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car towing companay excessive charge


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Help. Could someone tell me what they think. My son, who has just finished first year at uni and has no money and loads of fee debts already, was involved in an accident and his car was towed away. They now want £360 plus £12 per night (so we have to get it quick) before they will release it OR any of his belongings (including all the shoes he owns!). The police have told us this is 'more than excessive' and have advised us to write a letter of complaint to them about this garage. We are going to have to cough up as he has no money and he will have to pay us back but can I use the 'charge not related to cost' argument which applies to banks and proceed along the same lines to reclaim some or all of the money via the small claims court? Does that sound reasonable?

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It seems a very reasonable approach to me. The storage fee seems right, but the £360 does seem high. I would get quotes from other towing companies to see what they would charge and then write to them to ask for a full breakdown of their costs as a starting point.

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I presume that this has been cleared on Police instructions as it was not drivable following the accident??

 

If so, why isn't his insurance company paying for the accident recovery?

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Thanks for replies. He only has third party insurance - even that cost £1300 in the first year, £560 in the second and he was just coming up to the end of the year when he would have had 2 years ncd. Its really annoying but at least he's ok so we're really grateful for that. We have been up to recovery today and ended up paying £350 - including £135 call out, £114 for 6 days parking (@£19 per day) and a scrapping charge of £50. We managed to persuade them to drop the winching fee (£70), the health and safety granules (£17.50) and the property search and handling (£30) as a gesture. We had no choice but to pay otherwise the costs would have kept escalating and my son couldn't get his possessions back. I have a breakdown of their charges but not their costs. Did we do OK or should I write and ask them for their costs to see what the profits are and do some research at other companies? We know we have to pay but don't like feeling as though we've been mugged - but he seemed very reasonable - but then he would be wouldn't he? However, we did get something off so we don't feel too badly. The callout charge was high because the police called them but the car had already been pushed off the road and was not causing an obstruction.

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  • 2 years later...

Today my son was driving his vehicle when the back wheel fell off. Although he was happy to wait for the RAC (of which he is a member) the police arranged to have the vehicle taken to a garage of their choice and then he had to pay 150 pounds release fee on the spot before the RAC could take the vehicle. He lives (with pregnant partner and 6 yr old son) on incapacity benefits. How can he claim this money back (to repay me) as a Hardship claim? Anyone got any ideas - I am sure similar happened in the snowbound Kent just before Christmas.

His insurance is only 3rd party.

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  • 5 weeks later...

I have a similar situation, my 22 year old daughter had an accident in November and the Police asked her if she had insurance and breakdown cover.

She had both, and told them she only had 3rd party insurance.

Depsite this they called their own truck, On Time, who charged £250 for towing and release of the vehicle the next day.

 

The distance from the accident to the pound was less than 2 miles.

 

My daughter was too shaken up to think straight and I feel her civil liberites have ben ignored and she wasnt given any informed choices over what to do.

 

I have put a formal complaint to the Police, who insist that under the Road Traffic Act of blah di blah they had to clear the carriageway.

 

My partner and the Police moved the car off the carriageway, and it wasnt causing any obstruction but the Police are having none of it.

 

I have told them I intend taking it further and have been supplied with their names etc.

 

Not sure what to do next, not sure if small claims court is the way forward and getting no joy from the Citizens Advice bureau at the moment

 

I feel like we've been totally bulldozed and bullied and want to do something, but what????

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This is an unfortunate situation but one that seems to be more frequent. Essentially, whilst it might have been off the carriageway, the view taken would probably have been it's a hazard, a bit like a car on the hard shoulder of a motorway.

 

The charge though is subjective but I can see why the amount is charged. Some of these recovery vehicles do not come cheap and unless working all the time, the costs have to be recovered from somewhere. What I can say is that the company used is one of the best for expertise in these matters, transportation and security.

 

It's of note as well that in a RTA, the ambulance service will also bill you if they have to take you to hospital however I have yet to hear of anyone being billed for being taken to Hospital by Air Ambulance.

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It's of note as well that in a RTA, the ambulance service will also bill you if they have to take you to hospital however I have yet to hear of anyone being billed for being taken to Hospital by Air Ambulance.

 

I am guessing that this could be because I believe most, if not all, air ambulances are actually run as charities, and not as part of the NHS. It wouldn't look good if charities started charging us for their services would it! :)

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I thought that might have been the case crem but it raises questions as to why the the country has to rely on charities for emergency services I suppose. Having said that, like the RNLI it probably works better!!!

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