What was the case?

Peter was in a car accident one morning. He and the driver of the other car he hit pulled over into a bus lane. Peter was taken to hospital by ambulance. His car was moved to the other side of the street, so it didn’t obstruct a bus lane. After 4pm, the spot where Peter’s car was parked turns into a Clearway. His car was impounded and he had to pay $362 to have it released.

Peter wrote to the Department of Transport to ask for a refund of the impound fee. He provided a doctor’s certificate and his Ambulance Victoria invoice, as proof of the accident and that he was in hospital when his car was in the Clearway. He offered to provide additional information if required.

The Department denied Peter’s request. They said he did not provide enough evidence to meet the criteria for a refund. They did not ask him whether he was able to give more detailed information.

Our enquiries

We suggested to Peter that he obtain more detailed information from the hospital. We provided this information to the Department, asking it to reconsider his request.


The Department agreed to refund the $362 fee. Their standard practice is to refund people who submit an Ambulance Victoria invoice. A contractor, filling in while the administrator was on leave, made a mistake in refusing Peter’s initial request.