Tips for consumers who have their vehicles towed

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Consumers who have their vehicle towed should consider the following:

* Contact the towing company immediately. Retrieve your car as quickly as possible. Many towing companies include a storage fee based on the amount of time a vehicle remains on their property.

* Inspect your vehicle before and after tow. Make sure there is no damage from the tow and account for any items you had in the vehicle. Take pictures for proof in case you need to fill out an incident report.

* Ask for a detailed invoice. All fees rendered for towing and storing your vehicle should be itemized in writing. Towing carriers cannot say they only take cash. They are required by the PUC to accept Visa and MasterCard.

* File a complaint with the Public Utilities Commission if you feel your car was towed illegally, or the company is in violation of PUC rules.

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