There are two types of tows in Houston and Harris County. They are
- Consent tow – Where the owner of the automobile agrees and signs a tow truck receipt.
- Non-consent tow – Where a wrecker may tow a vehicle from the scene of an accident without the driver’s consent in the interest of clearing the roadway.
Non-consent tows are regulated by the city of Houston, Harris County and the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation.
The rates that a licensed wrecker and storage facility can legally charge is regulated and capped. Storage lots and wreckers cannot make up arbitrary fees and charges for these types of tows.
If a police officer is at the scene, it is advisable to allow them to authorize a non-consent tow which is capped and regulated.
Never sign blank forms: make sure any form you are signing is completed in its entirety. Read what you sign!
This applies to when you arrive at the storage facility to release your vehicle or retrieve belongings as well.
The BBB has received thousands of complaints from consumers who unknowingly authorized storage lots to move their vehicle to an adjacent body shop and begin repairs when the consumer signed what they thought were routine forms allowing them to access their vehicles.
The signed authorizations allow the body shops to convert the non-consent tow into a consent tow which are not capped.
Consumers who contacted the BBB reported that in order to retrieve their vehicles, these shops routinely demanded thousands of dollars in towing, storage and other fees.
If you have a dispute with a wrecker service concerning a police tow, you may file a tow hearing and also lodge a complaint with the Houston Police Department Auto Division at 713-306-1440.
- Priority Towing
- KIA Roadside
- Volkswagen Roadside