Towing Charges

By: Paul Aker
By: Paul Aker

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If you live in or around Wichita, having your car towed could cost you a lot more than you expect.

Walter Spunaugle got a flat tire on the highway. A state trooper called a tow service for him. Spunaugle received a bill for $120 for the tow, nearly twice the going rate.

The city, county and state have a written agreement with some local towing companies. It allows these companies to charge extra if the call to tow is made by an official. If Spunaugle had called the wrecker himself it would have only cost him $45 to $65.

Interstate Wrecker Service manager Jeremy Williams says his company and seven others in the area have an agreement with the government allowing them to charge higher prices because of the added risks and costs that go along with towing impound vehicles. Williams says he does not think the arrangement is completely fair, but without it, companies like his would not be able to operate.

Towing companies say they have to charge impound customers more because of extra insurance rates and security measures they're forced to take because of the government agreement.

Wichita's agreement with companies does not say surcharges should be allowed.

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