First off, don’t worry. It can happen to anyone. Take a breath, and then follow these steps.
Stay calm and assess your surroundings. Maybe you accidentally parked in a no-parking zone or handicapped spot without authorization, or maybe you allowed a parking meter to expire. If you can determine why your car was towed, you’re on your way to finding it and resolving the issue.
Take a look around for signs or posters, as they may include information on where cars are towed from this spot, or at least a phone number you can call to gather information. If there’s no signage or helpful information around you, call the police. Don’t call 911—save that for emergencies. Instead, call the non-emergency number for your local police department. They can help point you to the nearby impound lot.
Collect your vehicle information—such as the car’s make, model, and license plate—before calling the impound lot to investigate. This will help the impound lot quickly identify whether your car is there. When you get on the phone, be sure to ask:
If you were towed because you have too many unpaid tickets on your driving record, you may have to pay for the tickets before you can pay the towing fee to get your car back. And if your car was immobilized with a device referred to as a “boot” before being towed, you’ll likely have to pay a removal fee.
Be sure to bring all the documents the impound lot noted over the phone. You may need your driver’s license, proof of ownership, proof of insurance, and vehicle registration. If you keep some of these documents in your car’s glove compartment, be sure to mention that.
Also, be prepared to pay any storage charges or other remaining fees before you leave the lot.
Getting towed can happen to anyone. But of course, that doesn’t reduce the in-the-moment stress or the potential financial repercussions. Here are a few steps you can take to reduce your risk of being towed:
While having your car towed is certainly a hassle, try not to fret too much. A one-time towing offense probably won’t impact your car insurance rates, since you’ll likely be able to pay for your car’s return on your own without filing a claim. However, if your car was towed due to numerous tickets on your record, your insurance company will likely hear about it, and they may increase your rates accordingly.
Thinking your car may have been stolen instead of towed? Check out our article on what to do if your car is stolen.
Even if you’ve got less-than-perfect credit, violations, license penalty points, no prior insurance, or a foreign license, we’ve got you covered. Get a fast quote online today.
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