Help! My Car Was Illegally Towed – How Do I Get My Towing Charge Back


This article was last updated on April 26

towing company illegally took my car - What can I do

I recently visited some friends for dinner at their new apartment in a large 300 unit complex. After dinner, when I got back to where I had parked I saw the parking space was empty. After a feeling of utter dread and panic, I frantically searched around thinking that perhaps I was mistaken about where I had parked; but after a couple of rounds of searching the parking lot I knew that my car was gone. Initially I thought my car had been stolen, but then noticed a small and obscure towing sign with a company contact number. Given it was a decent neighborhood and I was not in a resident parking space, I slowly realized the car was most likely towed rather than stolen.

So I called the towing company and sure enough they had my car. I tried to tell the company that I had legally parked, but could not negotiate with them since they said they were just working on the apartment management group’s instructions. Also, typical of most towing companies who rarely need to worry about customer service or satisfaction, they were rude and offered little in terms of recourse to resolve my situation. Given I needed the car for getting to work the next day, I went with one of friends to pick it up. After paying the $150 towing charge I was able to retrieve my car, but suffice to say I was not a happy camper.

I had definitely parked in a spot that was not reserved with no signs indicating visitor parking was not allowed; and my friends were pretty sure that when they signed the lease there were no parking restriction in non-reserved visitor spaces.  In fact they had parked, without tags or permits, in similar spots to mine over the last 2 weeks and never got towed. So after venting for a few days, I decided to look at my state’s towing laws, what rights I had and what people in situations similar to mine had done. Here’s a summary of what I found and things to keep in mind.

Check you did not violate parking rules : The first thing to check is that you parked in a legal spot. Make sure that there is no signage at the entry to the parking lot or in nearby spots that indicates you could be illegally parked. If possible check the lease of the person who is renting the apartment, which should state parking restrictions and visitor parking in the apartment complex. Finally call the apartment managers to log a complaint and ask them why your car was towed. They will likely be more helpful than the towing company, particular since they have to care about their tenant’s rights (like having visitors be able to park when they come over).

Proof of the towing: Get proof that the towing company followed state procedures regarding the towing. This requires that they take a picture of the car in the “illegal” spot and notify the local police department to ensure the car is not classified as stolen. Getting the pictures of the towing from the towing company is not easy and you will likely have to go back a couple of days later to get the digital photos. Expect a charge for this.

Call the local police department: You should also call the local police department where the towing company is located to check it they actually reported your car as towed. The police though cannot force the towing company to give back your car and can only come out to keep the peace if discussions get heated and act as a witness. However, don’t expect the police department to be much of an ally since this is a pretty minor item in their eyes and they have much more of a relationship with the towing company operators, than with you.

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Don’t be a hero: The number one mistake victims make is to take matters into their own hands by taking aggressive actions with the towing company. By doing that you make the other person (i.e the towing company)  the victim and you become the criminal. If you go to jail the tow company wins. So work with or through the police to make the initial complaint. Then follow local procedures to take the matter further if discussions with the towing company and apartment managers cannot resolve the dispute.

Predatory towing  is real: Once a towing company has a vehicle, they impound the vehicle and refuse to release it until a desired fee is paid. If the fee is not paid, the vehicle is not released, and storage fees begin to accrue until the surpass the value of the vehicle. At some point, the towing company will auction off the vehicle and keep their towing and storage fees. The typical vehicle owner does not understand the laws enacted to protect them, do not have sufficient vacation time to try to enforce them in local courts against an experienced attorney representing the towing company, and can’t get the local police to help protect their rights because the police are not familiar with this area of law.

Legal rights and local laws: Most states have towing laws that are supported by the auto insurance industry as well as consumer and government groups to prevent increased insurance costs due to negligent towing by towing operators, protect vehicle owners from abusive practices, and to help regulate towing companies. Most local governments have also passed predatory towing laws to help consumers. All they need to to do is spend some time searching for them.

For example in California, under vehicle code 22658 a tow company can not tow your car from private property with 15 or more units based on a blanket authorization order from the landlord or association. In other words a towing company operating in the State of California can’t just drive through a complex looking for cars to tow in the middle of the night. Someone has to call them. The person who calls them must be present at the time the car is being towed. They must tell the tow company why the car is being towed. They have to point out the car being towed. The have to sign the authorization papers at the time the car is being towed and give their complete name, address and phone number.

Many other states  have also passed similar laws to prevent abuses by towing operators during towing from private property. This includes maximum fees ranging from $125 to $250 and requiring towing operators to release vehicles about to be towed if the owner arrives. Apartment managers must also display proper signage at entrances are around parking areas giving certain notifying information to vehicle owners about parking restrictions, maximum allowed fees for towing and storage. A little known rule, which most people don’t realize and towing companies ignore is that no towing fee may be charged for the first 24 hours of storage. Further, towing companies must accept credit card payments and not restrict payments to cash only.

Next steps: Unfortunately I needed my car back and already paid the towing fine. But with an understanding of the law, I am going to go after the towing company and apartment complex managers to try and get my money back. Remember knowledge is power. If your car is towed you need to know the law to take the appropriate course of action.

I’ll let you know what happens with my efforts to get the $150 of towing charges back. Feel free to leave a comment or any advice if you have had a similar experience.

