Whether you’re a towing company that offers tow truck service or a car owner one must know about the laws and regulations that governs this aspect.
In the state of California, the rules and regulations of towing is discussed under the Vehicle Code, Division 11 or the Rules of the Road.
Under Chapter 10 all the specifications when it comes to towing parked and abandoned vehicles are discussed.
Furthermore, in the city of Los Angeles the Los Angeles Police Commission Board has laid out their own set of rules in the matter of governing tow operations as well as for tow operators.
If you have the time to go over them it would surely benefit you as a business or as a car owner.
The scope when it comes to the law can be very wide thus if you are interested to know the specific details to them its best to look them up online and read about them yourself.
However, there a lot of frequently asked questions related to towing company, tow truck service and getting towed that we can answer for you.
See if one of the questions you’ve been meaning to ask is answered below.
Towing accidentally parked vehicle on privately owned property
Generally speaking, in the state of California a private property owner can tow your vehicle and yes that’s legal.
This is according to the California Vehicle Code Section 22658 which can be found online.
However, the police should be contacted first and the property where the vehicle is parked should meet a certain criteria wherein the property owner had indicated that parking isn’t allowed on his property and that there are signs posted with the right size and font.
The signs posted should be at least 17 inches by 22 inches in size with letters of one inch sizes.
Furthermore, the signs should have the name and contact information of all the towing companies that the owner has given general authorization in towing vehicles that are parked on the property as well as the phone number of the local law enforcement.
Responsible for damaged vehicle when towed
If there’s damage on your vehicle when it was towed the California Vehicle Code states that the tow truck service company is responsible for the damage.
However, it might be possible that the towing company would claim that there is already damage on the car before it was towed or claim that the exercised due care when they towed your vehicle.
For a situation like this, you may put the blame on whoever caused the tow of your car or the storage facility where your vehicle was stored after it’s been towed.
Cost of car towed at night
There are instances when your vehicle is towed at night and can’t claim it back again the next morning.
According to the law, towing companies cannot charge you more than a day’s storage as long as you claim your car back within 24 hours since it was towed.
Moreover, if for instance you pay the required fee for the 24 hours that your car has been taken but the facility where your car is stored is not open on a normal business hour or day thus unable to release your car back to you the towing company cannot charge you extra.
You’re still paying only the amount equivalent to one day’s storage fee.
When your vehicle is finally released after normal business hours the storage facility is not allowed to charge more than half of the initial tow fee for the gate fee.
Lastly, you don’t have to pay in cash.
If the tow company requires you to do so then this is a violation of the law since the California law states that all towing companies should be able to accept all major credit cards.
If the car owner does decide to pay using cash, the company should have enough cash available to make change if needed.
Qualifications of authorized towing company
Having a license is one important requirement for towing companies.
For the state of California, having a Class B Commercial Driver’s License is required for the tow truck driver and must be carried at all times.
For the company itself, they should have an up to date and valid DMV Motor Carrier Permit.
Catching the tow in action
If you spot your car being towed by the tow truck driver as long as the truck isn’t on a public road yet, it is required that the tow truck driver should release the vehicle upon the request of the owner.
However, the tow truck driver will still charge you at most half of the normal towing fee.