Skip to main content

Philadelphia’s rotational towing program

Providing safe, fair towing services for crashes and disabled vehicles on city streets.


Philadelphia’s rotational towing program makes sure there are safe, fair towing practices in the City. The rotational towing program is authorized by the Philadelphia Code. It is administered by the:

  • Managing Director’s Office.
  • Philadelphia Police Department.
  • Department of Licenses and Inspections.

When there is a crash or disabled vehicle on city streets, this program dispatches towing companies from approved lists. These companies have agreed to the City's towing standards, which include a set fee schedule. The rotational towing program:

  • Protects consumers from price-gouging.
  • Cracks down on wreck-chasing, when unauthorized tow trucks race to crash scenes.
  • Allows towing companies to serve crash scenes fairly.

Wreck-chasing and soliciting towing business from crash scenes without a proper dispatch is illegal in the City of Philadelphia.



Process and eligibility

The City of Philadelphia has entered into a contract with AutoReturn to administer the rotational towing program and manage towing company dispatches. These changes were piloted in southern portions of the City in late 2018 and will expand citywide in late January 2019.

During the phase-in of the AutoReturn system, towing companies that had already participated in the rotational towing program were invited to continue participating. The program will open to additional towing companies in Spring 2019. To be in the program, towing companies must:

  • Adhere to a set of standards established by the City.
  • Obey a schedule of maximum towing and storage fees established by the City.

There is a $150 annual fee for towing companies to participate in the program. There are also some additional fees set forth in the program's regulations.


If you have questions about Philadelphia's rotational towing program, ask here.