Staff Report

If you think you’ve been wrongfully towed in Hillsborough County, the Public Transportation Commission (PTC) is here to help. The PTC regulates for-hire transportation, which includes towing companies, and often assists drivers in Hillsborough County by investigating tow complaints.

Brett Saunders, Chief Inspector with the Hillsborough County Public Transportation Commission said, “We often have local citizens report to us that their car has been towed and they either don’t know why, or they feel the tow truck company is charging them too much. Once we receive a towing complaint, we will investigate it within 48 hours. This involves us contacting the tow truck company and reviewing their documentation for the tow to help us resolve the complaint.”

In some instances, the PTC has been able to get full or partial refunds for drivers. So far this year, the PTC has helped over 70 percent of citizens who sought their help with getting a refund.

To avoid getting towed, the PTC offers this advice:

Don’t park in a business’ lot if you are not patronizing that business.

If you parked in a staffed lot, remember to grab the receipt.

If you parked in a lot with an honor box, make sure you videotape or take a photo of yourself paying, so you have proof.

Don’t block anyone’s driveway or business entrance when parking.

The PTC also offers tips to help you if your car has been towed:

If you suspect that the tow was not lawful, call the PTC to report it before you get your car back.

Take pictures of the area around your car.

Take notice of any signs indicating that your car was illegally parked. If signs were not posted at every entrance, it was not a valid tow.

All signs should list the tow company with a contact phone number.

Tow truck drivers are required to have proof of the violation. If the driver did not take pictures of your violation, you may be entitled to a partial or full refund.

Be sure to pick up your vehicle between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Otherwise, you will be charged a gate fee of $50 before obtaining your car.


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