Tows Directed by Police

Posted on Mar 27, 2013 in Cars, OCP

[OCP]

Here is what Hawaii State Law says about tows performed at the direction of the police.

Hawaii Law sets maximum amounts that can be charged for towing vehicles and requires towing operators to disclose those maximums to consumers. Under the law, the maximum rate allowed is the lower of (a) the rates agreed upon between the tow operator and the respective counties, and (b) $55 for a tow, $65 for a tow using a dolly, plus a mileage charge of $6.50 per mile towed and $20 per day or fraction of a day for storage for the first seven days and $15 per day thereafter, $15 overtime charge when the tow occurs between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m., Monday through Thursday and from Friday 6:00 p.m. to Monday 6 a.m., $30 in the case of a difficult hookup (meaning an above or below ground hookup in a multilevel facility) or $50 unhooking fee. Tow operators may also charge additional reasonable amounts for excavating vehicles from off-road locations.

For example, if at 10 a.m., your car is towed five miles and you pick it up on the same day, your bill would total $117.50. You would be charged $65 for a tow with a dolly, $32.50 for mileage (that’s five miles times $6.50/mile) and $20 for storage.

The charges in the statute are maximum charges provided in the law. Towing companies may not exceed the maximum amounts by adding taxes or any other charges.

The law requires the towing company to find out the name of the legal and registered owners of the vehicle and to send a notice to the legal and registered owners within twenty days. The notice must include a description of the car, the location of the vehicle, the maximum charges allowed by law, and a warning that if the car is not picked up within thirty days, it will be considered abandoned and may then be sold or junked. The notice must also include the telephone number of the county finance department that arranged and authorized the tow.

If your car was towed away and you are having problems recovering it or believe that you were overcharged, contact the county agency that arranged for or authorized the tow. Depending on the county involved, this agency may be the police department or the county finance department. In Honolulu, you may call 911 to determine whether or not the vehicle was towed and its location.