Educational Consumer Tips

Vehicle Towing

Author: Better Business Bureau

Virginia law allows parking lots to tow or immobilize trespassing vehicles provided that signs are posted at all entrances to the lot, clearly stating that cars parked without permission will be removed.

When a car is towed, the tow truck operator is required to report it to the State Police or the local law-enforcement agency. All towing businesses are required to post, at their main place of business, a complete list of all their fees and charges for towing, recovery and storage.

Instead of towing, cars can be immobilized by a boot or other device that keeps a wheel from turning, provided that no damage is done to the car or wheel. The charge to remove the boot cannot exceed $25 or the amount set by local ordinance.

Trespassing cars can also be ticketed.

Unless different limits are determined by local ordinance, Virginia law also establishes limits on the amount that can be charged for the towing and storage of passenger cars. With certain exceptions, hookup and initial towing fees cannot exceed $125, with an additional $25 for towing between 7 pm and 8 am, or on any Saturday, Sunday or holiday. There will be no charge for the first 24 hours or less of storage. Exceptions to these pricing guidelines may include, but are not limited to, abandoned or locked vehicles, vehicles towed from the scene of an accident, or vehicles exceeding certain wieght limits.