New Bill Could Help Drivers Recoup Exorbitant Towing Fees

Arkansas truck rear viewDrivers across the state may soon have the right to recover a portion of the high fees charged for towing their vehicle after an accident.

The 90th Arkansas General Assembly begins this week, and a proposed bill to address the oftentimes obscene costs of forced tows is in the works.

Senator Eddie Joe Williams explained to ABC affiliate KATV 7 that he’s heard too many reports of consumers being unfairly charged extremely high rates for a tow of their vehicle after an accident or because of other circumstances.

With winter weather hitting some parts of the state hard, it is no surprise that accident calls are flooding the phone lines of local tow companies. However, just because business is booming doesn’t mean these companies should take advantage of the consumer.

“If you are in central Arkansas or in the Little Rock metro area, you should not really come to a tow that runs you more than about $80,” says Todd Hollingsworth, a dispatcher from local tow company Routh Wrecker Service.

Senator Williams says drivers may be charged several hundreds of dollars to recover their vehicles once they have been towed, and even if the amount is blatantly unfair there is little recourse for getting any of that money back.

Bearing this in mind, Oliver Law Firm would like to remind drivers that there are a few things drivers should remember before settling on which towing company to use:

  • Always ask what their fee is, and whether that amount is a flat or hourly rate;
  • Make sure they will not charge more outside of a certain service area, i.e., a 10-15 mile radius;
  • Find out whether there is a “per mile” charge or a “hookup fee” in addition to the tow rate they’ve quoted you;
  • Remember that a reasonable rate for the area is no more than $80.

The bill will be considered this week and if passed should go into effect by July 2015.