November 2, 2016
From car trouble to accidents, many Arkansans have needed the services of a towing company at some point. Some Arkansans may have even found their vehicle towed without their permission from an illegal parking spot or after the vehicle had been abandoned on public or private property. There are a number of companies across the State that provide towing services, and all are required to be licensed by the Arkansas Towing and Recovery Board.
Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge issued today’s consumer alert so that Arkansans know what to expect from the towing company when a vehicle is towed.
“Towing companies provide an important service across Arkansas,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “We never know when tow truck services may be needed, but we should all know our rights when our vehicle is towed.”
Attorney General Rutledge released the following list of what should occur if a vehicle is towed without your consent:
- The tow company must notify the local law enforcement agency that the vehicle has been towed and identify where it is being stored.
- The tow company is required to notify the registered vehicle owner and lien holder between the second and eighth day following the tow of the location that the vehicle is being stored and of any charges associated with the tow and recovery of the vehicle.
- Charges, including tow and storage fees, may be regulated by the local municipality where the car was located when towed. The State requires that any fees be reasonable.
- There are certain personal property items that must be returned to the owner immediately and at no charge.
- A tow company must provide the owner an itemized invoice of all charges associated with the tow, recovery and storage of the vehicle.
- To recover the vehicle, an owner must be able to provide valid identification and proof of ownership of the vehicle – current registration is the most common.
It is always best to recover the vehicle as soon as possible, even if you intend to file a complaint against the company or dispute the charges. The longer the vehicle is stored, the more it costs to recover the vehicle.
For more information about consumer-related issues, contact the Arkansas Attorney General’s office at (800) 482-8982 or consumer@ArkansasAG.gov or visit ArkansasAG.gov or facebook.com/AGLeslieRutledge.