142 thoughts on “Help! My Car Was Illegally Towed – How Do I Get My Towing Charge Back

  1. My cars has been towed from my parking space in front of my townhouse. I had to pay $160 for each one. These people come in the middle of the night, and stole my cars, I had to go and pay them $320 + $35 storage fee. I feel unprotected. I called the police to put a complain, they couldn’t do anything to help me. I am living in a neighborhood where nobody cares about how much we have to work to earn a living, and these predatory towing come and steal your money in less than 30 minutes. I am very disappointed, but I don’t know where to file a complain and get my money back.

  2. My car alarm is a little messed up and sounds multiple times a day and since I have another car I leave for work or for watever I have to do, during The time I’m. Gone the alarm of my car sounds couple times now I got a note from a neighbor I’m. Pretty sure saying fix your alarm car it sounds multiple times a day and if you don’t fix it we are going to report it and get your car towed. Can they really do that I get it it might be disturbing at times but can’t wait hey really get my car towed the car is always parked in front of the house is a public parking space but it’s in from of our house thanks.

  3. We are dealing with a similar situation in NY. Across the street from where I live there are small houses. They have their entrance and the garage door next to it. The side walk is lowered where the garage door is but it is raised where the front door is located. They placed NO PARKING signs on top of their front door so they could park another car on that spot. Now they don’t have a walkway and they are towing all the cars and threatening them to give them tickets and get them towed if they don’t move their cars. I understand that they need the extra spot but it’s not right that the other houses have a tree planted on the sidewalk and can’t make an extra parking spot. This is in Queens and parking is very limited, if anybody can help out the address is 52-57 65th Place, Maspeth, NY 11378.

  4. my car was illegally towed on December 12. I went outside before they even put it on the truck and then after they put it on the truck they said for $120.00 they’ll release it. Can I still take action against the tow company? I was told I only had 15 days.

    1. You should have hopped in the car they can’t tow u if you are on the car legally

  5. Orlando/walden palms there is a towing problem. This company seems to be illegal. They tow as you sleep. A resident is not trespassing if you have lease. I believe they are making a living here from illegal towing. Signs are not accurate. Property mgr. don’t care. They are rude. People are moving out. The tow company is operating out of their car. The address not on vehicle nor phone number. The lookup address is a repair shop. No one listens to the truth anymore.

    1. You would have to contact a lawyer they would listen then. But you got to find a lawyer who gets paid when you win the case

  6. I’m being charged $550 from the tow Co. For the tow on a Friday and storage over the weekend for the police having it towed because it was parked in an alley. They said it was possibly blocking the way for emergency vehicles.

  7. The same thing happened to me was visiting my sister’s at Francisco trailer in phoenix.and i dont park inside because of no parking signs so park on outside of the only exit that is locked but park on gravel and had car towed had to pay 105 cash to get car but no were is there anyno parking signs or fire lane so let me know what happens

  8. My daughter’s car was towed from her complex that she rents from. This is not an apartment complex.. more like townhouses that are owned… she rents from the owner. Anyway, there was snow expected and apparently there is a rule to move your car from the parking lot to have it plowed. My daughter was never informed of this and it is not posted anywhere. The towing company told her it was $250 CASH only. she is a college student who did not have that money on her. She was able to get the cash within a half hour and when she went to pay, the company now told her there was also a $20 fee so she had to pay $270.
    Is this legal to tow cars for plowing when it isn’t posted? She was parked in a legal tenant spot.

  9. I find myself in this same situation. I’m a two year [email protected] in Grandview , Mo. Disabled Parking in same spot since I’ve lived here. Requested an assigned space close to bldg in 2014 because of disability. Was not forthcoming until 12-02-2014, three months after car was towed for allegedly being illegally parked. Want car or compensation. What can I do????

  10. In Florida, there are law firms that specialize in getting your money back at no cost to you. Search for illegal towing attorney.

    1. exactly, because they know that if there is proof of illegal towing it is a easy win

  11. My car just got towed in LA, CA at 4pm. They are charging me $279.85 if I pick it up before 5:30p tomorrow. Can they waive the tow fee of $122.50 since I am picking it up within 24 hours. Is it a state law that i can say to them when i go pick up my car?

  12. Hi I got my car towed away tonight. My car is registered in the community parking but I didn’t had the parking tag. Now they are charging me 370$ for towing. How should I approach community office to get my money back??

  13. I started working on the road and left my car with my ex girlfriend. the car ended up breaking down and it was parked in a spot in her gated complex with her parking permit sticker in the window. Someone put a towing notice on ut, so she went to theapartment’s management and explained the situation and they said they’d allow it to be parked there and they would take it off the tow list.They did and the car went untouched for a while until yesterday, someone towed the car, they won’t say who and brought it to a storage place that clsims to be unassociated with the towing placem the storage place said it’d be 218 if taken out within 12 hours. after that, it’s 290 and goes up 20 dollars a day..and if I don’t pay, they auction it. I was just going to scrap it anyway, but still, how can people just tow my stuff when she had permission from the property management to park it there? She says tennants can have it towed, but that doesn’t seem right. You don’t have a right to tow property that isn’t yours on property that also isn’t yours.

