Has this ever happened to you? You park your car on the street for a quick errand or to find someone to help you change your flat tire. A few minutes later, you return to the spot where you’ve left your car. Much to your surprise and dismay, your car is no longer there. Isn’t that frustrating?
And, as if life is making a mockery out of it, you’ve just noticed a “No Parking” sign near the place where you parked your now-missing car. Oh, snap. Your car got towed!
While towing isn’t as bad as carnapping, it’s a situation you don’t want to be caught in. But then you have to deal with it—the hassle and expenses included.
What to do and not to do? Read on to know how to properly handle an unexpected car towing incident.
If there’s an emergency or urgent concern about an erring MMDA or MMDA-accredited towing crew member, you can reach MMDA via its hotline 136 to ask for assistance. The call will connect you with the MMDA MetroBase that coordinates with towing companies in Metro Manila.
Write down all the important details right away, including the following:
If the towing crew members are performing their duties legally, they’ll be willing to provide these details to you.
Bribing the tow truck or MMDA guy may sound like the easiest way out of the messy situation, but it’s also the worst way to perpetuate corruption in the country. Regardless of who’s initiating the bribery talks, never offer or agree to it.
Claim your vehicle ASAP because you’ll be paying a higher storage fee for each day that it stays in the MMDA impounding area. Be prepared to pay at least PHP 1,500 for the towing service fee plus the PHP 500 penalty for illegal parking.
Expect also that you’ll be issued a ticket for your traffic offense. Make sure to settle it as soon as you can.
If you believe that you’re a victim of illegal towing, file a proper complaint against the erring towing company or MMDA officer. Posting your towing incident on social media doesn’t help much. It only serves to warn fellow motorists, but it doesn’t resolve the issue.
Reporting the matter to the authorities may be inconvenient, but it’s better than just letting the abuse pass. All towing companies must follow the Revised MMDA Guidelines for Towing and Impounding Operations. Any violation of these towing rules gives you the right to sue the company involved in illegal towing operations.
According to legal columnist Robby Consunji, a car owner can take a legal action against a towing company. There are three options available:
Having your car towed is a painful experience that you have to deal with properly. Ever gone through it? How did it go and what did you do? Share your experience and tips in the comments section below.