently of our board members and financial supporters. Read more about our editorial independence policy here.

Rachel Behrndt is a government accountability reporter for the Fort Worth Report. Contact her at or via Twitter

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Rachel BehrndtGovernment Accountability Reporter

Rachel Behrndt is a government accountability reporter for the Fort Worth Report in collaboration with KERA. She is a recent graduate of the University of Missouri where she majored in Journalism and Political...