    1. Most places do not allow tenants to request towing because it can become a malicious game when neighbors are fighting. Normally property management has to provide a security code to prove they are authorized rep of property. Illegally parked vehicles include inoperable vehicles that have not been moved in a period of time. If there is any doubt of the cars movement, tires will be marked and photographed as evidence that it has not moved. Wondering if gf misunderstood them saying it could stay. More likely they said it could stay another 10 days or so but not so likely to let it just sit and decay there. Permission to leave it there indefinitely should have been obtained in writing for just this situation. without that it becomes he said, she said.

  14. My daughter’s car was towed from my aparment complex and when she called to see why they towed it, they said that because she was parked in reserve parking, that was a lie because where she was parked there was no t a reserved parking then they tried to say because she didnt have a parking permit. So I told them why would she have a parking permit if she is visiting? Then they tried to say that she had to have parked in visiting, but there were no signs indicating that where visitor parking is. When we went into the leasing office and asked them about the parking that is not covered can anyone park there. They stated as long as the parking space is not saying reserved and it is not under the shed anyone can park there. So when we told them where she was parked she should not have been towed. The leasing office manager tried to be a smart allik about and say “well you should not park there..My daughter was so upset she started cussing them out. And they tried to act like she was in the wrong we ended up having to pay 377 to get it out. They told her that on the first day that it was 218 to get it out but each day that it was there it was 20.00 increase on top of the 218.00 she could not get it out until 5 days later so we calculated 318.00 plus tax but the amount should not have been 377.00 they hit her with a notice a tow fee which was a lie because they did’t inform us that it was being towed. and some other charge. I feel like they robbed up I want to know what can I do about this.

    1. you do nothing, one time I tried to sue them. but unfortunately, towing companies are more in relationship with the police and authorities than you. No one will help you. they are like mafia

  15. I stay in Florida and my car was towed for a flat tire which I had no idea because this is my secondary vehicle a notice was given on the 8th and it was towed on the 9th not parked illegally, tag is valid until next year and the insurance is still valid. If I had Ben notified properly like a call or a letter on my door I would have put air into it. Now the towing company wants almost 400 to get my call. When I spoke with the property she claims she had no idea why it was towed ad that she would have it brought back but day 2 it’s still not here. What is there to do a days notice is not time to do anything when you have other financial obligations. I’m so disappointed and know that this is not fair please assit!!

  16. My daughter’s car was towed last night from an apartment complex. She called this morning to find out where it was and how much the cost. The towing company quoted her $293 to release her vehicle! My daughter is a college student and works part-time. What an outrage! We are in the State of Texas… how do I fight this?

    1. There’s a lot of reasons for towing from private property. Permit parking only, parking in reserved spot, flat tire, broken windows, expired tags, vehicle hasn’t moved in specified time period, parking a vehicle on that property and leaving it to go somewhere else. Towing from private property must be done under contract with one specific local towing company. The request for a vehicle to be removed MUST come from property management after providing a security code to authorize. Apparently there was a valid reason for the apartment management to request it’s removal. You could speak with apartment management and ask for specific reason it was towed but if they ordered tow, unless you can PROVE beyond doubt that it was illegally towed then you can expect nothing!
      Sounds like this complex may have a policy of resident only parking unless visitor permit issued for overnight, multiple day parking. Person who IS resident at that property should check their lease regarding visitor parking.

      1. I got charged a drop fee after my neighbor told me my truck was being towed from a gated community. I walked over, told them it was my truck. They said I didn’t have my permit. I liked at my rear view mirror, and realized it had fallen off. I opened my truck and there is was on the ground, I put it back on and told them they can’t take my truck because I do have a permit. They said that I still had to pay $80 for them to release my truck. It wasn’t even off the ground. Can they do that? They said they had taken a photo of my truck the day prior and that it didn’t have the permit up.

  17. i have a car repair shop and i do rent a space for repair cars also i do rent parking space. When i was repairing my car they towed my other car from my rented space without letting me to know. They said it is towed because it did not have title. Is it fair i was repairing it. Is there any law with thus situation in maryland please, guys

  18. Hi. I wanted to share my experience. My car was recently towed from a gated apartment complex. I was visiting my mom and they also have visiting parking. Tenants parking have numbers on them and visitor parking spaces are blank. I was inside her home and when it was time for me to go I noticed it wasn’t their. I immediately knew my car had been towed. Sure enough I call the towing company and my car is their. I paid $230 to get it out. I understand that the towing company works with the apartment complex but it’s not the first time I park their and my car was not the only car. I was in visitor parking. We went through the lease and it clearly says I’m allowed to park their yet I spoke to the manager and she said it’s not allowed.

    Anyone know what I can do? I just don’t think it’s fair that my car was the only one towed and their was several other cars parked in visitor parking. The Manager does not live their so I think the persons in charge of maintenance called. I spoke to them as well and they told me they had nothing to do with it.

    1. This is a strange situation. Have you called the towing company to see called your car in? Confirm that fast and then you can follow. If you lease says you can park their you have a legal right to. Suggest your call your local BBB or small claims court if you want to pursue this further.

