How Much Should You Pay to Have Your Driveway Plowed?
Ahh, snow: It’s pretty to look at the first time each season. You might curl up with a fire or a good book and relax on the couch. Or maybe you take the kids outside to make snow angels or a snowman. Unfortunately, the fun is short lived.
If you live in a snowy climate, chances are it doesn’t take long to get sick of trudging through snowbanks, cleaning off your car and, of course, shoveling your driveway. Hiring a plow guy makes at least one of those tasks more bearable.
Cost to Hire a Plow Person
The price of snow plowing depends partially on the size of your driveway and the depth of the snow. However, your geographic location has a major influence on price, as do the qualifications of the plow person. Someone who is commercially licensed and insured (they assume liability for any damages) has to charge more to cover costs.
You could spend $20 or $200 to have your driveway plowed. A very small driveway in a low cost-of-living area might fall on the low end of that range, but don’t expect the plow driver to be insured. A very large or steep driveway in a high cost-of-living area during a major snowstorm might fall on the high end, and the driver is likely to be insured. Nationwide, the average price is closer to $35 to $75 per driveway.
Some plow truck drivers offer flat seasonal rates (often $300 to $1,200) to plow your driveway during and/or after every snowfall. You prepay before the season starts. This is a gamble for both you and the plow driver because no one is sure how snowy the season will be, so it’s up to you to decide if you’re willing to take the risk. Often, plow drivers offer a discount for prepaying, so the potential for savings is good.
Finding the Right Plow Guy (or Gal)
There’s nothing more frustrating during a snowstorm than a plow guy who doesn’t show up when he’s supposed to, or not at all – leaving you stranded at home. Here are some tips for finding a plow driver who won’t let you down.
- Ask friends and neighbors for references. Who do they use? Does the driver show up on time and do a thorough job? References are a better place to start than an Internet search because you have some idea of what you’re getting.
- Get quotes from multiple companies to compare prices. Throw out any bids that come in way too high – or low. Always ask about seasonal rates vs. per-visit rates to decide what makes most sense for you.
- Find out if the plow driver is experienced. Has she been plowing for 10 years, or did she buy a plow last week? An experienced plow driver is more likely to show up on time, do a good job and avoid damaging your property.
- Ask for details about the company’s pricing structure. Is there a flat fee for each visit or are there additional fees in major snowstorms? Does the price include sidewalk clearing? Salt?
- Find out if the driver has liability insurance. If not, you are financially responsible for any damage to your property from the plow. If you want to save money by hiring a driver without insurance, that’s your choice. Just know the risks.