New Law Targets Predatory Towing in Florida

The law requires reasonable towing and storage fees, and sets mandates for lien notices and timeframes before unclaimed vehicles are sold.


Florida has introduced a new law to counter predatory towing practices, ensuring greater consumer protection and industry accountability, as Gov. Ron DeSantis signed HB 179S.

Strongly backed by the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB), the new law is designed to prevent Floridians from falling victim to unscrupulous towing companies that impose hidden and exorbitant fees. State Rep. Melony Bell, R-Fort Meade, and state Sen. Keith Perry, R-Gainesville, sponsored the bill.

"Predatory towing in Florida has emerged as a pressing issue for the Sunshine State, significantly impacting individuals' lives and livelihoods, and this measure will go a long way in implementing critical reform measures," said Eric De Campos, senior director of strategy, policy and government affairs for the NICB. "We really appreciate the hard work by Rep. Bell and Sen. Perry to address this issue, because predatory towing places significant financial burdens on unsuspecting vehicle owners as hidden towing fees leaves individuals with an unexpected and hefty expense. We also want to thank the legislature for addressing this important issue, and the governor for signing this bill into law."

One alarming aspect the legislation aims to curb is the practice of towers charging excessive fees for short-distance tows, with reports of charges reaching up to $10,000 for a single tow. This reform is a response to the distress and financial hardship many Floridians face, particularly after vehicle accidents, where they are most susceptible to exploitation.

The law requires reasonable towing and storage fees; mandates that towing companies accept various payment methods, facilitating easier transactions for consumers; shortens the notice of lien periods, enabling quicker vehicle recovery; and extends the time frame for owners to reclaim their vehicles before they are sold.

"There is a real need for comprehensive reform to protect consumers from unfair and exploitative practices," said Bell. "Until meaningful reform is enacted, individuals in Florida will remain vulnerable to the pitfalls of predatory towing, with the potential for financial hardship and emotional distress looming over every parking decision."

"We need decisive action to combat predatory towing practices and ensure fairness and transparency for Florida's residents," said Sen. Perry. "This law would implement important measures that protect consumers and promote accountability within the towing industry."

Website Rt Graphic Ep.51 Nancy Rolland 600x400 1.9.24

Shop & Product Showcase

  • Read testimonials from real collision repair shops about the tools and technologies they use to get the job done.