Clearway and tow-away zones

We’re increasing enforcement around clearways and tow-away zones to create more space on Melbourne’s busiest roads making it easier for people and goods to get around.

About the changes to clearways and tow-away zones 

From October 2020, anyone found parking illegally in an existing tow-away zone on an arterial road across Melbourne will receive an infringement fee of $165. This fine is in addition to paying the required fee of $361 to release the vehicle. 

Starting from December 2020, we will be adding ‘tow-away zone” status to all existing 322 arterial road clearways within a 20 kilometre radius of Melbourne’s CBD. This means vehicles will be towed away if they block clearways.  Vehicle owners will be required to pay $361 to release their vehicle, as well as the $165 fine.

We will not be creating any new clearways. 

The difference between a clearway and a tow-away zone

  • A clearway is a section of road where parking and stopping is not allowed at the times shown on the clearway sign.  Vehicles are not  towed away from illegally parking in clearways. 
  • A tow-away zone is a section of road  where parking is not allowed at certain times, from which motor vehicles will be towed away. 

Keeping clearways on arterial roads ‘clear’ is one initiative we are implementing as part of a $340 million package to keep traffic moving on Melbourne’s roads.  

Overview of the penalties if you park in a tow-away zone

If you park in a designated tow-away zone during the restricted times, your vehicle can be towed away.

Fees & Costs

  • $361 to release your vehicle 
  • if you do not collect your vehicle within 5 days, $15.20 storage fee for every day after that until you collect the vehicle. 

From 1 October 2020, you will also be issued an infringement of $165. 

If your vehicle has been towed, please call 13 48 69 to arrange collection. 

Frequently asked questions

Signs will show the clearway times and indicate that it is also a tow-away zone which means if you illegally park your car in these zones during these times, it will be towed away.

The VicRoads towing contractor is authorised to remove your illegally parked vehicle during tow-away operating hours.

If you have parked illegally in a tow-away and your car is gone when you return check the tow-away signs. 

What is the process for towing vehicles? 

  • The vehicle must be parked (not just stopped) in a signed tow-away zone during the restricted times. 
  • The tow truck operator must complete an ‘authority to tow’ form and take multiple photos with geotagged information of the vehicle. 
  • If the driver returns to the vehicle prior to the vehicle being loaded onto the truck, the vehicle must be returned to the driver on the spot. 

 

Call the number on the clearway sign; the phone number is 13 48 69. Your car will have been taken to an impound yard. By calling the number you can arrange to collect your car. To retrieve your car you will need to:

  • go to the impound yard
  • provide proof of identity
  • pay the associated release fee.

You must call the number before going to the impound yard to collect your vehicle.

If your vehicle has been towed you can collect it from an impound yard. You must call 13 48 69 before going to the impound yard. 

The secure storage yard is located at 34 Cromwell Street, Collingwood (Melways reference 2C G12). The yard is open from 7am to 9pm Monday to Friday and 9am to 1pm on Saturdays. It is also close to tram and train lines.

To arrange collection of your vehicle contact the impound yard on 13 48 69.

The City of Melbourne and the City of Port Phillip have their own towing arrangements. You will need to contact them directly if your vehicle is towed from one of these council areas. 

 

To retrieve your vehicle, you must provide proof of identity and pay the release fee. Only in exceptional circumstances will your car be released without you paying the fee. An example of exceptional circumstances would be where there was a genuine medical emergency. You would need to provide proof of this before the release fee could be waived.


Only in exceptional circumstances and with supporting documentation will VicRoads consider refunding the tow fee.

VicRoads considers ‘exceptional circumstances’ to be demonstrable and unpredicted situations outside of a person’s control that would reasonably prevent them from ensuring their vehicle was legally parked, such as a medical emergency or a vehicle breakdown. A doctor’s appointment that has run late or over the scheduled time will not be considered a medical emergency.

If you think your car should not have been towed, you can write to VicRoads and request a review of the tow. You will need to provide details as to the time, date and location of the tow plus the reasons why you believe your car should not have been towed.

Based on the information you provide, VicRoads will review the circumstances of the tow. VicRoads will not refund the release fee in circumstances where the clearway signs have been misread. If your appeal is based on medical grounds, you may be required to have your fitness to drive reviewed by VicRoads.

Please address correspondence to:

Clearway Towing Administrator 
VicRoads
Locked Bag 9000
Kew 3101

The City of Melbourne and the City of Port Phillip have their own towing arrangements. You will need to contact them directly if your vehicle is towed from one of these council areas and you would like to request a review.

 

The towing contractor, Nationwide Towing, is responsible for the care of vehicles towed. If you believe that your car was damaged during towing please contact them on 13 48 69.

If you would like to report a vehicle parked illegally in a clearway tow-away zone on an arterial road please contact the VicRoads Traffic Management Centre on 13 11 70

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