You’re about to leave for work in the morning when you see a car parked in your driveway, blocking you from leaving home. The sheer inconvenience of this will probably have you wondering how to get a car towed from my driveway? Whether it’s your neighbor’s car or someone else’s, is there anything you can do about this legally?
To get a car towed from your driveway legally, your best option is to contact the police and have them put in a tow request. If it’s a vehicle that you own, calling the towing company directly is your best course of action. You should never attempt to move someone else’s car yourself.
Each situation may be a little different, so you’ll need to keep this in mind to decide how you should best handle things. In this article, we’re going to cover some of the main concerns and tips on how to take care of the problem without getting into trouble.
How to Get a Car Towed From Your Driveway
Depending on your location and if the car is parked on a public or private property, there are laws when it comes to towing vehicles.
In Washington State, for instance, it can be towed immediately when it’s parked on a residential property, which covers your particular dilemma. If a car is blocking your driveway, you can contact the towing company and have the vehicle removed right away.
The same rule applies if the car is parked on a private, non-residential property (where a signage is posted properly). The sign must be in a clear and visible area and must be near the entrance of the lot.
For example, if your lot is being used as a drop-off area for somebody else’s car, then you are within your right to have the vehicle impounded.
You need to give a signed authorization to the tow truck operator in order to get this done. The towing company can only operate at the request of the property landowner.
Now if the car is parked on a private, non-residential property that has no signs, the towing can be done after 24 hours.
Since laws vary from state to state, you need to know the rules applicable to your location before you call the towing company. In some areas, you can’t have a car towed from private property without the consent of the police.
Can You Get a Car Towed for Free?
If you feel that the car is already trespassing, it’s possible to have the car towed away for free. This is when the police can help you. Instead of calling the towing company right away, you can call the cops to check the situation.
If they see that your complaint is legitimate, they can issue a citation and have the vehicle towed without you shouldering the costs.
This is also the best option to avoid liability in case the car gets damaged during the towing process. First, reporting it to the police creates a paper trail. Second, if the towing is done at the police’s request, the owner of the vehicle is less likely to sue you if the car gets damaged.
How Much Does It Typically Cost to Get a Car Towed?
Now if it’s not possible to get the vehicle towed for free, you will want to know how much you have to pay to get it done. Again, rates will depend on your location. Reviews of towing companies put the national average cost at $109, with customers paying between $75 to $125. That roughly translates to $2.50 to $7 per mile.
Ballpark estimates are as follows: $30 to $100 (between five to seven miles), $100 to $250 (between 40 miles), and $250 to $600 (100 miles).
How to Report a Car Blocking My Driveway
Fortunately, most states and cities have made it easier for residents to reach out to law enforcement if they encounter these problems. There are far too many people who have no consideration when it comes to blocking somebody else’s driveway.
There are hotlines to call to report such incidents, manned by live operators to make response fast and timely. There are also web pages created where people can submit blocked driveway and illegal parking requests.
How Do I Prevent Neighbors From Parking On My Driveway?
Having a vehicle towed from your right of way is the immediate solution to this problem, but it doesn’t guarantee that it will not happen again. Or maybe you haven’t encountered this yet, but you want to take measures to avoid this hassle. Here are the long-term solutions you can initiate:
- Leave a note. If you noticed one of your neighbors repeatedly making your driveway a constant parking space without your permission, you can leave a note politely asking him to remove the vehicle and not repeat this again, or else you will call the police or towing company to take care of the problem.
- Paint your curb. Check with your local community and ask permission to paint your curb bright yellow as a signal to other drivers not to park in your spot. Painting five feet of curb should be visible enough.
- Post a sign. Nothing is clearer than a bright red-and-white “Do Not Block Driveway” sign to ward off inconsiderate neighbors and their careless parking. Make that sign big enough to add “Unauthorized vehicles will be towed away at vehicle owner’s expense.” Again, check your local community if this is allowed.
- Install security camera. This will come in handy when dealing with a repeat offender – you will have solid evidence to show to the police. This also prevents car theft and vandalism in your property as well.
Of course, if you can solve this problem without having to go through the trouble of calling the police or towing company, then you must absolutely do what you can.
Sometimes, all is needed is to approach the neighbor personally. If you’re lucky, they will apologize and follow without causing a fuss. If this is not the case, then don’t hesitate to make the call and have the car removed from your property.