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CostHelper > Personal Finance  > Legal > Removing a Car Boot

Removing a Car Boot Cost


How Much Does Removing a Car Boot Cost?

 
 average costBoot-Removal Fee: $40-$400+ Plus All Unpaid Tickets/Fines 
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Often painted bright yellow for visibility, a boot is a device designed to immobilize a vehicle when it is attached to one of the vehicle's tires. A boot will not damage the vehicle as long as there is no attempt to move the vehicle with the boot attached.

Typical costs:

  • Depending on local regulations, a boot is usually placed on a vehicle that has more than a specified number of outstanding parking tickets. It varies by location, but typically to have a boot removed the vehicle's registered owner must pay all outstanding tickets and fines plus a boot-removal fee of $40-$300 or more for passenger vehicles; some municipalities charge a higher fee of $200-$400 or more if the boot is on a semi-truck or other heavy-duty commercial vehicle.
  • If the boot is not removed within a specified period of time or if the booted vehicle is blocking traffic, the vehicle may be towed to a storage lot. Recovering a towed vehicle can cost $100-$1,000 or more, depending on the towing and storage fees.
  • For example, in Daly City, CA[1] , a vehicle can be booted if there are five or more unpaid parking citations, and the owner has 72 hours to pay the overdue amount plus a $50 boot-removal fee or the vehicle may be towed. In Nassau County, N.Y.[2] , it's three or more outstanding parking tickets or Red Light Safety Camera Notices of Liability, with 48 hours to pay the outstanding debt and $166 boot-removal fee to avoid towing. In San Francisco[3] the boot-removal fee is $300 and the vehicle may be towed after 72 hours (with a minimum towing/administrative fee of $453.75 for passenger vehicles). In Chicago[4] the boot-removal fee is $60 for passenger vehicles and $400 for truck tractors, semi-trailers and trailers; vehicles can be towed after 24 hours.
Related articles: Recovering a Towed Vehicle, Attorney Fees, Car Rental

What should be included:
  • Typically the city or county will notify the registered owner if, because of unpaid tickets, a vehicle will be booted. When the car is actually booted, a written notice will be placed on the windshield and/or attached to the driver's window; this should include instructions for how to have the boot removed.
  • Payment must typically be made by the registered owner or a representative with written authority. The person paying the fees should have a drivers' license or other valid photo ID and know the vehicle's make, model and license plate number.
  • Once payment is received, the agency may dispatch a technician to remove the boot, or the vehicle owner will be given a removal code, making the owner responsible for releasing and returning the boot. For example, in Los Angeles[5] the boot will be removed by the city within three hours of payment. In Nassau County, N.Y.[6] , the vehicle owner will be given a code to enter into a keypad on the boot, which must be dropped off at a designated site within 24 hours,
  • Many jurisdictions have a boot hearing process that allows the vehicle owner to appeal the booting, arguing that it was not properly done according to local laws. In Houston[7] , if a boot hearing officer determines the vehicle owner is not liable for the outstanding citations and fines, the fees will be waived.
  • The vehicle owner's rights and responsibilities may vary by state, and even by city or county. Contact local consumer protection agencies[8] for assistance.
Additional costs:
  • If a booted vehicle is towed and not claimed with a specific period of time, it may be destroyed or sold at auction. If the money received is not enough to cover all costs related to towing, storage and auction, the last known registered owner is held responsible for the unpaid debt.
  • Once the boot is removed, the owner may have a limited period of time (often 2-4 hours) to move the vehicle to avoid getting a parking ticket.
  • If the vehicle owner is responsible for returning the boot, there may be fines if the device is returned late or damaged, or not returned at all. In Nassau County, N.Y.[9] , anyone returning a boot late will be charged $25 a day, with a $500 fine for damaging or failing to return the boot.
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External Resources:
  1.  www.dalycity.org/City_Hall/Departments/police_department/Services/vehicle_releases.htm
  2.  www.nassaucountyny.gov/agencies/TPVA/tow_boot_vehicle.html
  3.  www.sfmta.com/cms/penf/13443.html
  4.  www.cityofchicago.org/city/en/depts/fin/supp_info/revenue/boot_tow_information/booted_v...
  5.  ladot.lacity.org/tf_booted_towed_vehicles.htm
  6.  www.nassaucountyny.gov/agencies/TPVA/tow_boot_vehicle.html
  7.  www.houstontx.gov/parking/faq.htm#boothearing
  8.  www.usa.gov/directory/stateconsumer/index.shtml
  9.  www.nassaucountyny.gov/agencies/TPVA/tow_boot_vehicle.html
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