Code Section

Vehicle Code - VEH

DIVISION 11. RULES OF THE ROAD [21000 - 23336]

  ( Division 11 enacted by Stats. 1959, Ch. 3. )

CHAPTER 9. Stopping, Standing, and Parking [22500 - 22526]
  ( Chapter 9 enacted by Stats. 1959, Ch. 3. )


(a) Any insurer that is responsible for coverage for ordinary and reasonable towing and storage charges under an automobile insurance policy to an insured or on behalf of an insured to a valid claimant, is liable for those charges to the person performing those services when a vehicle is towed and stored as a result of an accident or stolen recovery. The insurer may discharge the obligation by making payment to the person performing the towing and storage services or to the insured or on behalf of the insured to the claimant.

(b) Any insured or claimant who has received payment, which includes towing and storage charges, from an insurer for a loss relating to a vehicle is liable for those charges to the person performing those services.

(c) (1) All towing and storage fees charged when those services are performed as a result of an accident or recovery of a stolen vehicle shall be reasonable.

(2) (A) For purposes of this section, a towing and storage charge shall be deemed reasonable if it does not exceed those fees and rates charged for similar services provided in response to requests initiated by a public agency, including, but not limited to, the Department of the California Highway Patrol or local police department.

(B) A storage rate and fee shall also be deemed reasonable if it is comparable to storage-related rates and fees charged by other facilities in the same locale. This does not preclude a rate or fee that is higher or lower if it is otherwise reasonable.

(3) The following rates and fees are presumptively unreasonable:

(A) Administrative or filing fees, except those incurred related to documentation from the Department of Motor Vehicles and those related to the lien sale of a vehicle.

(B) Security fees.

(C) Dolly fees.

(D) Load and unload fees.

(E) Pull-out fees.

(F) Gate fees, except when the owner or insurer of the vehicle requests that the vehicle be released outside of regular business hours.

(d) Notwithstanding this section, an insurer shall comply with all of its obligations under Section 2695.8 of Chapter 5 of Title 10 of the California Code of Regulations.

(e) Nothing in paragraph (3) of subdivision (c) prohibits any fees authorized in an agreement between a law enforcement agency and a towing company, if the tow was initiated by the law enforcement agency.

(Amended by Stats. 2018, Ch. 434, Sec. 2. (AB 2392) Effective January 1, 2019.)