Automotive

Towing company charges after new owner did not transfer ownership and crashed the car

  • Last Updated:
  • Jan 27th, 2020 9:06 am
[OP]
Newbie
Sep 9, 2019
37 posts
13 upvotes

Towing company charges after new owner did not transfer ownership and crashed the car

Long story short:
- Sold a car on Kijij, quick $500 as is sale: gave used vehicle information package, took the plates off and signed over ownership portion - did not take buyer info or create bill of sale, yes my mistake.
- About a month later police show up investigating a crash - apparently guy crashed the car but never had it registered in his name. Explained the whole situation and confirmed the car was not stolen, they said all is good and off they went
- Left on a vacation shortly, after i returned i found $1800 bill from towing company with daily charges piled up

- Called police, they can't do anything. Spoke with MTO, they marked the car as sold but that's all they can do. Called towing company but they want to get paid and because the car was registered in my name i'm the one they are after.

So my options are pay, let the bill go to collections, try to take someone to small court.

Anything else i can do here?
161 replies
Newbie
Aug 15, 2018
70 posts
66 upvotes
$1800 to tow a $500 car, nothing like the towing business.

Don't you at least have the guys contact information from the sale?
If I were you I would contact a lawyer and ask them to send an intimidating letter to the towing company that you are not the owner of the car anymore with the supporting evidence from the MTO.
[OP]
Newbie
Sep 9, 2019
37 posts
13 upvotes
No i don't have any contact info unfortunately. I have a Kijiji chat arranging a time to come but it's just generic Kijiji email address. I'll see if i can find some free/cheap legal advice services, i'm just concerned that will end up costing me just as much.
Member
Dec 22, 2007
479 posts
247 upvotes
Mississauga
Anonymous358 wrote: No i don't have any contact info unfortunately. I have a Kijiji chat arranging a time to come but it's just generic Kijiji email address. I'll see if i can find some free/cheap legal advice services, i'm just concerned that will end up costing me just as much.
towing company should have the name of the person who authorized the tow otherwise say they have stolen your car and you want it back etc...
Member
Dec 8, 2008
386 posts
62 upvotes
that really sucks.

I think you are on the hook for the money. I wouldn't let it go to collections. $1800 is not worth the hassle
Deal Expert
User avatar
Jun 12, 2007
15181 posts
4426 upvotes
London
Tell the towing company that you are giving them the car. They have a lien against the car and they can sell it again to cover the cost of the tow
Deal Addict
Jan 19, 2008
1282 posts
818 upvotes
Etobicoke
l69norm wrote: Tell the towing company that you are giving them the car. They have a lien against the car and they can sell it again to cover the cost of the tow
A $500 car before a crash will be worth less after a crash. Not sure the towing company can get any money from the sale of the car
Deal Addict
User avatar
Sep 9, 2012
3794 posts
3164 upvotes
Oakville, ON
Anonymous358 wrote: Long story short:
- Sold a car on Kijij, quick $500 as is sale: gave used vehicle information package, took the plates off and signed over ownership portion - did not take buyer info or create bill of sale, yes my mistake.
- About a month later police show up investigating a crash - apparently guy crashed the car but never had it registered in his name. Explained the whole situation and confirmed the car was not stolen, they said all is good and off they went
- Left on a vacation shortly, after i returned i found $1800 bill from towing company with daily charges piled up

- Called police, they can't do anything. Spoke with MTO, they marked the car as sold but that's all they can do. Called towing company but they want to get paid and because the car was registered in my name i'm the one they are after.

So my options are pay, let the bill go to collections, try to take someone to small court.

Anything else i can do here?
Edited in consideration of info provided by @cardguy and @l69norm

Sending to Collections is a scare tactic since that isn’t a specific remedy available to tow & store firms. Their only recourse is to take possession and the sell the vehicle to recoup their costs. If they do actually send to collection then you can get it removed by the collection agency & credit bureau.

Sue in small claims court is going to be tough. To begin with you’re going to have to figure out how to track down the guy you sold the car to. Maybe you’ll get lucky and you can find his info if there was a police report where his details were taken down. Might not be easy to get ahold of and it might not even contain any details that will help you. And all that said, let’s say you track the guy down, sue in court, and win - then what? He doesn’t sound like a guy who’s going to step up and say “ya got me, sorry about that - please accept the full judgement now in cash”! Not going to happen. You’ll win a hollow judgement and won’t get paid as the guy is most likely “judgement-proof”.

This is an annoying life lesson to have to go thru.

Note - I was previously on the side of trying settle but updated the post based on information further into this thread
Last edited by CanadianLurker on Jan 23rd, 2020 5:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Banned
Mar 11, 2016
2081 posts
842 upvotes
that sucks man..wish you had some other options
Deal Expert
Aug 22, 2011
33040 posts
18840 upvotes
Ottawa
Forget about it OP.
You never signed the tow invoice.
Sr. Member
May 20, 2017
642 posts
504 upvotes
ON
See if you or your friends have a lawyer you can consult. Personally I wouldn't pay tow company a dime.
Deal Expert
User avatar
Jun 12, 2007
15181 posts
4426 upvotes
London
xxxray wrote: A $500 car before a crash will be worth less after a crash. Not sure the towing company can get any money from the sale of the car
Assuming ON

https://www.ontario.ca/laws/statute/90r25#BK18

Repair and Storage Liens Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. R.25

...... Effect of sale or foreclosure; amount of lien deemed satisfied

18 Where a lien claimant,

(a) sells an article under section 15; or
(b) is deemed to have elected irrevocably to retain the article under subsection 17 (4),

the lien claimant shall be deemed to have sold the article or retained the article in full satisfaction of the amount owing in respect of the lien. R.S.O. 1990, c. R.25, s. 18.
.........
Anonymous358 wrote: Long story short:
-,,
PM @angryaudifanatic
Last edited by l69norm on Jan 20th, 2020 9:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Deal Addict
Jul 14, 2002
2418 posts
1023 upvotes
Wow, sounds like a worst case nightmare scenario.
What can you really do unless you get the buyers drivers license? I can see these people providing fake information as their intent was to drive the car unlicensed and uninsured.
Deal Expert
User avatar
Oct 26, 2003
33724 posts
3734 upvotes
Winnipeg
I don't get it, how did the new buyer insure the car without registration? Did he drive without insurance? That is a huge offense.

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