  19. I live in Pennsylvania. Last week my car was towed away for parking in a private parking lot. There was a sign which read “permit parking only” but I ignored it since I parked there several times in the past and never got towed before. Anyway I called the towing company and was told I had to pay them $300 in cash to get my car back. I explained to the woman that I did not have that kind of money because I live on social security disability. She only repeated herself by saying I had to pay them $300 in cash. I borrowed the money from a friend, went to the impound yard, and got my car back within one hour. Is there anything I can do about this? Would this be considered price gouging? Is there some way I can get my $300 or at least some of the money back?

    1. “There was a sign which read “permit parking only” but I ignored it since I parked there several times in the past and never got towed before.”

      I hate predatory towing but you were just foolish. Good luck.

  20. I got my car towed illegally and I found out about predatory towing and then, I figured it was that because my husband moved the van the same day it got towed. I went to school for about an hour and a half and I come back to it not being there and I thought my husband left, but I knew he wouldn’t because we have 3 children and he watches them when I’m in school and I just knew he wouldn’t take them all with him in the van. Anyways I come inside and asked him where is the van and he had a clueless look and then I knew the stupid tow truck towed it. Supposedly I violated the 72 hr violation, but I didn’t if it was moved by my husband the same day they towed it and I knew they towed it illegally, so I decided to record the cars that are parked where I parked for first come first served and for about two weeks now the same blue van is still there, and supposedly they document it, but why haven’t this van been towed and mine did even after we moved it a few stalls down? They pick and choose whose car they want to be towed and it’s frustrating when I’m struggling to survive and they do this every time to me. They steal my car so I can pay to have it back, but since I don’t have the money, now my car is probably already auctioned off. I’m a full time student and mother that rely on this car to get around and now I’m stressing because these jerks want to ruin people’s life by stealing their cars just so they can make money for themselves. It’s disgusting that people like them exist in this world! What can I do at this point because this isn’t the first time this tow company does this to people. They also have a very bad rep and I want people to know about them. They were once called pepe’s towing, but they are now Santa Ana Club towing!!!!! They have horrible and very rude coworkers!!!! First few hours, they charged me 300 something and charged a late fee, plus an extra 100 a day on top of it. I want them to go out of business because it shouldn’t be okay for them to get away with predatory towing!!!! I have prove of videos that it is because they don’t tow every car that is illegally parked or 72 hour violation parking rules !!!!!

  21. I bought a new car. As the office was closed for the night by the time I got back, I parked it in a Visitor’s space and hung a visitor hang tag on the mirror (I was given two). When I went to get a resident decal this morning, the car was gone. They claimed (and I have the receipt showing this) that my hang tag had expired on March 31. It does expire on March 31…March 31, 2017…nearly a year from now. They didn’t even bother to check the year.

    They made me pay in cash, which required me to get another Uber to take me to an ATM as the tow company was in the middle of nowhere and they said it would a 30 minute walk to get to an ATM. They also slapped on an additional “Gate Fee”, which no one seemed to be able to explain what it was for. The County Code (for the county it was towed from – they towed it to the next county over) says no fees may be charged beyond the $125 tow fee until after 24 hours. They had it for less than 10 hours.

    When they pulled it out, my visitor’s hang tag was gone. I asked for it back and they tried to say they had to confiscate it because it was expired. I showed them it was valid until 2017 and they called the HOA who confirmed the hang tag was valid, so they finally relented and returned my hang tag. Yet, I still had to pay to get my car back.

    When I got back there were two other folks who had had their cars towed. The tow place also had a pile of “expired” decals, so those two weren’t the only ones who got towed either. They said they were told they had to the end of the week to get new decals (decals always expire at the end of the month). I’m thinking that maybe I got caught in a 1st of the month predatory tow a palooza. The HOA didn’t seem to care. Their response was they can’t have residents parking in visitors spaces (yet this is what they tell residents to do when buying a new car). As if that is an actual problem…given that the visitors spaces are all at the front of the complex and farther from any units than resident spaces.

    I would file a complaint (at least to get the $45 “Gate Fee” back, if not the entire cost + the cost of 2 Ubers and Lost Time), but cannot find anywhere who to file with.

    1. First of all, make sure it’s not a visitor’s spot or it’s a spot that someone owns. If it’s someone’s personal spot, then your at fault

  22. Hey! So my car was parked in my apartment parking lot . there are no signs of the fire lane anywhere and everybody always park there because its big enough for three cars. I’m 9 months pregnant and 5 motorcycles took up all the spots in front of my apartment. The only parking spot was around the corner. I left my car like I usually do and took a nap when I went to go to my car it was gone. They had my car from 2pm-5pm and made me pay $300. Can I fight this because there are no signs ? I saw management parked in the same spot and I mentioned something to them and they said they are allowed to park there

    1. That would depend on where you were towed from. Here, the state has a set of basic towing rules, and then each county has their own rules. Some counties have tightened the laws, especially after one predatory tow company stole something like 200 cars in one night while folks were shopping. Some require that signs be posted with lettering of at least a certain size and with specific wording, etc…They also limit the amount tow companies can charge. Here, they don’t allow any additional charges during the first 24 hours beyond the tow charge, though tow companies charge anyways and you have to file a complaint. You should probably Google your city/county plus “Towing Ordinance” to see what the rules are for where you are.

  23. my friends car got towed and people have been saying the private property that has been towing cars has been illegal because we did not hear any sirens or any type of noise to let use know that our car is being towed. my question is, is that is it illegal for a towing company to tow cars in the middle of the night without there sirens on letting people know there car is getting towed? we had our back door open because i know that when people tow cars they have to have there sirens/lights on. please respond asap. we need help.

