Chances are if you own a car, you depend on it. In fact, you probably depend on it a lot. To get to work, to go do errands, for travel, for just about everything that requires transportation to and from a place.
Because of this, it’s incredibly anxiety-inducing to walk out to where you’re sure you parked your vehicle, only to find it gone. At first, you may think you misplaced your car, but pretty soon you realize that it’s been towed.
Maybe you’re in a new city or an unfamiliar place, or perhaps the parking signs are truly confusing. Regardless, the facts remain the same. Your car is gone! Before you panic, stop and consider these steps. Here’s exactly what you need to do.
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1. Check the evidence.
It’s always a good idea to check the evidence. Before you get your car back, take a look at your surroundings. Look for restricted parking signs and indicators around the area. Take pictures of the signs, especially if you believe that you were towed without a valid reason. It can also help to talk to possible witnesses or other drivers who may have parked their vehicles in the same area.
2. Get your car back.
The next step is to get your vehicle back. If you do see “No Parking” signs and there’s a number listed, call it. If not, call the local police department. They will give you more information on your vehicle’s location and you can go pick it up. Call a friend or family member to drive you there or a local cab/Uber. Just be ready to pay the posted fee. Usually, the fees can only be paid in cash, so make sure you are prepared.
3. Read over the documents.
Be sure you understand why exactly your vehicle was towed before leaving the holding lot. Ask questions and don’t sign anything without first reading and understanding it. No one can legally hold your car for anything more than the posted fee. If you disagree with the tow, or believe the towing was wrongful, you have the right to a tow hearing.
Why Might Your Car Be Towed?
There are many possible violations that may result in your car becoming towed. Here are some common factors you should be aware of.
- Blocking a fire hydrant
- Obstructing traffic
- Parking in a marked “Tow Zone”
- Covering access to a handicap ramp or sidewalk
- Suspended license or unlicensed driver
- Expired registration
- Unpaid violations
Towing and Car Insurance:
Finding out your car has been towed is never a good thing. Multiple tickets or violations can result in premium increases and in certain cases; your car may be towed because of those very violations. If you have unpaid parking tickets or a suspended license, expect your auto insurance rate to go up. Furthermore, having excessive tickets can also result in higher insurance as carriers take that as a denotation that you are a high-risk driver.
Don’t be shy. Own up to your vehicle dependence. Just be sure to keep up with all the other responsibilities of owning a car so that you don’t have to deal with a towed vehicle. Always park in legally marked areas and pay attention to any dues you have. Stay accountable so that you can always find your car right where you left it.
Photo Credits (top): Wikimedia