If you’ve ever lived around St. Paul or Minneapolis, then you know how bad the city streets can get during winter snowstorms. So, what do you do if you’ve already left your destination and you can’t make it home? Some residents have tried to find a place to park their cars for the night so they can come back and get them the next day when things are clearer.
However, this isn’t always the best method, even if it sounds safe. If you wind up parking on private property, your car can get towed. Unfortunately, the price of towing in Minnesota isn’t cheap if you are planning to get your car back into your custody. Some residents of Minnesota have reported paying close to $400 to get their cars back after a one-night stay. While it’s never fun to have your car towed, some of the fees residents of Minnesota have had to pay to get their cars back seem ridiculous to many.
Private Property Towing Rates
In fact, at times, it seems downright unfair. Whenever snow is busy flooding the streets of St. Paul and Minneapolis, the impound lots in those cities often flow over with towed vehicles. Many who live in apartments and drive to businesses to work don’t know that the rules are different for public towing versus private towing, and left their cars parked in their apartment or company lots for too long. Those living in apartments reported being angry that they never received warning from their apartment managers to remove their cars before towing, and their cars were simply taken.
However, the real pain comes when people have to pay to get their cars out of impound lots that can sometimes be found miles away from where they live. Luckily, Minneapolis has capped the tow rates and the city requires that residents fork over a flat city-imposed rate if one’s car is towed off of private property. The rate is $207 for the tow, and $27 per day for storage.
While this seems expensive, it’s actually a much better option than those offered by St. Paul residents when their cars get towed. Those living in St. Paul don’t get the privilege of a city-imposed cap, and pay a rate depending on who tows their car. For towing and a day of storage, St. Paul towing companies charge anywhere from $250 to $372.
Predatory Towing Practices
Many cities in Minnesota have caught onto the predatory towing practices often used by towing companies impounding vehicles off private property. In fact, in St. Paul and Minneapolis, towing companies must get a license to operate. If a company operates without a license and does an involuntary toe, they can be fined or sued.
In St. Paul, six of the city’s licensed companies must file their price lists with the city. However, Minneapolis decided to do their research and commissioned a study in 2008 about the expenses of towing in the city. The study discovered that it was pricier to have your car towed in Minneapolis compared to similar cities like Toledo. In fact, the city was told it was cheaper to have your car towed in New York than Minneapolis in 2008. That’s when Minneapolis came up with their flat-rate, city mandated fee, making a move that helped cut back on predatory towing practices.