  24. At the end of the day, you did not live in the complex and I have a hard time believing that they have extra parking spaces considering you said it’s a 300 unit complex. The tow company does work on behalf of the residential complex, they come out and tow vehicles based on the request of the complex. They do not care if you parked legally because someone at the complex could not park in the space that more than likely belonged to them and called to request their services. I work in law enforcement and people always assume that they can park anywhere, that they should get verbal warnings (when written/posted warnings are everywhere), and the law doesn’t apply to them. This doesn’t sound like predatory towing, I have seen cases of predatory towing (they don’t just stop at one car). This is someone who thinks it’s okay to park in a complex parking lot where they don’t live because they are visiting someone who live there.

    1. I live in a Condominium complex with over 150-200 units but only 3 visitor parking spots.

      I recently had my vehicle towed because I did leave it in a 24 hour towing spot for longer than the allotted 24 hours.

      Even more recently (approx. 2 weeks after the initial incident), after I had paid to get the car out of impound, my car was towed from basically the same spot but I’m 100% confident that my car wasn’t parked for the full 24 hours.

      What can I do? I’m an Oregon resident.

      Thank you!

    2. My apartments have 256 units and it has over 100 spots for visitors. Visitors just can’t stay in the same spot for more than a couple weeks. It also has a covered spot for each unit. Every apartment complex I’ve been to has covered for renters and uncovered for guests and the condos and town homes at least have numbers or something showing it’s for residents. She talked to the landlord so they would have told her if she was wrong.

    3. Exactly! Maybe next time, these people should ask for permission firs to park before they think it’s a visitors parking spot. JERKS. Props to you officer!

  25. Hi Thursday morning I wake up but my car was not in the parking lot. Manager told me my car tow away.Here is complex and my driver licence shows that I live this address .I had to get sticker but they send last year which is I I have to fill it out and send back last year i did not but later they did not send any paper to fill it out and send them back.And I called the company I tried to tell them,they did not send any paper since last year but they did not listen to me.I believe that it is not fair because I live there but they can tow away my car.Finally I paid$250 and I got my car from vito’s towing.Worst part is that I am unemployment.Can someone help me please to get my money back.

  26. Hi I wanted to share my experience I need some help, i purchased a car on 2-21-2016 at 8:30 pm parked the car at my complex guest parking directly next to my home because my other car that I still owned was in my private reserved spot. I woke up at 6 am 2-22-2016 and my car was towed !! Without waring or anything I was livid ! I paid the $150 to get my car ,can someone please help me what can be my next step to get my money back and more importantly make the hoa know and understand you cannot treat people in such a way we are all a community and should look out for one another and hope he don’t do it to anyone else ever!

    1. Yikes sorry to hear that First thing you should do is call your HOA and tell them what happened. They may agree for a refund, but a lot of time towing companies pay the HOA the “right” to tow cars and hence keep the towing fees. If you were towed illegally (and I assume your guest parking overnight was legal) then you can call the BBB (better business bureau) or go to small claims court.

  27. Just got taken by a towing company. Parked in a clearly marked parking spot with no signs anywhere. Came back and found my car gone. The man admitted on the phone that they put a sign up AFTER they took the car.

  28. In apartment complexes, you have to be especially careful where you park. Even if the parking space appears not to be assigned, it may very well be assigned to a resident. If your car goes missing, it’s likely the apartment called security services to have the car towed because you parked in an assigned space, which is an illegal space. Not all assigned spaces are marked properly and I agree that they should be. However, you should never assume any space is designated for visitor parking unless marked as such. Some complexes may even explicitly disallow non-residents from parking on the property at all or the complex can require visitors to put their license plates on file with the office in advance of parking, which explains why your resident friends could park in open spaces without being towed (i.e., their license plates are on file with the office).

    In reality, the space you parked in likely was assigned to a resident and just as likely the reason your car was towed. The apartment complex should have a copy of the parking violation describing your car with pictures separately from your car being towed and that violation report should be on file in the apartment complex office and/or with security services. You should be able to call the management office and request a copy of the parking violation report. While you have them on the phone, you should also explicitly ask them which spaces are open for visitor parking and during what times of the day just to be certain where you can park legally in the future.

  29. This happened to me this morning. The problem is it happens every 5 months or so.
    $300 just like that.

  30. Hello there,
    I had a kind of same experience. But i would like to know that if i hv lease on my name and i park my rental car on open parking sopt in my apartapartment less than 24 hours still how come they can towed away my car?????
    My car broke down in my allocated parking so for my daily work i rented a car . On 2nd night only they towed my car from apartment visors parking. I had to pay 400$ to get my car back. I didn’t break any rule or 72 hours parking law or something. I am going to take action agains towing service and leasing management.
    Anybody help??

