Discovering that your car is missing can make your stomach drop and conjure up all sorts of scenarios. Take a deep breath, don’t panic and follow these steps on what to do when your car has been towed.
First, assess that it was impounded and not stolen. Call 411 and ask for the number to that area’s local police department. The police can tell you if your car was towed and may even be able to give you contact information for the towing company or where to go and get your vehicle back from. Next, take a look at the area in which you were parked. Are there clear signs that it is private property or parking signs indicating you could be towed? If not, take pictures of the area so you can prove that your vehicle was unjustly impounded. If there are signs, there might be information about the towing company or whom to contact to begin the process of recovering your vehicle.
Keep in mind that there are many reasons why your vehicle may have been towed. You could have parked in front of a fire hydrant, in a tow zone or you may have expired registration, unpaid traffic violations or even suspended license. Just because you don’t see a parking sign doesn’t always mean your vehicle was towed for no valid reason.
Once you’ve determined the towing company that took your car, it’s time to reclaim it. You should have gotten the towing company’s information off of a parking sign or from the local police you spoke with. Contact the tow company and they can give you an update and directions on where to go to. In order to get your car back, you will have to pay a fee so be sure to ask what payment methods they accept.
You will also need a valid driver’s license, proof of insurance and the vehicle’s registration when reclaiming your car from an impound lot.
While you are at the lot, you will likely sign release papers. Be sure to read through these BEFORE you sign. Not only will these tell you why your car was towed but it will specify the fees you are paying to reclaim your car. No one can hold your vehicle for more than the posted fines and fees so if they are charging you more, or if they towed you for no valid reason, request a tow hearing.
A tow hearing, also known as an impound hearing, is a proceeding that reviews your case to determine if there was probable cause to impound your vehicle or any fee discrepancies. You can usually request a hearing right at the time of reclaiming your vehicle and they will give you the necessary information to proceed. If you have already claimed your car, you can usually head into the local Justice of the Peace in the county where you were towed or head to the nearest auto pound and request one. Check with your city or state recommendations because they may have a time limit or specific process you must follow. For instance, in the city of Chicago, you have 15 days after you reclaim your vehicle to request an impound hearing.
Keep in mind, attendance to the hearing will likely be mandatory.
Having your vehicle towed can be an added headache you may not need but getting it back is easy with these simple steps. Just remember not to panic and follow this advice to reclaim your vehicle and get back on your way!
There is a reason our customers continue to use us whenever they’re in a bind. Find out what Z.A.T. Cash For Junk Cars can do for you by calling 773.908.2622 today!