Once you have decided to finally take that fabulous cruise you’re been dreaming over, make sure you get everything else set up right away. If you let your fantasies of sunny days, softly swaying seas and cool sea breezes distract your from finalizing your plans, you could wind up out of luck when it comes to your cruise parking situation. And that isn’t something to be taken lightly. If you park your car in a private lot without authorization, or if your break parking laws on city streets, your car could be towed and that’s not something you want to deal with.

Bad News in Damage Alone

If you’ve ever had to have your car towed, you know that there are certain things the driver will have you do to ensure that everything is lined up and your car is in the proper gear to be transported. If your car is towed from cruise parking without your consent (or knowledge, if you’re on a ship) there are a lot of things that can go wrong and damage your vehicle. The most common issue involves your transmission. If the person towing your car lifts the wrong wheels off the ground, they can tear it right out. If your car is a rear wheel drive and they tow it with the rear wheels on the ground, it could also break your drive shaft.

Another way having your car towed could cause damage is more superficial, but still costly. If your driver is unfamiliar with your vehicle and they hook it up incorrectly to the truck, they could tear off your bumper or any body kit modifications you may have added. The last major damage that can be done is to your tires. If the car is in Park, even if it is a front wheel drive car and the driver lifts the front wheels, you could have a problem. If your parking brake is on, this means your rear brakes and your rear wheels are engaged with one another. Dragging a car with the brakes on could wear away spots on the tires and ruin the brakes. It could snap them or run them down to their bare bones.

Don’t Forget About the Money

Having your car towed can cost you an arm and a leg. If you go to the Miami Dade County’s website and check out their towing prices, you could be fooled into thinking they’re not so bad. What you may miss is that there are a lot of little fees that can really add up to big bucks. Let’s say your car was left in street parking and you got lucky and it wasn’t towed until the last day of your cruise. When you arrive at the part and find it gone, you’ve just missed it. Once you call and find out where it is (we’re not even going to discuss how you’ll get to it) you’re looking at a minimum fee of $146. Well, what if your car were towed and stored for just a few days? In that case you would be looking at $206. If you were very unlucky and had your car taken on the first day of a 7 day cruise, you could be facing a $286 fine.

Why Risk It?

If you’re set to sail, you goal is to relax, to enjoy yourself and to de-stress, right? Do you really want to have to worry about facing fines and damage to your vehicle when you get back? It would be much simpler to set up your cruise parking before you leave. That way, when you get safely back to the port, the only thing you’ll have to worry about is how to lug your bags to your car. It’s not worth the hassle, the money, or the potential damage to put your car at risk of being towed.