  31. Hi…i just got “played” by towing company. I parked in shopping plaza, 15 minutes later my car was by gone. Please help. 954-861-9590

  32. My car have been towed from the public train station they did not place no orange or green sticker on it so can I tow your car if you on a free parking lot without warning

  33. My mustang broke down sep 29 2015 3 1/2 weeks ago i had it towed by american towing. They told me at hookup it cost $60 but when dropped off at auto shop they wanted $120 i said we agreed to $60. we had disagreement i called police driver took off. leaving my car when police arrived i called tow number telling them i wanted to pay them. The owner said if you dont pay $120 i will send someone back when you are gone and tow car away. So feeling strong armed i gave american express credit card for $120 next day owner at shop said thats wrong for them to charge that much and told me to dispute it with my credit card for $60. I hadnt heard if i won dispute or not. Today Oct 24, 2015 3 1/2 weeks later. I go outside and my mustang was gone, I had it parked on street in front of my house. I call police they looked into it and few minutes later police said american tolling had my car and that i should call them that it was a civil matter and i had to deal with them. Can they come to my house and steal my car because i disputed the $120 Telling american express the situation that it was agreed to at $60. and how towing company doubled their charge. What are my options?
    I wanted legal advice before I call american Towing on how to deal with them. They probably say I owe them $1000 or who knows what for them taking my car parked in front of my home.
    Please Help!
    Thank you.

  34. An automotive shop allowed a tow company to tow our car and tow company sent auction without notice from either company. This was after speaking to tow yard and automotive to get cost to pickup. When we went to pick up car.The Tow yard told us they sent it to auction.
    Please help. Thank you in advance.

  35. I live in Tustin California and my car was towed out of my assigned parking structure because they were fixing the asphalt in the parking lot of which they just did a couple of months ago . I asked where my car was and management told me they did not no they did not have any cars towed that they were calling people and knocking on doors after calling Tustin police I was told my car was towed along with many many others from that same property which is walnut east apartments owed by Arnel property management . I went back to the office and informed them they had my car towed and she still denied it she does not towed cars she hands me a phone number and tells me here they can answer all your questions I called the number and it had been disconnected these people are shady I’m taking them to court and getting my money back .

  36. I think my husband tells me lies!
    I was driving his car , I was parking it in the mall parking lot and when i got out surprise ! The car is not there anymore. Ofc i start to panik and i called the police and my husband. He told me i should not call the police before he was there. Anyway the police came my husband too, he pleased me to go in the car he came with cause he will resolve the problem. The next day he brought me my purse that was in the “stolen” car, telling me that the police found the car. I didn t insist with questions about what happened cause he just become agitated all the time i bring this subject. Now after 4 months, i ask him again what he knows about that car and he just told me it was ” boom”. Somebody can help me to understand what is going on?

    1. Sorry to say but your husband is clearly not being honest..not sure why though as don’t have enough info on your relationship. But his behavior definitely does not make sense from what you said.

      1. Its clear that you have no idea that the boom means that the car has been blown up or no longer in pieces that you would recognize. Now I have a question for you. What is panik and ofc? I know what panic is but that other word, I can not dfind in the dictionary. I’m not a scholar, but you and a lot of other people that are making post to this site, have not learned how to spell or you don’t care if you seem uneducated to those of us that hit bumps when trying to comprehend the way that you write.

        1. Huge run on sentence here Rob. It’s important to remember that when one points a finger, there are three point back at them. I agree, grammar is important in blogs like these. Don’t throw stones if you live in a glass house Rob.

  37. My car was illegaly towed from my property my HOA, claiming that I parked on my lawn which was not true. I had parked my car on my expanded driveway adjacent to my paved section. Upon reviewing the HOA By Laws, I discovered that the By Laws only pertains to the use of the Association Property and not my Personal Property. I brought this to the HOA attention, froze my monthly payments pending resolve of the matter, and claimed reimbursement of the cost to recover my car and they have refused to pay. Instead they had their Attorney wrote me changing the claim to unregistered vehicle, which is pertaining to use of the Association Property. My family and I no longer feel safe in the community, our quiet enjoyment of our property is damaged. The police is of no help. I am thinking of a major lawsuit and relocation. My car towed is currently the most stolen car in America, and there is good reason to believe the intention was to steal my car.

  38. i had recently purchased a car from a little dealer in my area and the registration had not gone through yet.. so it was still in the process and the dealer was supposed to take care of that, I had a little slip in my windshield that is good for 90 days from the day of purchase that pretty much stated that its a car that was just purchased and in the process of being registered….
    I take this car to school everyday and yesterday I come back to the parking lot to find my car missing so I call the university police and they tell me they towed it because the registration wasn’t valid for a long period of time. Officer that started the tow didn’t see the paper slip i had….so i had to go to the UPD office and then car and get the slip from my car and show it to the UPD and the sergeant was like ooh shit this is our fault but unfortunately we can’t stop the towing company from charging you, but we won’t charge you for the release fee of the car…. So i was stuck paying $271…. So am I within my rights to go after the university for the negligence of the officer that failed to yield to the paper in my wind shield?

    1. Yes itll be a civil lawsuit against the university and towing company for which ever state you live in

  39. Luis you are a asshole and your industry preys upon poor disadvantaged people. I hope you see hell soon

  40. for the guy that is complaining i am a owner of a tow truck compani and like many others, we all know that we as a tow trucker we are authorized by the appartments which we are not respnsible for that matter we are just told to pick up the car and thats what we do and the one here in fault is the appartments if they didnt give you tags but if you want to get your money back i would judt go after the appartments and try to get your car asap out because evry day you lose you get charged storage fees good luck and well this is for every one that think that the tow truck companies are there just to gve you headaks lesson learned

    1. What if I paid to park, posted the parking ticket in front window and still got towed?? I parked in a bank parking lot. There was 1 way into the parking lot and I had to pay in order the get the parking ticket that I placed in the window. My car was towed. The tow truck driver said he was called to pick up my car because I didn’t pay. The tow truck driver even stated that he saw the parking ticket through the front windshield.

