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Towed and impounded vehicles

The City of Melbourne works to ensure the smooth flow of traffic through the city, and to ensure all road users have access to public roads.

The City of Melbourne will tow vehicles if they are:

  • parked in a Clearway Tow Away Zone
  • obstructing an access way
  • considered abandoned
  • unregistered.

Towed vehicles will not be released until the impound release fee is paid.

Read about the parking circumstances that you should avoid or you risk getting your car towed and impounded.

Clearways
Obstructing an access way
Abandoned vehicles
Unregistered vehicles
Where towed vehicles go
Costs and fees for release
Complaints

Clearways

A clearway is a signed area that does not allow vehicles to stop during designated hours. Clearways are important to improve traffic flow on congested roads at certain times of the day. Just one vehicle parked in a clearway can create significant traffic congestion during peak times.

Examples of clearway signs

 

Clearway sign Clearway sign

Several clearways within the City of Melbourne are designated 'Clearway Tow Away Zones'. These are marked by a 'control' sign (see example below). If a vehicle is parked in a Clearway Tow Away Zone, it will be towed away as soon as possible.

If you believe your vehicle has been towed, you can contact Nationwide Towing and Transport on 134 869 to check.

Please make sure to read signs carefully as misreading a sign will not exempt you from paying a fee to have your car released.

Examples of clearway control signs

Clearway control sign Clearway control
sign

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Obstructing an access way

A vehicle is considered to be obstructing if it is parked in an area such as a driveway or laneway and is preventing vehicle access.

City of Melbourne officers at the scene will issue an infringement notice and take several steps to locate the driver to request that the vehicle be moved. If they are unable to locate the driver, the vehicle will be towed away as soon as possible.

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Abandoned vehicles

If a vehicle is parked on the street and has not moved for a period of two months, it may be considered to be abandoned and may be impounded even if the vehicle is registered.

You can report an abandoned vehicle online.

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Unregistered vehicles

It is illegal for unregistered vehicles to be left on the road and they may be impounded. The City of Melbourne will write to the last known owner of the vehicle if it is impounded and again prior to disposing of the vehicle.

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Impound storage yard

If your vehicle is towed, it's strongly advised you call Nationwide Towing and Transport, and then follow their instructions to collect your vehicle from the Towing Impound Yard.

It is important that you call Nationwide before visiting the yard so that they can inform you of any documents you need to bring. They also require time to move the car out of the storage area so it is ready for when you arrive.

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Nationwide Towing and Transport's towing impound yard

Address: 34 Cromwell Street, Collingwood
Phone: 134 869
Opening hours: Monday to Friday, 6.30am to 9pm; Saturday, 8am to 1pm; closed on Sunday.

Requirements for vehicle collection:

  • Payment of towing and impound fees
  • Proof of driver licence

Storage fees are charged on a daily basis after a vehicle has been impounded for more than 48 hours.

Auction yard

When a vehicle has been towed from a Clearway Tow Away Zone to the Collingwood Impound and has exceeded 31 days without being claimed or collected by the owner, the vehicle is then towed to the Blackburn Auction Yard.

Abandoned vehicles are towed directly to the Blackburn Auction Yard.

Customers must contact Nationwide Towing and Transport during business hours on 134 869 before visiting them at 10 Ashburn Place Blackburn VIC 3130 with the following documents:

  • Proof of ownership
  • Proof of registration
  • Valid driver licence
  • Authorisation letter from owner (if applicable)
  • Release costs for an abandoned vehicle
  • Release costs for a vehicle towed from a Clearway Tow Away Zone

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Costs and fees

You must pay fees upon collection of your vehicle. Tow release and storage fees (as at 1 July 2015) are:

  • $361.00 towing release fee
  • $17.60 per business day storage fees (maximum $123.20) if a vehicle is not collected from the impound yard in Collingwood after 48 hours
  • An additional towing fee of $361.00 is payable if the vehicle has been towed from the impound yard in Collingwood to the auction yard in Blackburn. There may also be additional storage fees applicable at the Blackburn auction yard.

Only in exceptional circumstances and with supporting documentation will the City of Melbourne consider refunding the impound release fee.

Before writing to us, it is important to read the below information about what exceptional circumstances we can consider.

  • We consider exceptional circumstances to be verifiable and unforeseen circumstances outside of a person’s control that would reasonably prevent them from ensuring their vehicle was legally parked such as a medical emergency or a vehicle breakdown.
  • The City of Melbourne requires independent, third party supporting documentation in order to consider refunding the impound release fee. This requirement is consistent for all applicants.

Below is a guide about the required documentation for us to consider your appeal. This is not an exhaustive list and provision of this information does not guarantee your appeal will be granted.

Circumstances considered

Circumstance

Documents to be supplied

Vehicle breakdown

Roadside assistance or mechanic receipt on company letterhead with ABN.

OR

Sales receipt for required items that day (if fixed breakdown yourself).

Medical emergency - an injury or illness that is acute and poses an immediate risk to a person’s life or long-term health and would reasonably prevent a person from attending to their vehicle.

Letter on letterhead from hospital or treating practitioner confirming you were involved in a medical emergency (including date and time) and how this prevented you from attending to your vehicle.

Extenuating medical circumstances - verifiable and unforeseen circumstances outside of one’s control that do not pose an immediate risk to a person’s life or long term health, but could reasonably prevent a person from attending to their vehicle.

Letter on facility letterhead from hospital or treating practitioner confirming that the medical delay/circumstances were unexpected (including date/time) and how this prevented you from attending to your vehicle.

Medical condition - the unexpected onset of symptoms related to a diagnosed medical condition that could reasonably prevent a person from attending to their vehicle.

Letter on letterhead from medical practitioner dated within 12 months confirming that a condition has been diagnosed and its likely implications.

Keys locked in vehicle

Roadside assistance, mechanic or locksmith receipt on company letterhead with ABN. Note: RACV 'confirmation of service' slip not sufficient.

OR

Taxi receipt showing drop off and pick up times and locations OR myki transaction history of registered card showing touch on and off times and locations to be close to your address (if you fetched spare set of keys).

Medical practitioner delayed - only where medical personnel were administering emergency treatment outside of regular duties or hours.

Letter on facility letterhead from your Manager confirming your shift time and that the emergency circumstances were outside of your regular duties or hours.

Financial hardship

There are extremely strict limitations in place for cases involving financial hardship. Please contact us on 03 9658 9658 to discuss.

Other exceptional circumstances not already outlined above.

Independent third party verification of circumstance, date and time.

Special circumstances

An official statement on letterhead dated within 12 months from your treating practitioner or case worker with the following information:

  • the nature of your mental/intellectual condition, serious addiction to drugs/alcohol or homelessness; and
  • how it results in you being unable to understand or control the conduct that led to the offence.

We recommend you read the more detailed explanation of Special circumstances before applying on these grounds.

 

Please note: we do not accept Statutory Declarations as supporting documentation.

Send your letter and supporting documents to:

Impound Release Fee Appeal
City of Melbourne
PO Box 780
Melbourne VIC 3001

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Complaints

If you have a complaint in relation to the towing process, damage to your vehicle, staff conduct or any other issue, you can make a written complaint, by writing to:

Nationwide Towing and Transport
10 Ashburn Place
Blackburn VIC 3130

Website: Nationwide Towing and Transport

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