How to Retrieve Your Towed Car


It is always expensive to have your car towed, but it may be necessary if it breaks down on the road. What if it gets towed without your knowledge and ends up at the impound lot? Do you know what to do when your car gets towed?

Interesting fact: the forecast revenue generated by the motor vehicle towing industry in the US will reach 6.5 billion USD in 2019.

Two of the most common reasons for having a car towed are: allowing time to expire on a parking meter or leaving your vehicle in a "no parking" zone. Here are some suggestions to facilitate a less stressful process so that you may go on with the rest of the day as planned.

How to retrieve towed car

1. Stay Calm

Don’t let vexation get the better of you. Regardless of how you feel, a levelheaded, practical approach is best to go through this process. Keep calm and address the towing company in a focused and polite manner.

2. Where and Why Has the Car Been Towed?

If you arrived late to a metered parking space, call the police department non-emergency number (not 911). If you parked in a “no parking” zone, look for a telephone number on the sign and call it. Other reasons for having a car towed are: DUIs, expired registrations and not having insurance. Some city police departments, like Houston’s, provide information through a ‘Find My Towed Car’ website.

3. Have the Necessary Funds Available

Check for any added costs above the towing charge. Some impounds add a per-day storage fee. Remember that, if your car gets towed for overtime on a metered space, there will be a parking ticket to take care of as well.

When you call the impound lot to investigate if your car has been taken there, have the car's tag number, make and model at hand. Also, find out the exact charges you will need to pay. Ask if there is a per-day storage charge and how much it is. Keep in mind that a removal fee will likely be added if your car was immobilized with a boot device before being towed. Make sure to check whether you can pay with a check or credit card. Some impound lots only accept cash or a cashier's check.

It’s in your best interest to take care of this matter as soon as possible. Per day fees add up quickly and will increase the final payment.

4. Have Your Documents Ready

At the same time that you call to find out about location and charges from the impound, ask what documents you will need to provide to retrieve your car. Generally, you’ll be asked for: driver’s license, proof of ownership, proof of insurance, registration. Also, if there were any traffic fines, they will probably have to be paid before you get your car back. You might have to fill out some forms too. If you don't have proper insurance and proof is required, you'll have to purchase a policy before being able to retrieve your car.

5. Retrieve Your Car!

The retrieval process should go without a hitch as long as you have all the required documents in order and settle any amounts due according to the impound lot’s guidelines.

No one plans to have their car impounded. It’s a good idea to know the basics of how to recover a towed car.

Infinity Insurance is always there to answer your insurance-related questions. Sign up for our free DriverClub® membership to access great standardized rates on towing and roadside assistance services in your area. If you are looking for excellent rates on auto insurance then call one of our friendly Infinity agents at 1-800-INFINITY or get a free online quote today!

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