Skip to main content

Imagine the frustration of stopping for a few minutes to help a friend or neighbor for a few minutes only to find your car hooked up to a tow truck. Is there a way to stop your car from being towed once the driver begins? Do tow trucks have to stop hooking up your car or are they allowed to drive away with your vehicle? What should you do if you can’t stop your car from being towed, but you feel it shouldn’t have been?

Stop your car from being towed with a bit of preparative prevention

Towing Enforced Sign tells you when you can't park in this area
Towing Enforced Sign | Shutterstock

“One ounce of preparation is worth a pound of cure” is an old bit of advice applicable in this situation. Before you park your car, ensure you know the area’s rules. In the news article from Click 2 Houston, Laura LaBry’s car was legally towed. Posted signs warned that all vehicles parked in the complex required a permit to be parked there.

Thankfully, this created some questions around legal towing in the area, leading to our conversation.

Does a tow driver have to stop if you catch them while hooking up your vehicle?

Car Being Hooked Up to a Tow Truck, can you stop them in the process
Car Being Hooked Up to a Tow Truck | Shutterstock

The answer to this question varies from state to state. If the vehicle has not been fully hooked up in Texas, the diver must release your vehicle. They are not allowed to charge you any fees at this point either. If you’ve ever wondered why a tow driver ignores the vehicle’s owner during the hookup process, this could be why.

Once the vehicle has been fully hooked up, the tow driver can charge a fee. If they haven’t left the parking lot, you might need to pay up to $190, but the driver is required to drop the vehicle. The fee you pay is called a drop fee. Unfortunately, this does cost some money, but you can stop your car from being towed away.

What should you do if you can’t stop your car from being towed away?

There are horrific videos that surface online with owners attempting to stop a tow truck driver by jumping on a vehicle. This will not stop a tow driver from pulling away with your car. If you can’t convince them to stop and drop the vehicle, you should get out your phone and take some photos.

Take photos of the area, look for posted signs that would work in your favor, take a video of the driver pulling away, and file for a hearing with the Justice of the Peace. There is a 14-day limitation for this filing, so do it quickly.

How can I keep my car from being physically towed?

Some people have resorted to creative ways to stop their cars from being towed, but most of these actions don’t work. Modern tow drivers have the tools needed to hook up a vehicle when they need to. For the purpose of entertainment, The Clinton Courier offers some tips to keep your car from being towed. Understand, that if your car should be legally towed, we don’t condone taking actions to prevent the tow from happening.

Does turning your wheels prevent towing?

No, turning your wheels does not prevent a tow driver from pulling away with your vehicle. Turning your wheels might make the job a little more difficult, but most tow trucks can hook up and take your vehicle away with turned wheels.

Can a car be towed with a steering wheel lock?

TowBeta tells us that trucks cannot tow a car with a locked steering wheel. This applies mostly to private owners attempting to tow a car. Most tow companies can get around this by putting the car up on a flatbed truck using a cable to pull the vehicle up onto the bed.

What can you do to stop your car from being towed?

Car being loaded on a tow truck. is there a way you can stop your car from being towed?
Tow Truck with a Car | Shutterstock

Here’s What It Means When a Car Gets Impounded

If you want to prevent the potential of your car being towed away from where you left it, there are some things you need to do.

  • Check the surroundings for signs that warn against potential towing
  • If warnings are present, check with the owner of the facility for parking permission
  • Ensure authorities and your car loan company don’t have a reason to tow your car

It’s nearly impossible for you to prevent your car from being towed by trying to trick tow truck drivers. If you see your car on a tow truck or find that it was towed and you don’t think it should have, file a complaint with the Justice of the Peace immediately.