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Changes to law will protect Florida drivers from rapacious tow companies – Have you had a bad experience with a tow and storage company?

A new and approved bill HB179 was signed by Governor Ron DeSantis on March 22nd of this year  to enforce changes to Florida towing laws. Floridians have suffered too long from predatory tow companies and their unfair practices of exploitation.

The new bill will make significant changes and requirements pertaining to maximum rates of towing and storage fees being published online. The Florida Highway Patrol, counties, and cities will be responsible for establishing a process that will help provide ways to investigate and resolve complaints regarding excessive tow charges accrued and the difference in rates posted online.

Comprehensive reform is important to protect Floridians from rapacious companies that prey on emptying the pockets of their customers. The companies show no remorse for their greedy actions that leave customers emotionally distressed and in financial peril.

Floridians deserve to be treated with fairness and transparency. The new bill reveals ways to protect consumers while the companies within the towing industry will be held accountable for intentionally and wrongfully overcharging them. Under certain requirements, tow-storage companies will have to provide rate sheets and itemized invoices to be posted at their business sites (locations) and upon request. Towing-storage operators will be required to accept more methods of payment. It will be required to increase the minimum number of days in a waiting period before a vehicle or vessel can be sold. There are specifications pertaining to lowering the number of days in which a towing storage operator can charge for. The tow storage operator may not charge a storage fee if the towing storage operator failed to notify a lender or lienholder about their vehicle or vessel.

It is important to recognize the hard work of Representative Melony Bell and Senator Keith Perry who addressed the issue, ensuring it made it through the legislative process, and was approved by Governor Ron DeSantis. The bill will officially go into effect on July 1, 2024, and surely make a significant difference in how tow-storage customers will be treated in the Sunshine State.

Patricia Smith –