With 20,000 cars towed each year, according to Hobkirk Enterprises Towing Inc., it can be argued that Tallahassee has a towing problem. Whether it is about the money or illegal parking that causes towing companies to tow people’s cars, many students are fed up with paying $88 every time they need to retrieve their car.
“Tallahassee towing is corrupt,” said Mike Priestly, a history student. “I’ve been towed twice. I swear the security guards at apartment complexes call the towing company to get people’s cars towed. I think I got tricked by the parking spots.”
It poses such a problem the FSU’s Student Government Association even has a Facebook group for students to join called “How to Beat the Tow Truck.” The website features tips on how to avoid extra costs and what to do if your car is towed illegally.
“Towing is never going to cease to exist, but I believe efforts are being made to alleviate the problem for students,” said Caroline Chance, FSU’s student Senate president. If someone’s car is towed, he or she is expected to pick it up the same day or extra expenses will be calculated into the cost. These extra costs are called “storage fees.”
Loopholes exist. If there is only one strap around the car and the other strap isn’t applied, it costs $44 rather than $88 to get the car back. Also, some students say it is easy to bribe towers as the car is being towed.
“I once bribed my way out of getting my car towed by sneaking the guy 40 bucks, but you have to be lucky to have cash on you,” said Emily
Talpalar, third-year hospitality student at FSU.