One of our vehicles broke down at a set of
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traffic lights. The driver telephoned our depot to tell us what had happened, and our workshop foreman immediately arranged for a firm near the vehicle to remove it from the lights. However, unknown to us, the police had in the meantime arranged for another firm to remove the vehicle. The vehicle was then towed to the firm's yard but not repaired owing to work pressure.
Would we have been entitled to refuse to pay the towing charge as we had not requested their aid in the first place? They refused to let us take the vehicle before the bill had been paid. Were we liable to pay this charge?
APowers to permit the police to remove vehicles which have broken down on a road are contained in •the Removal and Disposal of Vehicles Regulations 1968. The Regulations also contain powers to charge the owner of the vehicle for its removal.
Therefore, the company towing your vehicle would be acting on behalf of the police and you would be liable for the charge.
It seems that a simple message left on the vehicle — on the windscreen for instance — would have told the police that arrangements were already being made to move it. This would have prevented the misunderstanding.