Towed cars and other vehicles
Transport for NSW works to ensure the smooth flow of traffic throughout NSW.
Vehicles can be towed if they are
- parked in a Clearway
- parked in Special Event Clearway
- parked in a special tow away area
- parked in a Freeway
- parked in a transit lane
- parked in a bus lane
How will I know that my car has been towed and not stolen?
The Roads and Maritime Services towing contractor is authorised to remove your illegally parked vehicle during Prescribed Tow away operating hours.
If you have parked legally and your car is gone when you return check the parking signs, such as the clearway operating hours. Your parking location may have become illegal while you were away.
There is a sticker on most parking signs telling you what number you can call to enquire about your car.
Where is my car now?
- If your car is cleared from a Clearway or Special Event Clearway, your car will have been moved to a nearby parking space.
- Once your car has been moved to a safe parking space, the tow truck driver will contact the Transport Management Centre (TMC) to identify where the car has been parked.
If you believe your vehicle has been towed, contact our Transport Management Centre on 131 700
For further information about the proposed clearway routes, please contact:
- Phone: 1300 706 232
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Does getting my car towed cost any money?
The prescribed tow-away charge is $203 regardless of the towing distance. Motorcycles may just be moved to the footpath but the prescribed tow-away charge applies.
You may also receive a parking fines from the local council or the police. These fines are for a parking offence and are separate to the tow away fee.
Frequently asked questions
A road (or part of a road) prescribed by the statutory rules, or a class of road (or part of a road) prescribed by the statutory rules, or any road that is within a special tow-away area. Some examples include clearways, special events clearways, freeways, T-Way lanes, transit lanes and bus lanes. A clearway is defined as a length of the road to which the clearway sign applies. Individual parking spots become illegal when a clearway starts operating.
A clearway is defined as a length of the road to which the clearway sign applies and may apply to individual parking spots at certain times of day. A clearway is a section of road where stopping or parking is prohibited. A clearway is used to improve traffic flow and safety during peak periods.
You must not stop your vehicle at the kerb in a clearway during the times shown unless there is a medical emergency. The only vehicles excluded from these restrictions are public buses and taxis which are permitted to stop when dropping off or collecting passengers.
Clearways can be 24 hour, peak times only, at weekdays, weekends or may apply at other times. A broken yellow line is also used to indicate a clearway.
Special Event Clearways can operate any day of the week and carry exactly the same parking fine and towing fee as if you were parked in a standard clearway.
Signs in the area show the clearway times and remind you that if you illegally park your car in these zones, it will be towed away.
A towing invoice is not a fine but an invoice for the prescribed tow-away charge. If a motor vehicle or trailer is removed or is attached to a tow truck for the purpose of being removed under Section 143 of the Roads Transport Act 2013, Roads and Maritime Services may require the responsible person for the vehicle or the person who left it unattended to pay to RMS the prescribed tow-away charge within a time specified by RMS. The invoice explains the payment details.
Vehicles can be towed if they are unattended or unlawfully standing on a road (or part of a road) prescribed by the statutory rules, or a class of road (or part of a road) prescribed by the statutory rules, or any road that is within a special tow-away area. Some examples include clearways, special events clearways, freeways, T-Way lanes, transit lanes and bus lanes.
A towing invoice is issued for the prescribed tow-away charge. This is a separate fee required in addition to any fine issued by the police.
You may lodge a claim by email to Public.Liability@transport.nsw.gov.au or by post to PO Box 6464 SILVERWATER NSW 1811. The towing invoice is separate from the claim that you may lodge and should be paid within the prescribed time.
The tow truck driver aims to find an lawful place to leave your car as quickly as possible and to notify the TMC of its new position. Sometimes, due to car parking availability, time of day and the area you are in, it can take the tow truck driver more time than usual to find a safe place to leave your car. The TMC is not notified of the new location until a place as been found.
Clearways help manage congestion on many Sydney roads where the road is close to capacity and parking disrupts the flow of traffic.
When vehicles are parked in the kerbside lane, fewer lanes are available to traffic. Road users are also forced to merge from the kerbside lane which can create queues and significant delays.
By removing the parking, an additional lane is available for road users which helps traffic flow and manage congestion.
Clearways also allow us to tow vehicles that are stopped illegally or broken down.
This ensures all lanes are available to traffic when they are needed most.
Mobility Parking Scheme permits do not allow the permit-holder to stand or park a vehicle on bus lane, freeway, T-Way, clearway or transit lane.
The prescribed tow-away charge as shown on the invoice is a standard fee regardless of the towing distance. Motorcycles may only be moved to the footpath but prescribed tow-away charge applies.
Submit a statutory declaration 7 days before the due date on the invoice with the name and address of the person who was in charge of the vehicle at the time of towing by post to PO Box 533 BURWOOD NSW 1805. To access the relevant form please follow the link below.
It is an offence not to pay the prescribed tow-away charge within the time specified by RMS. The fine for failing to pay the prescribed tow-away charge is payable to Revenue NSW.
The towing invoice is assessed by a Debt Recovery Officer who will investigate and determine whether it should stand or be withdrawn. Each dispute is investigated and determined based on individual facts and circumstances. The investigation will consider information provided on the towing invoice and the towing record with the Transport Management Centre (TMC). A photograph of your vehicle may also be assessed to determine if it was attached for towing purposes. Your towing invoice will be placed on hold while it is investigated and a written response will be sent to you outlining the decision. The standard review time is at least 12 weeks. However, this process may take longer if further information is required from external agencies.
If you dispute this decision, you can request a second review by providing written reasons why you disagree with the decision. The second review will be conducted by a Debt Recovery Consultant or the Debt Recovery Manager and may require further consultation with the towing contractor and Transport Management Centre. The result of this review will be sent to you in writing and is the final decision on the matter.