If your car gets towed in Wilmington there is now a chance to save some cash before it leaves the lot. Tuesday Wilmington City Council unanimously passed a bill preventing towing companies from charging a drop rate. The new ordinance says if your vehicle is about to be towed within City limits and you catch the tow truck driver before he pulls out of the parking lot, you can get your car back, free of charge. Chardon Groveman initiated the idea after numerous run-ins with local towing companies. "It was very easy for people to feel taken advantage of," Groveman said. Before the ordinance was passed, towing companies could charge vehicle owners $75 to $100 just to unhitch their cars from the tow truck, even if they hadn't been moved from the parking spot. "I called the City attorney and spoke to him and then started working on how are we going to do this, how are we going to fix this." After months of research and help from friends, Groveman presented the idea to City Council and the ordinance was passed unanimously. "I feel good about, its something that's desperately needed in this area and its going to keep a lot of people from feeling victimized." Chris Hardwick owns Empire Towing and says the ordinance has been long coming. "A lot of the newcomers are pretty much gouging individuals and it's come to this point that the city has said no drop fees," said Hardwick. The new policy won't affect his company, but as for companies who rely on drop fees, "I feel sorry for the company that it will affect because if you put all of your eggs in one basket as far as tow aways, then you might as well go ahead and shut your business now." The ordinance is effective immediately. Towing companies should be notified by the City next week.
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