8 ways to avoid being towed

Getting towed can be frustratingly easy. Here are our top eight tips for avoiding tows.

1. Avoid parking in common tow spots:
Generally speaking, to avoid being towed, don’t park in the following:

  • Tow-away zones during commute hours
  • Loading zones (these are typically marked by yellow-painted curbs and signage)
  • Blue zones without a disabled-person marker in/on the vehicle
  • Red zones (marked by red-painted curbs)
  • Bus stops

In many municipalities, blocking driveways, curb ramps, & intersections is a sure way to waste your money. Further, many municipalities have rules for how long you can keep your vehicle street-parked in the same place.

Laws vary by municipality and can be very specific or confusing. It pays to familiarize yourself with the laws regarding stopping, standing and parking in your municipality.

2. Read street signs carefully when parking in high-traffic commercial areas.
Cities tow illegally parked cars with greater frequency and speed in high-traffic areas. There also are frequently more parking restrictions in these areas.
3. Take caution during commute hours — even if you are parking at a meter.
During morning and evening commutes, cities often forbid parking on certain streets altogether. A perfectly legal parking spot at 2pm could get you towed an hour later.Typical peak commute hours are weekdays 7am to 9am and 3pm to 7pm.

4. Call your own tow company.

If your car breaks down and you cannot legally park it, call a roadside assistance provider or private tow company.

5. Pay outstanding parking tickets.

Again, laws vary but a vehicle with delinquent citations can be booted and towed — even when your car is legally parked.

Once your car is booted, you will have to pay an extra fee to get the boot removed. It can get worse: If you do not quickly pay your tickets after being booted, you could then be towed. Boot fee + towing and storage fees + delinquent tickets and penalties = A lot of money wasted. This is avoidable if you can stay on top of your tickets.

Pay your parking tickets.

6. Avoid parking tickets in the first place. Here are a few ideas:
  • Mark your calendar with street cleaning and no-parking times in your neighborhood and places where you frequently park.
  • Set an alarm on your cell phone to remind you when your meter is due to expire.
  • Buy a prepaid parking card, if offered in your municipality.
  • Keep a roll of quarters in your vehicle.
7. Keep your vehicle registration current.

Police Departments have the legal right to tow and impound your vehicle if you do not have a current registration when stopped by an officer.

8. Keep your driver’s license current.

If you are stopped or questioned by the Police Department while driving and do not have a current driver’s license, the police are allowed to tow your vehicle if no one is immediately available to take over driving.

Reprinted from AutoReturn.com