VSF Fees and Other Charges
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A VSF is allowed to collect fees for the towing of a vehicle, but only the fees that are directly related to the tow.
Facilities may charge up to the following statewide maximum fees, unless a lower fee is set by a municipality or county:
|Vehicle Weight||Tow Fee|
|10,000 lbs or less||$255|
|10,001 – 24,999 lbs||$357|
|25,000 lbs or more||$459 per unit or a maximum of $918|
Daily Storage Fee
A VSF is allowed to charge a daily storage rate of:
- $20 a day for vehicles 25 feet in length or less
- $35 per day for vehicles over 25 feet in length
Fee may be charged for any part of the day the vehicle is on the lot except if the vehicle is on the lot for two calendar days but within a 12-hour period.
For example: A vehicle comes in at 10 at night, the owner comes and gets the vehicle at 8 the next morning. Even though the vehicle was on the lot for two calendar days, you may only charge one day storage since it is within the 12-hour period.
Vehicles Registered in Texas
If the vehicle is registered in Texas and you do not send the first notice to the owner and primary lienholder you may ONLY charge 5 days’ storage (failure to send notice is still a violation in and of itself regardless of if you charged storage).
Vehicles Not Registered in Texas
If the vehicle is not registered in Texas, you must send a written request for the MVR from the state it is registered within 5 days of accepting the vehicle or you may ONLY charge 5 days’ storage.
Maintaining Vehicle Security
Part of the charging a daily storage fee you are required to check and maintain the vehicle is secure including:
- Locking doors
- Rolling up windows
- Closing doors, hatchbacks, sunroofs, trunks, hoods, or convertible tops
A VSF may send a one-time fee of $50 for sending notification letters to the owners and all lienholders on the vehicle.
This fee covers ALL notices. You cannot charge a separate fee for each notification letter.
If you notify by publication, and the cost of publication is more than half the cost of the notification fee, you can charge the notification fee and the cost of publication.
- The notification fee is $50 so half of that is $25. If the cost of publication exceeds $25 you can charge what it costs to publish it plus $50 notification fee.
Note: For an overview of the notification process, please see the VSF Notification Process page.
A VSF may charge a one-time $20 fee for the impoundment of a vehicle, which includes:
- Securing tarps over non-operational or broken doors, windows, convertible tops, hatchbacks, sunroofs, trunks, or hoods. Any tarps used must be checked periodically.
- Conducting a written inventory of any unsecured property in the vehicle
- Removal and safe storage of all unsecured property in the vehicle
Obtaining a motor vehicle registration (MVR) information from the Texas Department of Transportation, or from an analogous state agency, is also justification for charging an impound fee.
The written bill for services (VSF invoice) must say exactly what you did to charge the fee (inventory and securing all unsecured property or the MVR) and the date you did it.
- Example: If you ran the MVR on January 12th you will write or type on the bill you give to the person who picks up the vehicle that you ran the MVR on January 12th to charge the $20 fee.
- If a vehicle requires tarping it must be tarped when it comes in and you are not required to note tarping and the date you tarped it on the written bill for service.
Governmental or Law Enforcement Fee
A VSF may collect a fee that needs to be paid to a law enforcement agency, the agency’s authorized agent, or a governmental entity. This fee must be paid to the agency or the agency’s authorized agent.
You may charge the $10 fee that must accompany the notice of abandonment only if law enforcement accepts the $10.
Fees that are Not Allowed
A VSF operator may not charge any additional fees other than permissible towing fees and VSF charges. Currently, the only permissible VSF charges are a notification fee, an impound fee, a daily storage fee and in some locations, a governmental entity fee.
VSFs may not charge consumers the following types of fees:
- Environmental fees
- Notary fees
- Fees to access personal property stored in a vehicle
A vehicle storage facility must accept the following forms of payment:
- Debit card
- Credit card
In addition, a vehicle storage facility must post a sign that reads:
'This vehicle storage facility must accept payment by cash, debit card, and credit card for any fee or charge associated with delivery or storage of a vehicle.'