Can a towing service keep my car?

Can a towing service keep my car?
Can a towing service keep my car?

Do towing companies have a right of retention?

Whether due to inattention or a lack of alternatives, almost every driver parks their vehicle in a prohibited parking space at some point. If he obstructs the remaining traffic or even blocks a fire department entrance, a nasty surprise awaits him: the car is towed away.

It quickly becomes apparent that traffic offenders face expensive demands: the Sunshine Coast towing demands payment of the costs incurred. Companies threaten to keep the vehicle as collateral if the invoice is not paid.

Many ask themselves: Can a towing service keep my car? By what right? In this article, you will discover whether and when a towed vehicle can be used as collateral and how this is legally justified.

Further information on the return of a car that has been wrongly retained can also be found below.

Anyone who orders must also pay. Does this apply to towing companies?

Since the owner of an illegally parked car does not order or hire a towing company themselves, some illegal parkers believe they are safe and confidently demand that the vehicle be returned – without paying the costs.

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The surprise is all the greater when the towing service flatly refuses to hand over the car until the bill has been paid. German jurisprudence struggled for some time with the question of the legality of this act.

Among other things, the courts discussed the measure’s proportionality several times. Since the towing costs are usually far less than the value of the car, there is a particular imbalance. However, recent judgments confirm that the effect of the right of retention is based on precisely these different values.

Privately or publicly parked incorrectly: Do different regulations apply?

If you park illegally on private property, the owner can have your vehicle towed. In this case, a private person commissions the towing company – not the police.

But even in this situation, the contracted towing service can keep the car – provided specific requirements are met.

More than one BGH ruling seals the question, “Can a towing service keep my car?”

Two rulings by the Federal Court of Justice confirm the right of towing companies not to release stolen cars until the costs of the towing process have been paid.

The Federal Court of Justice case law addresses both situations – the police or private individuals commission the towing service.

What costs can a towing company claim?

If I parked incorrectly, the towing company can keep my car.

If I parked incorrectly, the towing company can keep my car.

Even if a towing service can keep a car until the costs have been paid, it can only charge for particular items.

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The costs incurred in preparing the towing process

In some large cities, companies take care of both the monitoring and control of private parking spaces – such as supermarket parking lots – as well as the towing process itself. Despite the combination of tasks, only the fees from the specific towing maneuver may be charged here.

Therefore, the ongoing costs of parking lot monitoring must not be transferred to the amount of illegal parking that is towed away.

Does the towing service keep the car despite payment?

If you pay the bill, the towing company must release your car. You can obtain an interim injunction from the responsible local court if he refuses. At this point, the assistance of a lawyer is strongly recommended.

You can also demand compensation for loss of use from the towing service. Because he unlawfully retained your car, you were unable to use it.

Questions you can ask the driver of your tow truck when you first call them.

You can ask a truck driver some questions before allowing them to go with your car. How have you found it with towing or emergency road assistance? What are your costs, and how do they get calculated? How fast is your response time? Can you offer urgent help if required? Do you have the tools and equipment needed to complete the towing or roadside assistance? Can you provide an estimate of costs before work is started?

Do you accept credit cards or online payments? Do you have a full statement of the work completed and the spare parts you used? What is your policy about refunds and guarantees? It is crucial to inquire about all issues you have before entrusting your vehicle to a tow truck driver.

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This will let you know the procedure for emergency road services better and help you make an informed choice. Don’t be afraid to ask for clarification if you require more details or aren’t sure about the entire process.

Adil Husnain

Adil Husnain is a well-known name in the blogging and SEO industry. He is known for his extensive knowledge and expertise in the field, and has helped numerous businesses and individuals to improve their online visibility and traffic. He writes on business, technology, finance, marketing, and cryptocurrency related trends. He is passionate about sharing his knowledge and helping others to grow their online businesses.