'Totally legal': Why towing company has been taking Lime's scooters

An Auckland towing company has been taking e-scooters and bikes and asking $200 for them to be returned.

Auckland Towing says it currently has around 23 Lime scooters and a couple of Onzo bikes in storage at the request of its clients.

"They're from customers who've come to us because people are tripping over them," a manager told Newshub. "They're causing problems where they're being left."

The company says what it's doing is "totally legal" because the scooters are only being taken when they're left on private property.

 "GPS can easily tell where we're taking them off from," Newshub was told.

"They are classed as vehicles… the law is the same law that allows us to take cars."

At the moment, the towing company is asking $200 for each scooter's return.

"We're bouncing around. We were going to ask 200 bucks," Newshub was told. "We're more than amiable to talk about pricing."

'Totally legal': Why towing company has been taking Lime's scooters
Photo credit: Supplied

A spokesperson for Auckland Council said there's nothing it can do as items were seized off private property.

However, having their property towed has angered Lime and other companies.

"There should be no reason for towing companies to seize our scooters," Lime NZ public affairs manager Lauren Mentjox told Newshub.

"We have a robust system in place to deal with scooters parked in places where they shouldn't be.

"Non-compliantly parked scooters should be reported to Lime via the app or via a phone number printed on the scooter (0800 467 0001) and Lime will pick them up within three hours of this being reported."