Updated at: 26-08-2022 - By: Lucas

A towed car might be expensive to get returned. Whether you want your automobile or not, it’s helpful to grasp the rules and regulations behind it all since information may make a stressful period a bit easier to deal with. So, let’s cover some of the more typical details regarding a towed car so that you’re armed with adequate information to handle the scenario in the future.

Reasons For A Car to be Towed

What Happens If Your Car Gets Towed And You Don't Pick It Up

There are various reasons that your car may have been towed, commonly referred to as impounded:

  • Illegally parking (no parking zone, private property, handicap zone, etc.)
  • Unpaid parking tickets
  • Car breaks down
  • Unlicensed driver
  • Blocking ambulance loading zones or fire hydrant
  • Expired registration
  • Crime scene evidence

Of course, there can be reasons specific to an individual city as to why your car was towed. However, the above are some of the most common reasons.

How to Find Your Car

What Happens If Your Car Gets Towed And You Don't Pick It Up

When your automobile has been towed and you don’t know where it is, initially you need to seek around for any signs. If there’s a No Parking sign or Tow Zone sign, there should be a number posted to call. Otherwise, you can phone the police station (not 911). (not 911).

Finding your automobile when towed by the city tends to be easier since you should always receive a notice in the mail stating everything such as when the car was towed and where it was transported to. There are additional occasions where your car may wind up in a private impound facility instead. In that situation, then you can phone around at local lots or you can go online and visit their websites.

Remember that many impound lots may need information from you before informing you anything about your vehicle. This document serves as proof that the car in question is, in fact, yours. If so, you’ll likely need your VIN number, as well as other details like the model and brand of your vehicle.

The title, registration, and insurance information, as well as any receipts from auto repair shops, will all help you figure this out if you don’t already have this information.

Items Inside Your Vehicle: Can you get Them Back?

If your automobile is towed without warning, you may have valuables inside that you’ll have to retrieve. Depending on the regulations in your area, you may or may not be able to get them back.

Personal property that isn’t attached to the car must be returned to you if the vehicle is impounded in your location. You can’t get your radio back once you’ve installed it. The only exception is if you’ve got a lot of luggage in your car or trunk.

Other jurisdictions allow low-income individuals to get all of their personal belongings for free provided they meet certain criteria. A fee may be imposed if the impound lot cannot verify that you are a low-income individual.

Search for local rules and regulations to get a clear picture of what you can expect. If the impound lot refuses to release your items, you may be able to explain the issue to the non-emergency number of your local police station and request help.

Who Can Retrieve the Items?

Personal belongings in a vehicle can usually only be retrieved by the owner of the vehicle. However, if someone else can verify that they possess part of the objects, an exception can be made. For example, if a friend or family member forgot their medicine in the car, they can retrieve it if they bring their ID and verify that the name on the medication matches the one on the ID they have on hand.

Getting Your Car Out

What Happens If Your Car Gets Towed And You Don't Pick It Up

You can begin the process of removing your vehicle once you’ve located it. Pay attention to the fact that you’ll have to fork over some money to get your car back. If you don’t want your automobile removed for free, you don’t have to do it.

In order to reclaim your vehicle, you must settle all outstanding debts. Towing companies typically charge the following fees:

  • Daily holding fee
  • Towing charge and per-mile charge
  • Boot removal fee if a boot was applied
  • Flatbed fee if your vehicle was disabled at the time
  • Vehicle-release fee

Prior to receiving the vehicle, you may be required to settle any outstanding parking or traffic fines.

Should You Bring Any Documents?

Having the proper documents is the only way to get your car after paying the fees. This paperwork is usually required to be brought with you:

  • Valid driver’s license
  • Proof of ownership
  • Proof of insurance
  • Proof of registration

What If You Don’t Pick it Up?

A variety of outcomes are possible if you fail to retrieve your vehicle from the impound yard. You have a limited period of time to claim your towed vehicle. For some, it’s 30 days; for others, it’s 45.

Anything can happen to your car once the deadline has past. A car auction lot could use it. You have the option of selling the vehicle to the impound lot owner as-is or for parts. They’re free to do anything they want with it in order to recoup the fees they’ve accrued.

Some may only charge you for what you’ve already paid for. It’s possible that others won’t. Another factor is the rules and regulations of the specific impound lot in question.

Final Thoughts

If your automobile is towed, you don’t want to freak out. Try to keep a clear head while you track down the car’s location and determine how long you have to retrieve it. You should take photos of the area where you suspect you were illegally hauled to support your claim.