It can be a frustrating experience when your car is towed. This is especially true when you feel that you are not at fault—when you feel that you have a legitimate reason for leaving your vehicle in a restricted zone. There are some instances when you might be able to dispute the issue and to have your vehicle released without charge. Depending on the policies in effect in your area, there are some key reasons where you can apply to have your vehicle released without having to pay any towing or storage fees. Parking zones are overseen by your local council, so these reasons can vary depending on where your vehicle was towed. So what are some of the general circumstances in which you might be deemed to be not at fault?
You rely upon parking signs to inform you of any restrictions in place in the area where you leave your vehicle. If these signs have been removed by vandals, or have been vandalised to the point where they're illegible, then this might be a reason to dispute a towed vehicle. A council inspector will need to confirm your assertion that there was no signage, or that existing signage was damaged.
If your vehicle experiences mechanical issues that require you to pull over, then this might also be considered to be a legitimate reason. You will of course be required to prove this. Once your vehicle has been taken by tow truck to a local depot, a mechanic might need to inspect it to verify the issue. If you are a member of a roadside assistance organisation, you can request a copy of their incident report (which would have been generated when you contacted them for assistance). If the issue is minor and you have decided to fix it yourself, you will have to show a receipt for the necessary parts that you have purchased while your vehicle was left in a restricted zone. The same applies if you have inadvertently locked your keys in your vehicle. You will need to show proof that you have contacted an appropriate party (such as a roadside assistance organisation or locksmith) to rectify the issue.
Do you suffer from a medical issue that required you to unexpectedly pull over so that you can seek assistance? This can be a reason to dispute a towing charge. You need to show documentation from your doctor confirming the existence of the medical condition, and this needs to be recent. Check with your local council as to how recent it needs to be. If you actually required formal treatment while your vehicle was in a restricted zone, then you need confirmation from the medical facility where you received treatment. This needs to be on the facility's official letterhead detailing the date and time when you required treatment, and this needs to be correspond to the date and time when your vehicle was towed and impounded.
So while there are some instances when you have legitimate grounds to dispute a towing, they are generally only allowed under unavoidable circumstances, and must be documented. As mentioned, you will need to contact the local council in question to enquire about their permitted circumstances.