Dude, where's my towed car?

By Katherine Irvine

Katherine Irvine waited two weeks to get her car back because no one knew where it was. Photo / Natalie Slade
Katherine Irvine waited two weeks to get her car back because no one knew where it was. Photo / Natalie Slade

When I realised my car had been towed from a busy Auckland city street on a Thursday afternoon, I was not entirely surprised.

In my haste to find a car park, I had absent-mindedly parked in a bus lane.

I confess I am no stranger to Auckland's inner-city tow yards so I knew what to do next.

Over the next hour, I made repeated calls to the Auckland Council, who could not locate my car. They put me through to the police, who told me there was no information suggesting my car had been towed.

The police then transferred me back to the council and the whole process began all over again.

Finally, after numerous frustrating conversations, I was told to report the car as stolen.

It seemed odd that thieves would strike on a busy central Auckland street in the middle of a weekday afternoon but I was reassured by council call centre staff that their system was foolproof and that towies logged the car even before it had arrived at the yard.

For the next two weeks I heard nothing, until a police inspector called to say the car had turned up and, no, it hadn't been stolen, it was in a tow yard.

He couldn't tell me why it had taken so long to find it, who hadn't logged the car into the system or whether I should blame the council, the police or the towing company.

He did warn that I should check the car for damage and make sure there wasn't "a body in the trunk or anything".

Apparently one of the towies had called the police because my car had been sitting in the yard for so long.

First Recovery in Morton St didn't make me pay what would have been a pricey storage fee after two weeks.

Two weeks later, I am yet to hear from the council. To the credit of the tow yard, the managers returned my call promptly and explained the tow was authorised by an Auckland Council parking warden and it was up the council to log the tow in its database.

- NZ Herald

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