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Aug 7, 2017
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#1
Last Tuesday evening, I was pulled over for running a stop sign. Unknown to me, my license was denied/suspended. The officer told me it was due to an unpaid ticket, which I knew I had paid. Because the license was denied, he said he was required to tow the vehicle. The vehicle was towed to Ace Towing in Lakewood, CO. I got my license reinstated Wednesday morning. It turns out the ticket was paid, but because I was late paying it, so I was required to pay a $90 reinstatement fee. After the license was reinstated, I immediately went to Ace Towing to get the rental back. After 2hrs of back and forth with the towing company and Budget rental car, budget had another towing company pick up the car. This occurred while I was at ACE towing. The new towing company took the car to Denver International Airport and I was not given a new rental car.

Budget is charging me $850.05 for the tows, one of which was not needed, as I was already at Ace Towing. They are also charging me 13.25% or $112.63 in tax on the tow charges, when the towing receipt already includes tax from the tow companies.

On top of all this, the car shouldn't have been towed in the first place, as Colorado law states that if a driver has a suspended license, the vehicle shall not be impounded if the driver can provide a sufficient means to move the car to a safely parked location. My wife and parents were a half mile away and arrived at the scene before the cop had given me my ticket. They could've moved the rental to my apartments parking lot, until I got the license reinstated the next day.

I can fight the impound tow fee in court, but Budget should have never towed the car from ACE towing to the airport, as I was at ACE towing with a valid license when they came to get the car.

My desired resolution is to have the second towing fee removed (Ace to airport). I understand that I will have to pay the tow fee to the impound lot.

The tow to Ace was ~$365, as stated by the towing company, when I asked what the charge was.

Please Help! And if you have any recommendations of the city improperly impounding the car, that would be helpful as well.

Thank You,
Brent
 
Aug 7, 2017
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#3
In speaking with them, they did nullify the contract that Wednesday afternoon, after the car was taken from the tow company, and only charged me for 3 days rental (original contract was for 5 days). But I did have a valid license Wednesday morning and could have driven off the impound lot, instead of them towing it off the impound lot.
 
Apr 10, 2017
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Rental car contracts are very specific about who is allowed to drive the car. I doubt they would have let your wife or parents drive it at all, unless one of them was also on the contract as an additional driver. Was that the case? I understand your argument about the second tow but I agree with John. Once your license was found to be fraudulent Budget wasn't going to allow you to drive that car again. The contract was considered null and void so you had no legal right to drive it back to the airport. You would need an attorney in order to fight it in court and you need to decide if it's worth paying one.
 
Likes: krisseye
Aug 7, 2017
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#6
What about the 13.25% tax they are trying to charge on the $805 dollar towing fee? The tax comes out to be $106.66. Because the $805 already includes the tax from the towing companies, it shouldn't be taxed by Budget, correct?
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
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#8
What an awful story, Brent. I am so sorry this happened to you. Because your license was valid while you were at Ace, you could have driven the car away. But I'll bet that Budget's Terms & Conditions require that they grab the vehicle at the first sign of this kind of thing. I'm sure they take valid drivers licenses very seriously at a rental car company. I hate to agree with John, but I think that legal is the only path open to you. Perhaps Small Claims Court so you wouldn't have to pay an attorney more than your claim is worth?
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
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www.promalvacations.com
#9
The license was not valid at the time you rented the car which nullifies the contract
and that is where I think Budget is going with this.

Plus no one else could have legally driven the car from the tow spot to your apartment because they were not an authorized driver on the rental. A rental is a little different than if this happened in your own car.


You will need a lawyer and I can bet a lawyer is going to cost you more than the Budget fees.

But I would tell them you want copies of the tow bills.
 
Aug 7, 2017
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#10
The license was not valid at the time you rented the car which nullifies the contract
and that is where I think Budget is going with this.

Plus no one else could have legally driven the car from the tow spot to your apartment because they were not an authorized driver on the rental. A rental is a little different than if this happened in your own car.


You will need a lawyer and I can bet a lawyer is going to cost you more than the Budget fees.

But I would tell them you want copies of the tow bills.

Thanks @Neil, that is the first thing I did. $850 for the towing fees seems excessive. Especially when the tow to the impound lot was only 7-10 miles, depending on the route they took. From the impound lot, Budget had the rental towed to the furthest location from the impound lot (~40 miles). A tow to the original rental location would have been ~17 miles. And to the nearest budget location would have been ~6miles. Towing to the nearest budget location, where I could have then signed a new contract, as I then had a valid license, would have been at a minimum $150 dollars cheaper. I'd be okay paying $700, but they are charging $850, plus $113 in tax on that $850, for a total of $963
 
Aug 7, 2017
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#11
Update: Thank you to Elliott.org for providing the Upper management numbers for Budget. After contacting them and explaining the situation, they have decided to reimburse me $395. This brings the total bill to $710, which is much more manageable and more in line with what I would have expected the tow charges to be. Now to decide if it's worth fighting the original impound fee, as I could have had Budget road side assistance tow the car, instead the city using their own tow company. State law does state that the car is not to be impounded if the driver can provide alternate means of removal.
 
Likes: Neil Maley