    2. Get a real job easy to leech off people’s money I guess or not good with anything else except carrrrrrsssssss awwww boohoo , and take responsibility for taking possession of people’s property’s if there at fault I understand but don’t sit there and tell you you guys are always right ,, ….ps… u scum bag

    3. I live in Independence, Missouri, at an apartment complex. Yesterday I discovered my vehicle was missing from the designated resident parking area behind my building. I’ve lived in the same apartment for 12 years and never had a problem. Sudden!y within the last six months some company hired by the apartment complex , as I am told, started an assault of sticker slapping tow notices for all kinds of stupid shit, like backing into parking spots, having a flat tire, expired tags, etc… You name it , at least 50% of the residents have had a sticker slapped on their car for one reason or another. Excessive. This is a low income HuD complex. We don’t have money or we would not be living here. We scrape to get by. But yet this apartment manager has hired a company to cruise our parking lots looking for any dumb reason to have a car towed. My tags are expired. Not a crime, just a violation. I still drive it . nobody cares. But this DUMBASS apartment complex I live in towed my van because I parked in our lot with expired tags. It had been parked maybe 17 hours and it was a legal resident spot, not posted as DONT PARK HERE WITH EXPIRED TAGS, and no little stickers were attached to my vehicle indicating a tow was going to happen. The tow company said it was authorized by apt manager. So please tell me if tow truckers can just take a car legally parked at apt managers request without any prior warning . the stickers they put on vehicles always say something like the vehicle will be towed on (four days later) if indicated problem is not resolved. So does that mean that anytime after these four days , like six or ten months later , my car can be towed for that sticker ? It seems to me that if they don’t pick up vehicle on that day they indicate it will be towed on the sticker they should have to issue a new sticker if six months later they discover my vehicle in the lot. Please help me understand what tow truckers are authorized to do so I have an understanding of my rights.

      1. Oh and I forgot to mention this tow company is not even in the same state I live in. They are 50 minutes away in Kansas.

        1. That message was to be posted under Luis’ ad and I’m not sure how it got down here. It is not intended for you Lunar.

      2. I can fell your pain. I parked my truck in front on my apartment door in a parking space. There are no signs stating any kind of towing fee for any type of parking. I forgot to place a sticker on my tag although my tag is valid with the state. I come home after work and park my vehicle about 3 pm. The management office or leasing office does not close until 6 pm. I went to sleep only to find my vehicle gone the next morning by 4 am. Within the 3 hours that I had been home and went to sleep to get ready for work the next day, I come to find my vehicle gone without a trace or notice. Not once had the apartment complex placed a yellow, green or orange sticker anywhere on my vehicle. If they tow company or companies are to report with the local police to find out if your vehicle is actually in violation of the law, Then I fell like the guy that had his vehicle taken for ransom. I reported the vehicle stolen and even asked the leasing office if they had it towed and they told me that they only authorize tows after they have been properly tagged. No one could give me any information that first day that was within the 24 hour period. On Monday the police found the vehicle on an impound lot. If the state laws instruct the tow company to report the vehicle within the first two to three hours that they have removed the vehicle from the premises, then it should not have been Monday that I’m being told that it was just found. It was taken Friday after work. This just happened January 22 2016. I’m in the process of getting my vehicle back. I am also looking to sue. They hid the fact that they took the vehicle as well as the time stamp on reporting it to the police. What will get them is the technicality that I reported it stolen not knowing that a tow company took my vehicle. In hind site, I recall a guy standing behind my vehicle the day I they supposedly put a sticker on my vehicle. There is no way that a sticker could have been placed on the vehicle and I put a dog in the vehicle and did not want that person to pet my dog. I took off and got lunch and returned and put my dog in the house. I went back to school that day. There was no time to post a sticker if that was the agenda. Is this one of the ways to show how childish a person is because I chose not to allow my dog to interact with the person? I’m not sure why people think that they can even approach a strange dog and think its friendly. I think it was a vindictive measure is that’s the other reason that there was no sticker placed on the vehicle. I have drove the vehicle to and from work every day since then and they come and get it at the end of the week while I’m sleep and there was never a tag to say why they would even want to remove the vehicle. If they are trying to get a vehicle for expired tags, then they should check with DMV prior to stealing someone’s vehicle. I’m a new victim and I’m getting my evidence together. Make sure you check your state laws on towing rules and regulations. Like I mentioned, I’m still in my process as I just found out two days later what happened to my vehicle. My insurance company even knows about it now. I’m making a paper trail and I dread the outcome of me being put out of the complex at the moment. I’m being very carful as to how I fight.

        1. That is suppose to be, I can feel your pain. I’m not sure what is going on with my fingers and eyes. I’m trying to catch all my typos. I’m also wondering if the system has a way of shortening what is written to make a person seem so uneducated.

