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Supervisors raise towing rates in Spotsylvania (VA)


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The cost of getting a damaged vehicle towed after a crash or breakdown is regulated by each locality, and the prices in Spotsylvania County have just gone up.


New rates—the first increase since 2014—were set at the Board of Supervisors meeting Tuesday after a public hearing. The rates cover numerous categories of towing, and include such incidents as crashes and abandoned vehicles on public property.


The towing rates apply only to calls that come in through law enforcement and not public calls involving vehicles on private property.


The rates are paid by vehicle owners, and insurance often helps cover the cost.


The rate for a basic tow was $275, and is now $325 during regular daytime hours. After-hours rates will increase from $300 to $375. Administrative fees will jump from $150 to $250. Standby fees were $75 per hour with a maximum of $300, and are now $100 per hour with a cap of $400. The cleanup rate will increase from $25 to $50.


Rates for heavy-duty tow truck calls were $450 for the first two hours and are now $800. After the first two hours, those fees will increase from $100 to $200 per hour. Administrative fees will change from $150 to $250.


Paul Stevens, one of three towing company representatives on the county’s seven-member Towing Advisory Board, told the Board of Supervisors that towing companies have been asking for rate increases for the past three years.


The county has 11 towing companies that take part in a rate agreement for responses to incidents related to law enforcement calls from the Sheriff’s Office and the Virginia State Police, according to a presentation by Stevens and Deputy Steve Noakes.


The men said towing companies can respond to more than 20 calls per day, and Noakes said the towing board helps drivers avoid disreputable companies charging rates that “are just fraud.”


Stevens added that there are various types of towing operations, “including predatory, private type of towing, and this is not that type of towing.” The advisory board oversees any problems or complaints related to the towing companies.


The presentation covered the rising costs to operate tow trucks, citing that as a major reason for the rate increases.


The Board of Supervisors approved the rate changes in a 5–0 vote, with supervisors David Ross and Tim McLaughlin absent.



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