Miami, Florida has a notorious reputation when it comes to cars getting towed away within minutes of parking. Numerous locals and tourists alike have launched complaints against a number of tow companies in Miami. Their reason: that their car was towed away illegally.
Granted, there are some unscrupulous towing companies within Miami, Florida. From companies that fail to secure vehicles with safety chains as they tow a car away to one’s that swindle people of their money, Miami is a difficult place to park a car. One way of working around such unscrupulous tow companies is to learn your rights.
Every towing company within the United States is expected to adhere to the set regulations specific to tow companies. Notably, tow regulations differ from state to state, yet; there are a few similarities. Regardless, there is one specific regulation that tends to differ from state to state: tow companies opening your car.
Can tow companies open your car?
Tow companies, regardless of the state they’re based in, have the capability to open your car. Any towing company with the necessary equipment can easily unlock a person’s car. More often than not, most tow companies tend to resort to this if the parking brake of the car is applied. However, most states such as California, consider this illegal.
Tow companies are required to have the necessary equipment to tow away a car, whether or not the parking brake is applied. The question here is: are tow companies in Miami, Florida allowed to open cars before they tow them away? The answer depends on the reason the tow operator needs to get inside.
Below are the reasons that can provide a tow operator in Miami, Florida legal ground to open your car:
- If the tow operator is using a wheel lift to tow the car, they may need to enter the car to secure the steering wheel. This is often done to help keep the car being towed from getting damaged. Additionally, securing the wheel is a precautionary measure that ensures the safety of others and the tow operator as well.
- The tow operator has the legal right to open your car if they need to turn off the car alarm.
- If the car is getting reposed, then the tow operator does have the legal ground to open your car.
Other than the above-mentioned reasons, tow companies in Miami, Florida have no business opening your car. If you, by any chance notice that you’re missing a few items or your car has been damaged, you can report it to the towing company so they can take action against the driver.
Now, there are a couple of things that you should know to protect yourself, your property and your right should a tow company open your car. The first thing is to ensure that they are not operating beyond the set regulations, as mentioned above.
Additionally, you want to make sure that the tow company is a genuine and certified operating business. One way to do this is to ask if you can pay by credit card. If they decline and only ask for payment in cash, then you have reason to be suspicious. Legal tow companies always hand out payment receipts after you’ve paid to get your car back. Hence, keep an eye for this as well.