Tallahassee commissioners voted and approved to increase the maximum trespass tow fee from $88 to $110. This $22 bump was pushed by towing companies there who had gone 10 years without any change to the laws that determine what they can charge.
The towing companies argued that during those 10 years fuel insurance, labor and other operating costs they face have gone up substantially while the laws that dictate their costs have not.
In addition to the upped trespass fee (which means parking illegally or where you’re not supposed to park), Tallahassee has also increased the storage fee per-day for keeping cars and the administrative fees associated with mailing car owners, insurance companies and others informing them about the tow. All in all, your average towing cost in Florida’s capital city has gone up $44.
Now, that increase is local to the city of Tallahassee only as each city decides on towing ordinance for their area. But, could we see an increase in Jacksonville or St. Augustine towing costs?
You can look up Jacksonville’s municipal code online and look at the “establishment of rates” section yourself, but here are the highlights:
Our city’s trespassing tow fees are already higher than the $88 rate in Tallahassee when the issue was brought up and changed. Jacksonville is currently limited to $91.73 a mile, which isn’t much higher. So, we may be due for a change as well.
And with Tallahassee making the change, more cities are more likely to reevaluate their city’s rules and find they’re in need for a change.
So when do these towing laws change? Looking at the municipal code, all it says is that the ordinance can be amended “from time to time.” What that really means is that it’s up to the city and its citizens to bring up the issue, debate it and ultimately decide if the time is right.
Reading through this you might be upset at the thought of having more expensive tows, but keep a few things in mind:
- Be glad that towing prices are set by the city. This is done to protect citizens like you from outrageous prices and hidden towing fees from less-than-reputable towing companies.
- There is no guarantee that towing will increase in north Florida because of this, it’s just news from one city that could affect others.
- How often are you towed? These are fees levied against cars that park illegally or ignore rules that most people follow. If you continue to obey the law, you shouldn’t be worried.
Stay tuned for more towing news as we’ll be sure to notify you of changes coming up to the Jacksonville and St. Augustine area. And if you have questions about fees or costs you might face, give us a call today at 904-771-0790.