Car towed: who pays? Beware of naughty scams

Depending on where and by whom and when the car is towed, the price for the owner is less or very expensive.

© Peter Schatz / Imago

Who pays when a car is towed? Motorists need to be careful, there are always attempts at fraud in private parking lots.

Dortmund – Parking is not always easy for motorists. Some characters never fail to raise their eyebrows, such as the four-digit car cut in half.

company ADAC
members 21,231,584 (end of 2021)
Seat Munich
foundation May 24, 1903, Stuttgart
Chairman Christian Reinicke
Turnover 215 million euros

And you should always pay attention to the details when it comes to stopping. The car is gone very quickly – towed away. Also?

A very important question that motorists must first consider: where did they park and who got the vehicle towed away? The location makes a difference, as echo24.de reports.

Towed: Experts explain two differences

The experts from the legal department of the General German Automobile Club (ADAC) distinguish between two types of towing: “Pursuing the police from public land and towing the owner or a parking operator from private land”. For example, a supermarket counts as a parking space administrator (additional tips, traffic rules and driving news on RUHR24).

The Road Traffic Act (StVO) usually also applies to food retailers such as Kaufland or Lidl. Certain violations can also end up in jail, such as echo24.de has reviewed.

Car towed by the police: What applies now!

If the car is towed by the police, according to the ADAC, “the police law of the federal states” applies. Therefore, there may be individual consequences for the owner of the vehicle.

In principle, however, the police must always adhere to a few important steps:

  • need: Is it absolutely necessary to tow the car? It is necessary, according to lawyers “a measure if the purpose of the police cannot be achieved without it”.
  • proportionality: A measure is considered proportionate in a legal sense if “if it is not disproportionate to the intended success”.

Police: Towing the car “completely” or just moving it?

However, it does not always have to be a “complete” towing. The police also have the option of having the vehicle moved.

The ADAC report states: “A simple move of the vehicle is considered if there are adequate free parking spaces nearby”. Towing it to a detention center would then not be reasonable.

However, if the towing vehicle is to first open the car for the towing process, the vehicle must always be locked “led to official depot areas or to the towing companies’ depots”.

Should the car be opened during the towing process, the car must always be brought to the respective depot first.

© imago stock & people / Imago

Towing the police: who should bear what costs?

If a car is towed and the driver could not be identified, the vehicle owner must always pay for the costs incurred. According to the report, the costs involved should always be assessed independently of the fine procedure with the police.

What towing costs may arise?

  • If you return to the car before it is towed, you must pay the cost of the empty trip if the towing vehicle has already been ordered.
  • Additional costs may vary. Each municipality therefore has different administrative fees and the towing companies also charge depending on the day of the week and time of day other prices.
  • In addition, the parking fees in official depots are also higher than in the area of ​​a towing company.

should it “Administrative Offenses Case for Parking Offenses” is set, then it is still left with the cost of towing. For this it says: “The objective risk situation alone is decisive for the obligation to pay the towing costs at the time of towing. It does not matter whether you, as the driver or the owner of the towed vehicle, are to blame. “

Car towed on private property: What applies now!

Anyone who has parked their car incorrectly in a supermarket parking lot and, for example, is being towed away must expect a similar procedure. However, the consequences are different than being towed by the police.

ADAC writes: “Private owners or authorized persons may have private property towed if their property is disturbed by illegal parking.”

Video: New rules about cars – what motorists need to know

Private cause: cost of towing the car

Good for motorists: The cost of towing private property can not increase indefinitely. A judgment of the Munich City Court (Az .: 472 C 8222/18) sets a limit: “The compensation that the illegal parker must pay to be towed away is limited by the requirement of economic efficiency.”

In a similar case, the towing company had demanded 635 euros. The reason is the towing time of 2.5 hours.

In addition, one came “Supplement for use outside opening hours, additional costs for using a scooter on wheels, 2-day stand fees and necessary preparatory measures”. As the court could not set a local price for towing measures in Munich, the price was estimated.

ADAC writes that the costs are limited to an economically reasonable level. The basic amount was set at 230 euros net plus a surcharge of 15 percent for Sunday and night work plus 19 percent VAT. In addition, the stand fees of 30 euros for two days.

If the car is improperly towed – beware of fraud

Not only does one have to distinguish between police and private towing, there is also a third variant. Fraud! Experts warn against companies systematically searching parking lots for illegal parking.

Some parking lot owners hire service companies to guard the parking lot. These do not always act in accordance with the law.

The cost of towing is usually extremely high. In addition, illegal parking is required, according to reports “You can also pay for the service company’s activity. This is not allowed. “

If the landowner has not even placed an order, the tow truck will hit you mercilessly. In such cases, the towing service is not payable. The company has no claim against the illegal parker.

Always take a look at: extra towing costs such as a flat rate for a parking attendant or inspection costs. If there are many additional costs, one must be careful.

Car towed away: how do you find your vehicle?

After being towed from a private car park, you often only get the location of your car after paying. This process is legal. What should I do?

  • Ask for an exact invoice and get it recognized that you are only paying with reservations.
  • Indicate that a lawyer will be involved “to resist this practice. This may result in you getting your vehicle”.
  • You can also deposit the desired amount with the competent district court and in this way “to avert the right of retention exercised on the vehicle”.

To be towed from a private car park: Always check these points

If your car has been towed from a private car park, you should always keep a few important points in mind to protect yourself from possible fraud. ADAC provides important information:

  • Is there an order for the corresponding towing company at all? Request proof.
  • Check the cost. What are the possible additional costs.
  • Are there signs on the site that threaten towing?

In principle, when in doubt, drivers should always consult a lawyer who will check the requirements.

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