When you take your car in for repairs after it’s been damaged, the shop will probably charge you for their services. What you might not know, however, is that some auto repair shops also charge a separate fee for storing your vehicle. If you’re concerned about how much these storage fees can add up, you’re not alone. There are many people who don’t like the idea of being charged for storing their own car. After all, isn’t it your property? So what are storage fees and are they fair? Keep reading to find out more.
What is a storage fee?
A storage fee is an additional charge that some auto repair shops charge if you leave your car with them for an extended period of time. The fee is intended to cover the cost of renting or leasing a tow yard or auto storage facility. Some shops even charge an extra fee if they have to park your car outside in a lot or street. But these storage fees can add up quickly, especially if your car is in the shop for a long time. If you can’t afford to pay these fees, there are some things you can do to avoid them. Many shops will allow you to leave your car on their property in a designated area for free, but others may charge you for the privilege. If you are concerned about paying for storage, you can try to negotiate a more affordable arrangement with the shop where you’re having your car repaired.
Why are auto repair shops allowed to charge storage fees?
Auto repair shops are allowed to charge storage fees because they are considered to be an “ancillary service.” Ancillary services are goods or services that are ancillary to the repair of your car. The cost of using a tow yard, storing your vehicle in a parking lot, or renting a space in a garage for your car when it’s in for repairs is something that’s separate from the actual repair work. Unfortunately, there are no federal guidelines for storage fees. Instead, the types of storage fees that shops can charge and the amounts they’re allowed to charge vary by state. Some states, such as Texas, don’t even have state-level guidelines on storage fees. In these cases, it’s up to each individual shop to determine what’s fair.
How much should a storage fee cost?
As we said, there are no federal guidelines on storage fees. This means that the amount a shop charges for a storage fee can vary significantly. Some shops may charge as little as $5 a day, while others may charge as much as $25 per day. The amount a shop charges for a storage fee may be based on a number of factors, including local trends, the type of repair being done, the type of vehicle being repaired, and the availability of nearby auto storage facilities. Keep in mind that the shop may charge a different rate for on-premises storage than they do for off-premises storage. If they offer a reduced rate for on-premises storage, ask them to apply that rate to your vehicle.
Is a storage fee really necessary?
As we’ve explained, auto repair shops are allowed to charge storage fees. Unfortunately, there are no federal guidelines for the amount that shops can charge for storage, so you can’t fight the charge in court. The only way to avoid paying a storage fee is to take your car home and park it there. Unfortunately, this can be difficult if your car has been damaged in a collision and must be kept at the shop for repairs. If you’re concerned about the amount of money that shops charge for storage, your best bet is to try to negotiate with them. If they don’t budge, you can try taking your car home and parking it there. And if it’s been damaged in a collision, you can also consider having your car towed to a shop where you don’t have to pay for parking.
Like many other aspects of the auto repair industry, storage fees are often open to interpretation. While these fees are perfectly legal, they’re often a source of frustration for people who find themselves in a position where they have to pay for storage. In many cases, you can avoid storage fees by arranging to keep your car at the shop. If your car has been damaged and must be kept at the shop for repairs, you may be able to negotiate for free parking. If you can’t get the shop to waive the fee, you may be able to find free parking nearby. In many cases, you can also try to negotiate with the shop to lower the amount of the storage fee. No matter what you decide to do, just be sure to understand your rights before you accept a storage fee, and don’t forget that there are plenty of ways to save money on car repairs.