Overnight parking-ban violators: Remember, cash only to free your car from impound lot

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More than 100 cars were towed during the Feb. 12 citywide Snow Emergency.

MANCHESTER, NH – For those who couldn’t find a better place to park during Sunday night’s citywide Snow Emergency – 104 of you to be exact – your cars are waiting at the Derryfield impound lot on Bridge Street.

Cost to retrieve your vehicle is $110 in cash. For last night’s haul of 104 cars, that’s $11,440 in revenue for the city, most of which goes to the tow companies [see below for the breakdown.] Add to that the 142 cars towed during the Feb. 9 parking ban, and that’s another $15,620, for a cool $27,000+.

For those interested in how the parking situation in Manchester works, how lucrative the towing business is for the city, and who is most likely to get towed, you can read this report from 2016 by Mike Pelletier, who did a study of the city’s winter parking program.

Remember, Snow Emergency parking is available at:

  • Victory Parking Garage at 25 Vine Street between 8:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. Vehicles parking outside these times will be subject to parking fees of $.75 per hour.
  • Pearl Street Parking Lot on Orange Street between Elm and Chestnut is also available between 8:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m. Unauthorized vehicles in the lot outside of these times will be subject to parking tickets.
  • You may be able to find a place to park thanks to the social network – a Facebook group called Manchester Snow Emergency Parking was created in January to crowdsource available parking spaces.
How to get your car back

Vehicles that are impounded will be stored at the City’s Vehicle Impoundment Area, located in Derryfield Park off of Bridge Street. In order to recover an impounded vehicle, the owner will be required to present proof of ownership and make a payment of $110.00 in cash. This must be done within 24 hours of the time when the vehicle was towed. Vehicles not recovered within 24 hours will be subject to additional towing and storage charges.

Why Cash Only? and other parking questions answered

This is a temporary operation usually lasting only 24 hours. The impound shed at the Derryfield Park lot is not structurally updated. They do not have access to computer equipment and/or modern technology because that would require additional wiring, etc., not to mention the structure itself can not be safely secured and is not equipped with an alarm.

What is the breakdown of the $110 – all to the tow company? Does the city get a cut? 

Tow company’s portion is $85 and the city’s portion is $25, per the MPD contract.

 Is there a summons or ticket for violating parking rules, or is that rolled into the $110? 

No ticket is issued if the vehicle is towed. There is a “drop” policy in which, at the officer’s discretion, a vehicle can be dropped in lieu of being towed if the registered owner shows up and the vehicle is in the initial stage of being prepped for towing. The owner has limited time to produce $25 to prevent the tow.  Otherwise, the vehicle is taken to the tow yard. An officer can choose to issue a ticket if the vehicle is dropped and the $25 is paid. The $25 is collected by the tow driver and the owner is issued a receipt for payment. This policy is really based on the officer’s discretion and how much work the tow driver has invested in prepping the vehicle to be towed. The vehicle does necessarily have to be “off” the ground to be considered a “drop.”

Go to www.manchesternh.gov/snow to sign up for automatic e-mail or text notifications of Snow Emergencies and, hopefully, never get towed again.

About Carol Robidoux 6559 Articles
Longtime NH journalist and publisher of ManchesterInkLink.com. Loves R&B, German beer, and the Queen City!