Source: Pixabay/ tow-truck-2901948_1280
If you park your car incorrectly, your car may be towed away in the event of an accident. In this case, the person affected will not only have to pay the costs of the towing process, but also the subsequent storage costs. However, it is questionable how far this may go. In a recent case, which the Federal Court of Justice had to deal with, almost 5,000 euros were at stake. The facts of the case were as follows: The person concerned had lent his vehicle to a relative, who parked the car in a parking space not intended for her, whereupon the homeowner had the vehicle towed away. However, just five days after the incident, the actual vehicle owner demanded his car back from the towing company - but to no avail. The company did not respond to the claim and only wanted to hand over the vehicle after some time, during which civil proceedings were already underway. It now demanded 4935 euros from the owner. The amount was made up of a storage fee of 15 euros per day. In any case, the parties agreed that the owner would have to bear the towing costs. However, there was disagreement about the storage costs. The court of first instance wanted to award the company the full amount, whereupon the next higher court limited the amount to the time in which the owner had not yet expressed his request for the vehicle to be returned. This was 5 days and therefore 75 euros. However, the BGH agreed with this in the end. It correctly states that, according to the civil law construct, both the towing and storage costs must be reimbursed. This is because the latter still serve to process the towing procedure. However, it is necessary for the person affected to be informed of the towing immediately after it has taken place. And as soon as the keeper makes a request for the vehicle to be handed over, the custodian cannot claim any further costs. This is because these are limited until the request for surrender. The owner expressed his desire to collect his vehicle after five days, which is why the amount is actually limited to 75 euros. Under certain further conditions, custody costs may still be demanded after this date. However, this was not the case in this instance.
In its ruling of November 17, the Federal Court of Justice therefore correctly decided that the vehicle owner only has to bear the towing costs plus the storage costs until he demands the vehicle back. This means 5 days and therefore 75 euros.