We all have suffered from a mini heart attack when we see a piece of paper on the windshield and hope it's not a ticket. Worst is when you realise your car is not where you parked, and thats the end of your day...tempers flare, phone calls are made and the hunt for your car begins...sometimes I just feel like taking an Uber and hoping my car will be in my garage.
However, as a driver, you possess something called 'Parking rights' which many private parking operators or towing companies might not be respecting. Now, parking bylaws can be quite difficult to understand and come with restrictions and responsibilities so we decided to sacrifice a bottle of wine over a saturday evening to validate some basic rights that can have a huge impact on those scary days of tickets and towing.
Your car just got towed? Wait a minute.
You were parked for a few minutes, thinking it will never happen to you and when you get back it's gone. While you might have been parked illegally, you still have rights and privileges concerning the towing.
- In most boroughs you can require the towing company to give your car back, at no cost. If they resist you can always mention you are in the middle of an emergency and need your car and if they are holding it for a 'ransom' you would like to know the agents name and the incident will be reported to the police (514 280-2222).
- Don't overpay for towing, the maximum towing fee is between $30 and $85, anything higher should be reported to the police, let's fine these guys back.
- Still had to pay a “fine” because you really needed your car? File a complaint with the police and if you have the time you can get your money back through the small claims court.
Many towing companies benefit from the lack of understanding of these issues by most citizens to make more money.
Is it a parking ticket? Who issued it?
We are not talking about the red & white ticket which has become a part of the parking scenery. Private parking lots tend to sometimes 'issue a ticket' which looks like a parking ticket but is just a fancy invoice to empty your pockets.
- Only the parking authority or the police have power to issue parking tickets. No private entity unless allowed by the city can penalise citizens by giving tickets, even if they are made to look like one.
- Threatened with collection that affects your credit? The issuer needs a court judgment for this, which is more expensive than the parking ticket especially when chances are they will lose.
- Credit score companies don’t even take into account parking “tickets” from those companies.
If you are issued a parking ticket, make sure the entity who’s issuing it actually has the authority to do so, and if you are not please don’t hesitate to resist them. It’s your right as a consumer to protect yourself.
We hope you excercise your rights responsibly and the blog helps if you are ever in a jam. Feel free to tweet back the love, share your stories with us and download the CityParking app to park.
Our driveway sharing community is amazing and helps you avoid all the crap that comes with driving in circles to stumble upon parking spots.
Great links on the topic:
- Feel violated, go here
- Montreal Gazette tells not all towing companies are clean
- Global news informs which tickets are to be ignored
- CBC covers unfair parking fees on lots
The above blog is not legal advice, but based on opinions and personal experiences with towing companies and illegal tickets