Towing enterprises in the United States are dozing money from a lot of road infirmities, be it intended or not. The legalities of towing cars in the US are a heated debate and most of the time, there is taking advantage on both ends.
Nevertheless, there really are legal premises when it comes to towing. The common reasons for towing cars would be due to driver’s suspended license or if he is unlicensed, driver is legally accused or have just been arrested, illegally parked vehicles, left parked blocking driveway, main road or private property, or due to abandoned, defunct and/or dismantled cars.
The reasons are endless and whatever they may be, it is the driver’s conscious effort to not allow his car to be towed. However, just to be prepared when the inevitable happens, here are some things you need to know.
- Be prepared with the paperwork. Make sure that the necessary papers come in handy. For starters, you have to always bring with you your car insurance papers (and your latest insurance receipt to make it more valid), your registration papers and most importantly a valid driver’s license. Without these, it might be harder to get your car back. And oh, make sure you always have cash with you to bail out on payment requirements, just in case.
- Find your car or know where to find it. If your car was towed in district or municipality, your car is most likely impounded in the city or town lot. You have to ask residents where it is. If your car was towed because you were blocking a private property, most likely, your vehicle has been towed away by a private towing company. You may look at the tower’s information in a flyer in your car’s wiper or you may ask help from residents too.
- If your car was towed because it was illegally parked in a public property, ask locals about the number of the town’s police department. The good thing about asking the local police department though is you can confirm either your car was really towed or worse, it could have been stolen.
- Get your car back as soon as you can. If your car’s insurance does not cover towing fees and overnight expenses, you’re in a serious financial trouble. You need to find and get your car back immediately because as the owner, you shall be responsible for both towing and storage fees regardless of your car violation or whether it was towed privately or publicly.
- If you don’t get your car right away, it might be auctioned. You have to note that different states have different towing policies. New York City has the fastest auction time for impounded cars. If a car in NYC is not claimed after 72 hours, the vehicle shall be auctioned right away. Other states standardize auction time to 30-60 days without claiming.
- Never call 911. If you don’t want to be yelled at or blacklisted, never call 911. Towing hassles and problems are not their concern. Do not deprive other people their right to have more serious problems be taken care of. Call the local police instead.
These are just a few things to note just in case your car has been towed. Knowing these may not serve you particularly, but being knowledgeable of these might make you be of help to friends, neighbors or other people who needs help.