Car towed? Make sure you know your rights

DENVER (KDVR) — Have you ever parked somewhere you swear there were no towing signs? But then you show up an hour later and your car is gone. Now, you have to pay hundreds of dollars worth of fees for the towing company to transport and hold your car.

The term is called “predatory towing,” and it happens more than you think.

State Sen. Julie Gonzales championed the “towing bill of rights,” which was signed into law by Gov. Jared Polis in June 2022.

This year, Gonzales herself was towed by Wyatt’s Towing while she said she was parked legally at a business. Wyatt’s Towing is now under investigation by the state attorney general and in the weeks since the senator has been in talks with other legislators about how to strengthen the 2022 bill.

Gonzales isn’t the only one who has had issues since the 2022 bill was signed. FOX31 has received reports from viewers of towing companies allegedly not following the new rules.

Under the towing bill of rights, every towing company has to follow a strict set of rules. Here are some of the biggest rules under House Bill 1314 that you should check if your car gets towed:

  • Tow companies need to give a 24-hour written notice before removing your vehicle, although this doesn’t apply to businesses, fire lanes, disabled parking spots or residential parking with designated or paid parking.
  • There must be signs around the area that vehicles may be towed if parked incorrectly.
  • Before touching your vehicle, towers need to take a picture of your car and document why the car is being towed.
  • On a private property, tow trucks need approval from the property owner, leaseholder or community within 24 hours before towing any car.
  • For a nonconsensual tow on private property, there needed to be signs communicating saying the vehicle is subject to being towed.
  • You can pay 15% of the fees or $60 (whichever is less) and sign a form acknowledging the remainder of the debt to get your car back or things inside your car.

Look at the bill for the entire list of rules. If the tower doesn’t follow every single one of these rules, it can’t charge you for its services.

If you have questions or a report about the new rules, call the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies’ consumer assistance line at 303-894-2070 in Denver or 800-456-0858 outside of Denver.

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