Predatory Towing Practices | Island Insurance

Predatory Towing Practices

Predatory towing is generally defined as unethical practices used by towing companies to maximize their income. These practices include charging unfair and excessive fees for towing or storage, using spotters to get cars towed almost as soon as they are parked, or making private deals with owners of stores or parking lots to maximize towing income.

Towing companies shall: Charge no more than $65 for a tow, or $75 for a tow using a dolly, plus a mileage charge of $7.50 per mile towed and $25 per day or fraction thereof for storage for the first seven days and $20 per day thereafter. In the case of a difficult hookup, a towing surcharge of $30 shall apply. When the tow occurs between the hours of 6pm and 6am, from Monday through Thursday and from 6pm Friday to 6am Monday, the towing company shall be entitled to an overtime charge of $15. The charges listed in this paragraph shall be the only charges tow companies are authorized to charge vehicle owners. For purposes of this paragraph, “difficult hookup” shall mean an above or below ground hookup in a multilevel facility.

If you feel that you were billed an amount that does not align with the fees allowed by state law, you can file a complaint with the Office of Consumer Protection online at Consumers can also call the Consumer Resource Center at (808) 587-4272 to speak with an intake specialist. It’s advised to provide as much information as possible, such as a copy of the towing receipt with an itemized list of towing charges.

  • After an accident, if it is safe to do so, take photos of the scene, vehicle damage and license plates of all vehicles involved in the accident, and any related documentation such as driver’s licenses and insurance cards. You might also want to take down the names, addresses and phone numbers of drivers, passengers and witnesses to the accident.
  • Don’t use tow trucks that arrive at the scene unsolicited (i.e. the police did not call them).
  • Don’t provide any contact information or insurance information to unsolicited towers.
  • Check to make sure that the company information on the towing release matches the information on the tow truck (e.g., company name, phone number).
  • If the tow truck does not have any identifying information on it, ask for a company I.D. from the driver. If something looks fishy and you think the tow operator may not be legitimate, notify the police.
  • Do not allow a tow operator to tow the vehicle without being provided with a printed price list that details daily storage fees and any other miscellaneous charges.
  • Be sure to get information about where your vehicle is being towed.

Unedited articles can be found at:
Hawaii Revised Statute section 290-11
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