You may have seen tow trucks in your town or city, but you may have never needed one because your car broke down or was in an accident. If so, you might wonder where tow trucks take cars that have been in an accident or have broken down. Here’s what to expect when the tow truck comes, so you won’t be surprised.
Tow trucks take cars to their company’s tow yards, where the cars stay until they are told to go somewhere else. If they get into an accident, you can tell them where to take the car to get fixed.
Accidents are a common reason why you might need to have your car towed, but they aren’t the only one! Let’s look more closely at what happens to your car when it gets towed.
Where Do Cars Go After an Accident?
After a car accident, you will feel a lot of stress. Even if you don’t get hurt, your car will be in bad shape.
When your car is towed after an accident, it is usually taken to the tow yard of the tow truck company, where it will stay until you or your insurance company tells them where to take it next.
This usually happens when you are too hurt after an accident to tell them what to do and are getting medical care at the scene.
If your injuries aren’t too bad and you can talk to the tow truck driver, tell them to take your car to your mechanic’s shop as soon as possible so that repairs can start.
If you can do this, your car will be fixed much faster, and you won’t have to have it towed from the tow yard to the body shop a second time. This isn’t only inconvenient, but you’ll also have to pay more for towing, storage, and paperwork.
Most of the time, the driver of the tow truck will take your car straight to your mechanic’s shop instead of the tow yard.
Even though they can make more money if they have to tow your car twice, most tow companies make less when they do this than when they help other people.
If you don’t have a regular mechanic who works on your car, the tow truck driver can usually tell you where to take your car if you don’t have one. Since they know most of the auto mechanics and body shops in your area, you can usually trust what they say.
Even though it’s best to have your car towed straight to your mechanic for a number of reasons, statistics show that after an accident, about 70% of cars go to a tow yard first and only 30% go straight to a mechanic.
Can Tow Trucks Just Take Your Car?
Most cars are towed because they were in an accident, but there are other reasons why a car might need to be towed. In fact, there are times when a tow truck can take your car without asking.
For example, if you illegally park your car in a handicapped parking spot, in a fire lane, or within 15 feet of a fire hydrant, your city or town has the right to call a tow truck driver and have your car towed right away, without giving you any warning.
Also, tow trucks are allowed to take your car to a tow yard until it is claimed if it is parked in a way that makes it hard for someone to get in or out of their property.
Your car can also be towed if you park in a hotel parking lot but put it in a space for a different room.
When it comes to parking, tow trucks can also take your car if you park in a lot that is only for customers of a certain business, like a restaurant or store. But before your car can be moved, it must have been parked illegally for at least an hour.
When your car is in a garage or a lot where you paid to park, it can’t be towed for at least 24 hours.
If your car gets towed from one of these spots, you will have to pay extra fees for long-term parking on top of the towing and storage fees.
How Long Do Tow Companies Keep Cars?
When you have your car towed to a tow yard, you will need to move quickly to get it to a body shop or somewhere else. If you don’t, you will not only have to pay more fees, but you could also lose your car.
Most tow yards only let cars that have been towed there stay for up to 20 days. After that, they are moved to either an auto repair shop or a junkyard, which is a yard for scrap metal.
If your car ends up in a junkyard, you should find out which one it is in and call them to get it back. If you don’t, your car might get broken up before you can get it back.
Tow truck companies charge an average of $150 per hour to pull a car from a parking spot. Luckily, it usually doesn’t take more than an hour for a tow truck driver to get to your location, hook up your car to the tow truck, and take it to the tow yard or an auto mechanic’s shop.
But on top of the $150 for towing your car, you can also expect to pay $40–$50 per day for storage at the tow yard and about $30 for whatever paperwork and other tasks were done for you and your car.
What Happens if Your Car Gets Towed and You Don’t Pick it Up?
Even though tow companies will do everything they can to make sure you get your car back, some people have their cars towed and never try to get them back.
Even though it varies by company, most tow companies will keep cars in their yard for up to 90 days before taking legal action. In these situations, this means taking the car away and getting the title to it.
To do this, the company will call the local government and ask for permission to take the car and its title. This will make the tow company the new owner of the car.
After this is done, your car will be taken to a junkyard where it will be fixed up. Your car will be weighed at the junk yard to find out how much its metal is worth, whether or not it has been in an accident.
Think again if you think you can get your car back after this. Since you no longer have the title to the car, you would have to buy it back from the city or the tow company. Keep this in mind if you are putting off getting your car back from a tow yard.
After your car has been in an accident or broken down on the side of the road, a tow truck can be a very welcome sight. However, you will need to stay on top of things to make sure your car gets where you want it to go as quickly as possible.
If you know what to expect and what might happen if you don’t follow the rules, you can avoid having to pay extra fees and deal with other problems that come with having your car towed.