We've often reported on the difficulty of parking in Montreal. Frequently, drivers don't know where they can park, or for how long. Those who are lucky will only get a ticket for parking illegally. Others will know the frustration of having their car towed.
But while parking frustration is a universal phenomenon, it now seems that all cars are not actually equal. A recent poll by the Journal de Montréal reveals that expensive cars are less likely to be towed away than cheaper cars. Several people who work for towing companies confided to the newspaper, saying that they are less likely to tow away expensive cars. Though the city recognises that this isn't fair, no steps have been taken to address the situation.
TL;DR Expensive cars are less likely to be towed because four-wheel drive needs a special tow truck. and they risk getting sued for damaging the cars .
There are two main reasons for this inequality. The first is that four-wheel drive cars cannot be towed away by a standard truck, because dragging the car by two wheels can damage the steering system. They need a specialised tow truck to take these cars away.
If they don't follow these precautions, towing companies risk being liable for damages to the car when they tow it away. The more expensive the car, the more expensive the damages. It therefore makes sense that towing companies would prefer to just avoid these cars altogether.
Though the city does require all towing companies it works with to own specialised towing trucks for these cars, not all companies use them. Last year, in Rosemont-Petite-Patrie, a towing company received a fine because they told employees not to tow away 4x4s.
What makes this situation more unfair is that towing is significantly more expensive than getting a fine: a parking ticket costs around $62, whereas a parking ticket with towing costs a hefty $149. It doesn't seem fair that those with nicer cars get away with paying less for parking illegally.
An anonymous worker for the city agrees that this situation is unfair. But, as the number of SUVs rise and the city keeps on working to clear snow from the streets, this situation is bound to get worse, with no clear solution.