Illegal Towing Practices

The following are some of the more common laws that some towing companies violate. We all know that sometimes it seems there are just to many laws, but also we are glad that most of these laws exist because they are protecting us from harm. Our intent here is to educate the general public about illegal practices by some towing companies that can be harmful to the public in general. This information is not to be taken as legal advise as laws change and vary by area. Our area of expertise is southern California. The level of harm to the public can range from wrongfully towed vehicles to uninsured tow drivers and even to crimes against customers physically. At the end of this article will be some tips that can be followed to reduce the risk of exposure to these illegal tow practices. always ready towing

The most common complaint heard from the public in my experience is “my car was towed without proper cause”, followed by “something was stolen from my car while it was being towed”. Other issues that come up are disputes over damage to a towed vehicle, disputes about price fairness or changes in price after the vehicle was towed. Sometimes people will be approached by a tow driver and they think he is the driver that they called, when in fact he’s not. Storage rates are another area of common dispute. Tow drivers are sometimes not properly licensed to drive the type of tow truck that they are driving. Lets explore these individual issues one at a time and see just what is going on out in the streets.

Starting with the popular issue of vehicles being towed wrongfully we have to say there is some grey area. The laws in California allow for the impounding and removal of illegally parked vehicles on both private and public property. Most of the disputes will arise out of private property impounds such as apartment complex’s, shopping centers, business centers and similar. When parking is difficult to find people get impatient and creative. By law signs are required to notify you of the possibility of impound and towing, but they aren’t required over every space. The California laws are currently not interpreted the same by all. The area of dispute arises on parking lots for the general public.

Some areas are towing vehicles with out waiting the required 1 hour period in a public lot, while others you can get away with parking illegally for 1 hour. Not all areas have the same interpretation of what a public lot is. Many impounds in private lots such as a gated apartment complex come from people thinking they can just run in for a second while parked illegally. Beware, your car can be hooked up and leaving faster than most people can drink a soda. Towing and impound fees are steep, usually starting at around $250. if you follow your car and retrieve it right away. Most apartment complexes require people to list their car plate number on their lease and even a friend you allow to use your spot can be towed. Some companies are overly aggressive and do not follow the laws for impound towing and it can be next to impossible to prove that they violated the law.

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