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Towing Laws in Major Texas Cities

Sep 10, 2020 11:30:00 AM / by VTS Systems Content Team

The State of Texas has certain rules in place for towing as far as fees and other activities. For instance, the maximum allowable amount that a company can charge to tow a vehicle from private property in Texas is $250. However, cities within Texas have other caps on towing charges. For towing company owners, keeping track of all the various towing laws in major Texas cities can be a headache. That’s why it’s recommended to use towing software that’s designed to work the way you do while ensuring your company is in compliance with both state and city towing laws in Texas. Following are some examples of how complex Texas city towing laws can be:

Houston Towing Laws

Like other cities, Houston has set its own unique towing laws for companies and citizens. One example is the amount a towing company can charge for illegal parking within an apartment complex. In Houston the base fee is $155.

Dallas Towing Laws

If your company wants to tow an illegally parked car from an apartment complex in Dallas, the base fee is $121, according to the rules set forth by the City of Dallas.

San Antonio Towing Laws

San Antonio’s towing laws are also different than some other cities in Texas. Private property tows, such as towing a car that’s illegally parked inside an apartment complex, is maxed at $85. San Antonio set that amount all the way back inn 2002, and it’s remained the same since then. Some towing companies are disputing this cap, but for now, that’s where the bar remains.

Police towing may be lucrative for some towing companies operating within certain Texas cities, but not necessarily in San Antonio. Here, only three existing companies have been approved for police towing, where a vehicle must be towed due to driver being arrested or in the case of an accident or vehicle disablement, etc.

Austin Towing Laws

Austin, the state capital of Texas, has had towing regulations in place since 2006. Austin allows towing companies to charge upwards of $150 to tow any light-duty vehicle that’s illegally parked on private property. Police tows (for instance, when a person is arrested for DUI) are the same amount. Towing companies are called upon on a rotating basis for police tows, which the City of Austin hopes is a fair distribution of work.

Of course, being called in for police tows in Austin is no walk in the park for operators. In return for the privilege of being called on, they must also assist in clearing disabled vehicles during peak morning and evening times on weekdays from any of Austin’s three major expressways. That service is expected to be performed for free.

Austin licenses tow truck drivers in addition to the required permits handed down from the State of Texas. Operators must also undergo criminal background checks and the tow trucks themselves have to be inspected and stickered. With such heavily regulated operations, Austin has licensed around 61 towing companies.

Clearly, there’s a lot to keep track of in order to remain in compliance with both State of Texas laws and city regulations. For towing companies, the easiest way to handle it is with efficient towing software. Contact us today to learn more about software solutions for your towing business.  

Tags: Tow Truck, Texas

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