It can seem like a nightmare. You walk to where you thought you parked your car only to find it has been towed. Not only can this scenario be upsetting but it can be expensive.
You can be charged the following:
$160 – initial tow
$30 – first 24 hour storage fee
$11.20 – mileage ($3.80 x 3)
$66.00 – pick-up fee because pickup is outside standard business hours
$8.00 – approximate Fuel charge
Total = $275.20 plus tax
Yes, you can legally be charged all the above.
According to the Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA) towing companies can:
- Remove your vehicle from private property without notifying you, the car owner
- Charge exact change, if a payment is made in cash
- Tow your car from private property, even if you ask them not to
- Tow your car even if you didn’t see the signs or signs are not clearly visible (signage is not regulated by the Public Utilities Commission)
Towing companies cannot:
- Tow your car from private property without authorization from the property owner/manager
- Tow your car from public property, such as from an expired parking meter. However, the car can be towed if you are obstructing a public right of way such as a driveway or cross walk, or possibly if you are a habitual offender
- Tow your car if you pay the driver a $70 fee (called a “drop charge”) while they are still on the private property from which the vehicle is being towed
Before you “blow a gasket” because your car has been towed, remember you have responsibilities concerning parking in the wrong places. And towing companies do have certain rights, too.