If you've ever left a vehicle in a business' parking lot overnight before because you couldn't find a better place to park, you may want to rethink that in the future. The city policy that dictates how long business owners have to wait before towing abandoned vehicles has changed from 5 days to any time, including immediately, according to an announcement from the City of Billings.

This used to be the law years ago

Some may remember this as the law many years ago but was changed to a five-day grace period. This means that after five days of an abandoned vehicle on business property, the car was at risk of being towed by the City of Billings if not moved.

However, according to the announcement, this policy change had affected small businesses that have very small parking lots. The Billings Police Department and City Attorney's Office revisited the policy as well as the Montana state law regarding abandoned property.

So, what's the policy on abandoned vehicles now?

The five-day policy is now only in effect if you don't want to pay the costs yourself. If a business owner wants to tow the vehicle from their parking lot at their own expense, they can pretty much do so immediately after it is left. However, the city will not be involved in any of the financial costs. If the vehicle is reported abandoned to the Billings Police Department, it will be towed after five days still, but the city will incur all the costs.

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So, the business owners have a choice. They can either pay the towing company to tow it immediately or wait five days and have the city tow it on their dime. What do you think about this new policy? Let us know on social media.

LOOK: See how much gasoline cost the year you started driving

To find out more about how has the price of gas changed throughout the years, Stacker ran the numbers on the cost of a gallon of gasoline for each of the last 84 years. Using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (released in April 2020), we analyzed the average price for a gallon of unleaded regular gasoline from 1976 to 2020 along with the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for unleaded regular gasoline from 1937 to 1976, including the absolute and inflation-adjusted prices for each year.

Read on to explore the cost of gas over time and rediscover just how much a gallon was when you first started driving.