4 Things to Do When Your Car Is Towed

Published: August 27, 2015 | Updated: July 23, 2021 | Posted by: Carlo Miguel Castañeda | Car Insurance

Towed Car

Finding a parking spot in Manila can be like finding a needle in a haystack. Most of the good spots near your hangouts are taken or are so far away that it makes you wonder why you took your car in the first place.

There are places designated as no waiting/no parking zones around the metro. Usually, the guidelines are pretty clear. You’re illegally parked if your car is anywhere near the following:

  1. All National roads in Metro Manila.
  2. In primary and secondary roads of cities and municipalities in Metro Manila:
  3. Within six (6) meters of any intersection or curved lane.
  4. Within four (4) meters of driveways or entrances to any fire station, hospital, clinic and other similar establishments.
  5. Within four (4) meters of hydrants.
  6. On the roadside of any illegally parked vehicle.
  7. On pedestrian crosswalks.
  8. In front of any authorized driveway.
  9. On the sidewalks, paths, and alleys not intended for parking.
  10. At the foot or near bridges.
  11. At any place where official signs have been erected prohibiting parking and/or declared No Parking Zone by the MMDA or provided by law or ordinances.

Other cities, such as BGC, wholly do not permit street parking – and your car will be towed if you park there. Makati, on the other hand, places wheel clamps on illegally parked vehicles and slaps the owner with a hefty fine of Php 500. You can also get towed if you park at certain times.

When your car is towed, you’ll have to accept some pretty difficult truths. Here’s a few of them:

1. Accept the fact that you parked illegally.

It doesn’t matter if you jumped out to grab a document or if you were just waiting on a friend. If you parked in one of these spots, odds are your car is going to get towed and you really can’t (and shouldn’t) try to bluff your way out of a ticket.

What you can do: Talk to the person in charge of the towing and ask where your car is being towed to, and make sure they are accredited by the MMDA. Each city has different accredited towing companies and their own impound lots, so be mindful of this.

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2. Keep your temper in check.

Yes, it’s frustrating to have to deal with the fact that your car has been towed. Losing your cool over it won’t help, and slamming the people who’re just doing their jobs makes an already bad situation even worse.

What you can do: Take a deep breath, stay calm, and retrieve any valuables you may still have in your car before it’s towed away.

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3. Pay the fee.

You’ll naturally be levied a few fees for the offense. Check out the table below for cars 4,000 kg and below:

Fees and FinesManilaMakatiBGC
TowingPhp 1,500.00 for the first four kilometers and Php 200.00 for every succeeding kilometer to the impound area Php 1,000Php 1,500.00 for the first four kilometers and Php 200.00 for every succeeding kilometer to the impound area
Illegal ParkingPhp 900.00Php 500.00Php 500.00
Impounding (per day)Php 80.00Php 40.00 Php 40.00

What you can do: Well, there’s really no getting around it. Pay the time if you do the crime. There’s a three-day payment period from the date the car was towed and impounded. If an impounded vehicle isn’t claimed within 30 days, it will be auctioned off.

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4. Know Your Rights

As the vehicle owner, you still have rights. Remember that they cannot extort money from you on the promise that your vehicle will be released immediately. You also cannot be threatened with prison. At worst, you can only be banned from driving for a week.

Unfortunately, you can’t simply pay the fee to prevent your car from being towed; you have to claim it from the lot.

In some cases, the towing company may be careless with your car and damage it. Bad news: it won’t be covered by your car insurance due to the “illegal activity” clause. However, the towing company/agency is liable for losses and damages incurred while the vehicle is being towed.

What you can do: If you feel that the towing company or personnel is doing something illegal, let the MMDA know via Hotline 136.

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As difficult as a pill it might be to swallow, it’s best to get this kind of thing over with. The biggest takeaway from this is that you’ll be more aware of the places where you absolutely cannot park. Look on the bright side; at least you’re not the especially bad kind of person that takes up two parking slots.

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