Understanding the Towing Process in Albuquerque

Towing a vehicle in Albuquerque can be a frustrating experience for motorists. Whether you’re the driver of a tow truck or the owner of the vehicle being towed, it’s essential to be aware of the laws regarding towing in the city.

According to the Albuquerque City Code, towing companies must be licensed and regulated by the city. Tow truck operators must maintain a license, and their vehicles must meet specific requirements to operate in the city. These regulations ensure that only qualified and reputable tow truck operators perform this critical function in the city.

When Can a Car be Towed in Albuquerque?

In Albuquerque, vehicles can only be towed under specific circumstances. According to the Albuquerque City Code, a vehicle can be towed if it’s parked illegally or abandoned on public property, obstructing the normal use of property or violating any city code. If your car is towed for any of these reasons, the towing company must follow specific guidelines.

The towing company must provide you with a notification as to where your vehicle is located and how to retrieve it, as well as the costs associated with retrieval. If the vehicle owner cannot be reached, the towing company must leave a written notice on the vehicle’s driver’s side window. In Albuquerque, tow companies are not allowed to take your vehicle by force or without your knowledge.

How Much Does it Cost to Retrieve a Towed Vehicle in Albuquerque?

The cost of retrieving a towed vehicle varies depending on the towing company. City regulated tow companies typically charge a flat rate fee for towing, storage, and administrative fees associated with the release of your vehicle. The cost of towing a vehicle in Albuquerque is regulated by the city, and fees are set by the Albuquerque City Council.

What Happens if my Car is Damaged During the Towing Process in Albuquerque?

In Albuquerque, tow truck operators are obligated to exercise reasonable care and caution when towing a vehicle. If your car is damaged during the towing process, you may be entitled to compensation from the towing company. It’s essential to take photos of your vehicle before and after towing to document any damages that may have occurred during the tow.

If your vehicle was damaged during the tow, the towing company is required to report the damage to their insurance company immediately. If the towing company lacks insurance coverage, the vehicle owner may file a claim against the tow truck operator’s bond.

Understanding Your Rights as a Vehicle Owner in Albuquerque

It’s crucial to understand your rights as a vehicle owner in Albuquerque. Always remember that you have the right to retrieve your vehicle if it’s been towed by a city-regulated tow company. As a vehicle owner, you also have the right to sue a tow company if they’ve towed your vehicle illegally.

Additionally, it’s essential to remember that a towing company can only charge fees deemed reasonable and necessary, as defined by the city. If you believe a tow company has overcharged you for towing and storage fees, contact the City of Albuquerque’s Towing Division to file a complaint.


In Albuquerque, towing companies must abide by laws and regulations established to ensure reputable and fair practices. As a vehicle owner, it’s crucial to familiarize yourself with the laws regarding towing in the city. Remember that you have rights as a vehicle owner, and always exercise caution when calling for the assistance of a tow truck operator. When necessary, seek legal advice to ensure that your rights are protected throughout the towing process.


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