Back in 2009, my little Daihatsu Charade hatchback was stolen from outside my Brooklyn apartment (presumably in some car thief contest to see who could swipe the crappiest vehicle). It eventually showed up two weeks later with less than a mile added to the odometer, and I got stuck with a $225 towing bill. But that’s pocket change compared to the fee being charged a Seattle driver.
The man’s car had vanished off the street and was eventually towed when it ended up in a business parking lot.
Because the car still had Oregon plates, the tow company says it took longer than usual to get a hold of the owner. In the interim, the fees kept piling up. By the time the driver found out his car had been recovered, he owed $1,242.
“[The owner]‘s big mistake, had he registered the car in Washington state like he should have, he would have been notified, he would have gotten the letter the next day,” the owner of the tow company tells KOMO News.
But the driver feels like Seattle police took their good old time notifying him that his car had been recovered and that the tow company is making a mint off the situation.
“To essentially tow it three miles, let it sit in an empty spot in a parking lot for a week and then I come down as a crime victim and you are going to… make a quick buck off me and expect me not to fight back, I don’t think that’s fair,” he tells KOMO.
So at the very least, let this be a lesson to you to keep your vehicle registration up-to-date. It’s easier to contest a bill if you can prove the tow company did not attempt to contact you in a timely manner.