If you haven't experienced the feeling, try it sometime. You go to the private lot to retrieve your car, which was towed. The guy beyond the counter looks at you and names some outrageous price that includes towing, storage, and who-knows-what-else on the bill.

You reach into your wallet for your credit card, because if you weren't so broke you would have paid your parking tickets. The guy frowns (or is that an upside down smile?) and says "Cash only."

Philadelphia Councilman James F. Kenney's bill, slated for final approval by Council today, would put an end to that sinking moment for vehicle owners by requiring all tow-truck operators to accept credit and debit cards.

Kenney said the bill has an added bonus -- it will force formerly all-cash businesses to pay taxes they may have forgotten about when there was no paper trail.

But it's not all bad news for private towing companies -- there is a companion bill allows private towers to charge rates comparable with the parking authority, whose fees are higher.

The bills are expected to pass.

Contact Inquirer staff writer Jeff Shields can be reached at 215-854-4565 or jshields@phillynews.com.