        2. My vehicle was towed before 9pm and I had my parking pass in the my console of my vehicle and I lived at my complex for over 15 years and I wasn’t able to get my car back until the next day. I feel my rental manager need to give my money back.

      3. So if registration is expired then it don’t matter, you were parked illegally. All states require a vehicle parked on private or public property to be registered, unless parked at a storage facility

      4. If the complex called them then your fight is with the complex. If your vehicle was tagged with a big sticker usually red or orange with reason of violation that sticker is a two part sticker… They stick the violation sticker to your windshield and the tow company has the other half of it.. so yes if you don’t fix the problem then they will tow you whenever they see that vehicle…

    4. Are stating that if an apartment complex asks you to tow a vehicle, you will come tow it without the proper sticker being placed for the owner to know that they might be in a violation? I am still trying to figure out some of the words that you people use. I’m not even sure where your thoughts end and begin. Is that even a sentence that you have posted?

  41. As for a comment above a amount can be charged as of hook up but storage charges can not be charged until initial 24hors has passed. (ie: tow fee before 24 hours, towing and storage after 24 hours)

  42. My car was towed recently from the apartment complex where I reside. When renting the apt., I was NOT told I had to rent a parking space for $10.00 per month. But, I could park anywhere where there was not a red and white restricted parking sign. I parked in a spot where there was NOT this sign, but was towed away. The actual resident who was renting this spot, (not the apt. personnel) called and had my car towed. There is a conflict of interest, since the person who had my car towed is the Office Mgr’s nephew. There is NO documented resident parking policy, which I requested from the management. I also read my rental agreement with a fine tooth comb and again – no parking policies as were verbally told to me. If a person rents a parking spot – there must be a red restricted sign posted, if not – how are any residents or guests supposed to know if it is rented? There was an eye-witness when my car was towed. The person who rents the space I was parked in, did not park back in their space after my car was towed, but rather in an un-covered space. Why did they even bother to have my car towed – if they were going to park elsewhere? Perhaps to set ‘a trap’ for another un-knowing resident? I am absolutely livid because I am out of work and the $175 to get my car back is 75% of the money I use to live on. I am also disabled mentally and this is causing me great upset and suicidal thoughts! I need some help to STOP these scammers – including the corrupt managemnet! Thank you ~

  43. While you are going through the process, can’t you also phone up the credit card company to dispute (or even request a charge-back) the towing charge?

    1. John – Towing companies are always cash-only. This often means you have to go to the ATM first since you may not be carrying $200+ ( I’ve been towed twice, $280 was what I had to pay each time ) on you when you are towed.

      1. A towing company is required by law (at least in California) to accept credit cards.

        1. Arizona you don’t ever have to pay for any unauthorized towing, I found out that you need to ask to see their pick up paperwork before you announce that you want you car immediately and will not be paying a penny to get it. This way you can see the condition of your car as they described it when they picked it up. I didn’t do that once and the scum bags kicked a dent in my door before they gave me my car then added a dent to the door in the description. You could see my car was covered in dust and there was a fresh foot print smudged clean right were the looser kicked my Mustang GT. I called the cops and the cops said if I didn’t see him do it They could only take a report and if others do the same they might be able to do something. SO ALWAYS LIE LIKE THEY DO AND SAY YOU SAW THEM KICK YOUR DOOR OR WHATEVER THEY DID! I parted that car out and those low life’s got nothing from their lien on my title.

  44. You and I have the same mindset. I would be taking it to the fullest. Although, i have a pretty hot temper. I think what you’re doing is great. Not only will you most likely walk out of this with a smile but its like a slap in the face to them. It’ll also help other people in the neighborhood, so this never happens again. If anything i would definitely take it to small claims court. Only because the complex management didn’t follow the guidelines, as to which your friends were “mislead”. Every time I hear the world “mislead”, I think lawsuit. Definitely check into this. Also, check in with the company and see if the followed all the rules and regulations as far as the procedures go for towing cars. i.e: Get proof that the towing company followed state procedures regarding the towing. This requires that they take a picture of the car in the “illegal” spot and notify the local police department to ensure the car is not classified as stolen. Getting the pictures of the towing from the towing company is not easy and you will likely have to go back a couple of days later to get the digital photos….

    Since they were so “unhelpful” and “rude”, maybe they shouldn’t be in business :)

    have a good one! hope it all works out. I’ll be rooting for you!

  45. Get a lawyer to write you a letter to send to both the towing company and the apartment complex that you will be suing for conversion of property (taking and depriving of your property) if they don’t return the funds plus attorney’s fees. They’ll be quick to send you a check once they see the nice letter on a lawyer’s letter head knowing that you mean business.

    If not, then just make a complaint to the state attorney’s office and call it a day. Think of the time you will be stressing and losing over $150 if you do what you proposed in your article.

    Good Luck!

    1. Thanks Will. I am actually pursuing the apartment complex managers from now, because they did not provide the right permits to my friends. The towing company has been completely unhelpful, and I may try the lawyer letter. The $150 is not the issue, it is the principle. But yes, after a while this whole thing may not be worth it.

  46. Your fight is with the apartment complex management, not the tow company. They authorized the tow. I doubt that you will win in either situation. As for criminal prosecution, it won’t happen. You can sue anyone, anytime… take it to small claims if you choose.

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