How do private parking companies and lot managers deal with cars illegally parked in their lots and garages? For pay-to-park enterprises and restricted lots, towing cars has long served as the most effective means to open up that space again. However, if the presence of the vehicle can be tolerated until the owner shows up, clamping a tire boot lock may prove the better means of enforcement. If you’re leaning towards the tire boot lock for your parking business, consider these five tips.
1. Know the Law About Signage and Receipt Systems
Because real humans park in your lot, keep in mind that they can make mistakes. With self-pay parking, sometimes the money goes into the wrong slot, or other actually innocent mishaps can occur, making retrieval from a towing and storage company seem unjust. Without the proper signs at the entryways and a receipt system in place, it’s your word against theirs. Often, the courts side with the presumed violator. Some states have implemented laws that require a receipt system before a lot owner can place a boot on a car. Find out if yours is one of those states. You don’t want to find yourself losing money on a legal battle. Better yet, provide receipts whether the law requires them or not.
2. Hire a Security Service with a Complimentary Booting Amenity
Some parking security companies now offer booting services in addition to the usual duties. Many charge you nothing to boot an offender’s car because they will collect and keep the fee from the owner themselves. Acting only upon your authority, the booting company will be available at all hours to secure an illegally parked vehicle and meet the owner to collect the fee and release the boot. You won’t receive late night calls or pay fees for the service. Your only oversight should be to ensure the notices placed on the cars adequately explain the legal justification for the boot, the fees involved and whom to call for removal.
3. Collect the Fee Yourself
Of course, if your lot generates revenue from the time a car is parked, you can install the boot and collect the fees yourself for the hours due. Calling your contracted towing company or the city parking authority removes the car and opens the space again, but the owner of the over-parked car will owe you still for the time anyway, on top of extra fees. So, why not simply immobilize the vehicle and collect for the time as if another paying customer had taken the slot?
4. Enjoy a Safer Way to Get Paid
Depending on your contract with a towing company, you may go to the trouble to have a car towed and never receive the money for the time the car spent overstaying its welcome. With a tire locking device, you always get paid. Having no towing company in the middle, you eliminate one possibly shaky step in the process.
5. Eliminate the Tow Company Entirely
With tire lock boots, you could even do without a towing company altogether. You could be held liable to any damages the tow truck operator or storage facility carelessly wreak on a car. By using a booting system instead, you spare yourself that risk. Moreover, by never having to request a tow, you also spare the towing technicians potentially serious risk to their persons from angry violators.
The only downside of a tire locking boot is the fact that they can be defeated given the right tools and enough time and solitude. But a well-managed lot or garage won’t provide scofflaws such opportunities. By investing in a supply of tire lock boots, owners and overseers of parking facilities could see a rapid return on investment while ameliorating the inherent difficulties with towing enforcement.