Clearway and tow-away zones

We’re introducing changes to clearways to keep traffic flowing smoothly on Melbourne’s busy roads.

About the changes to clearways and tow-away zones 

From Tuesday 1 December 2020, we’re making all existing 221 clearways on major roads within 20-kilometres of Melbourne’s CBD tow-away zones. 

We’ll progressively install new tow-away signs from September this year. While vehicles may be fined during this time, they won’t be towed until 1 December. 

Vehicles parked in tow-away zones during restricted times will be impounded. 

Drivers who park illegally in the signed tow-away zones during restricted times may be fined, and in addition will be required to pay a vehicle release fee for their towed vehicle. 

Clearways and tow-away zones keep traffic moving safely and smoothly by making sure there are no parked cars blocking key roads during peak times.

There will be a total of 326 clearways with tow-away zone status on major roads within 20-kilometres of Melbourne by Tuesday 1 December 2020. 

We will not be creating any new clearways as part of the Clearways Management Project.

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 shown on the sign, from which motor vehicles will be towed away. 

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

If you park in a tow-away zone during the restricted times, your vehicle can be towed away, and you will be liable to pay up to $526 in fees and fines. 

Fees & Fines

  • A vehicle release fee of $361
  • If you do not collect your towed vehicle within 5 days, you will incur a $15.20 storage fee for every day after that until you collect the vehicle. 
  • Drivers who park illegally in the signed tow-away zones during restricted times will be issued an infringement notice, and in addition will be required to pay a vehicle release fee for their towed vehicle.  

More information

General information: Call VicRoads on 13 11 70

Towing information:  Nationwide Towing & Transport on 13 48 69 with towing enquiries.

The City of Melbourne and the City of Port Phillip have their own towing and infringement arrangements. Please contact them directly if your vehicle is towed from one of these municipalities.   

Infringement information:

For the Cities of Banyule, Bayside, Glen Eira, Hobsons Bay and Moonee Valley

If you have received a Department of Transport fine from any of the municipalities listed above and would like more information on the process, including how to pay the infringement or how to apply for an internal review, please visit the Department of Transport website.

The Cities of Yarra, Stonnington, Maribyrnong, Moreland, Darebin, Boroondara, Port Phillip and Melbourne currently issue their own infringements. If you receive an infringement in any of these municipalities, you will need to contact the relevant municipality directly. 

View the Clearways Management Project Fact Sheet [PDF 252 Kb]

Frequently asked questions


Signs will detail clearway times and indicate if the road
is also a tow-away zone which means if you illegally park your vehicle in these zones during restricted times, it will be towed away and impounded. You will also be fined.

We will progressively be installing the new tow-away signs from September. Vehicles parked illegally parked in the new tow-away zones may be fined during this time but will not be towed until 1 December 2020.   

The Department of Transport 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 back of the tow-away signs for the towing contractor’s contact details.

A vehicle will be towed when it is illegally parked 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.  

Call the number on the clearway sign - 13 48 69. Your vehicle will have been taken to an impound yard. By calling the number you can arrange to collect your vehicle.

To retrieve your car you will need to: 

  • go to the impound yard 
  • provide proof of identity 
  • pay the associated vehicle 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 to arrange collection 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.

The City of Melbourne and the City of Port Phillip have their own towing and infringement arrangements. Please contact them directly if your vehicle is towed from one of these municipalities. 

To retrieve your vehicle, you must provide proof of identity and pay the vehicle release fee. Only in exceptional circumstances will your vehicle 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 vehicle release fee could be waived.

For the Cities of Banyule, Bayside, Glen Eira, Hobsons Bay and Moonee Valley: 

If you have received a fine from the Department of Transport while parked in clear away/tow-away zones within any of the municipalities listed above and would like more information on the process, including how to pay the infringement or how to apply for an internal review, please visit the Department of Transport website.

The Cities of Yarra, Stonnington, Maribyrnong, Moreland, Darebin, Boroondara, Port Phillip and Melbourne currently issue their own infringements. If you receive an infringement in any of these municipalities, you will need to contact the relevant municipality directly


Only in exceptional circumstances and with supporting documentation will the Department of Transport consider refunding the vehicle release fee.

 

The Department of Transport considers ‘exceptional circumstances’ to be demonstrable and unpredicted situations outside 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 vehicle should not have been towed, you can write to the Department of Transport 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 the Department of Transport will review the circumstances of the tow. The Department of Transport 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 the Department of Transport.

 

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 municipalities and you would like to request a review.

The towing contractor, Nationwide Towing & Transport, 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 Nationwide Towing & Transport on 13 48 69. 

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