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Car rent man in bad luck run

PUBLISHED: 22:19 15 February 2002 | UPDATED: 11:21 03 March 2010

IPSWICH businessman Kim Bird, left fuming after receiving a £278 bill for towing away a wrecked car, has received a double blow.

Mr Bird, of Fleetway Car and Van Rental, branded the bill "extortionate" after a blue Vauxhall Corsa car was towed away without his consent to a depot just five miles from an accident scene.

IPSWICH businessman Kim Bird, left fuming after receiving a £278 bill for towing away a wrecked car, has received a double blow.

Mr Bird, of Fleetway Car and Van Rental, branded the bill "extortionate" after a blue Vauxhall Corsa car was towed away without his consent to a depot just five miles from an accident scene.

He argues the vehicle– which was involved in a crash in Foxhall Road – was towed away without his knowledge and he could have got it moved for £211 less.

The run of bad luck continued as the next morning he came into work to find three of his cars had been vandalised on his forecourt – although there is no suggestion the two incidents are connected.

Mr Bird, of the Bramford Road firm, said: "I thought the bill [which includes £15 storage and £20 administration charge] was well out order for a five-mile journey.

"I had to pay quickly because otherwise the bill would keep going up as there is a £15 a day storage charge.

"Police had contacted me on my mobile after the accident but the number was withheld and they didn't leave a message so I couldn't get back to them.

"It wasn't until I went into work the next morning there was a message on my work phone I found that the car had been towed away.

"I was absolutely livid.

"I am in the business and the people I would use would charge £67 for the same job and they are coming up for a bill to prove this.

"The car could have been pushed to the side of the road. This is a blatant rip off and it has really put my nose out of joint. The car covered by insurance but that's not the point. That's partly why premiums are so high and I wasn't told what the admin charge is.

"I am so livid. Then the next morning I came into work and three of my cars were vandalised."

The car was involved in an accident at Foxhall Road, Martlesham, on February 8 and was towed by DC Bell Recovery to a depot Great Whip Street.

The receipt reads £202 to recover the vehicle to base and secure, £15 parking and £20 administration charge. There was also a further £41.48 VAT to pay.

"It seems they can charge what they like," said Mr Bird. "It is unbelievable. It is not right that a decision like this should be made with my money and my car.

"The car was behind gates so I had to pay up to get the car out."

When he came to pay for the car the company wouldn't accept a business cheque so he had to pay by credit card.

Mr Bird is now seeking legal advice and will be contacting trading standards about the bill.

Mr Bell, of Chancery Garage, Great Whip Street, said: "We were called by police to recover the vehicle and to be honest the bill was all explained to him."

He added if Mr Bird wanted to get the recovery for less, he should have gone somewhere else.

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