How to Get a Towed Car Back Without Paying You are getting towed means that your car did impound. The vehicle can be pulled for numerous reasons, like parking in a no-parking zone or speeding. In a busy city, you will find your parked car towed from time to time. You may ask to pay as much as $600 to get your vehicle back. While the tow truck driver will not mind taking extra money from you, this blog outlines the proper ways how to get a towed car back without paying.

Car Towing Laws

How to Get a Towed Car Back Without Paying Many different towing laws vary by state, but some states may allow for towing if the vehicle interferes with traffic. For example, in some states, you will need the prior consent of the property owner or person who posted the tow-away sign on the vehicle before it did tow. If you live in Florida, there are additional costs for illegally parked cars (above and beyond the cost of towing), like storage fees and fines.

What Happens When The Car Will Tow?

When the car did tow, it has taken off the road and parking lot, away from the area of public use. A tow truck must first have a legal reason to do so, as well as a signed authorization from an authorized driver to tow a vehicle. This process can occur by responding to officers or other city officials who did give the authority to remove vehicles from the roadway.

Signs To Know If Your Car Did Tow?

How to Get a Towed Car Back Without Paying If your car did tow, there are several signs to watch it.

  • The first sign is that your car was there, but it is not there anymore. In other words, it did tow.
  • The second sign is that you have a parking ticket on your car, but no parking meter was near your vehicle. New York City is probably the city where this scam occurs most prevalently.
  • A third sign is a tow truck nearby, but you did not see it drive away with your car (you were out for a second or two).
  • The fourth sign is that a friend of yours has had his car towed from the same spot you think your vehicle has been pulled from, even though the place you were parked designated as “no parking.” In this case, your car can probably tow by mistake.

Is It Possible To Get A Towed Car Back Without Paying?

You can get a towed car back without paying if you have the ownership papers and a photo ID proof to support your claim. Even if you do not have the ownership papers, you can still get them back without paying if you are a resident of the same area and have a photo ID. If the car did register under someone else’s name, you could still get it back without paying, but you will have to show proof of your ownership. If your car is licensed and registered under your name, then you can get it back without paying anything. However, if the vehicle is not licensed or registered, you need to pay the fine to get it back. You can go here to learn more about getting a towed car back without paying. How to Get a Towed Car Back Without Paying The 1st thing you need to know is that towing fees can control by respective states. It will change from one nation to another. It is also pertinent to mention that some states don’t allow towing fees for out-of-state vehicles. You can file a claim to get your car back when you don’t respond to the towing company within time. Usually, the towing company will charge you a fee to tow your vehicle from there. You can also try talking with the towing company to get the charges waived off.

What Should We Do To Get A Towed Car Back Without Paying?

The recommended steps for getting an illegally towed car back are as follows:

  • Contact the tow company and inform them that the tow is illegal and demand the release of your vehicle.
  • Write a letter to the CEO of the tow company explaining that this particular tow was illegal and asking how you can compensate.
  • File a complaint with the police department if you need assistance in retrieving your car and compensation for damages caused by the tow truck driver in question.
  • You should speak with an officer regarding their vehicle and that it was not adequately tagged by the police when they did tow. If the police feel that the car should retrieve, they will call for a tow truck to come and retrieve it.

How to Prevent a Car from Being Towed?

How to Prevent a Car from Being Towed The most common way to keep your car from being towed is by placing a parking permit on your dashboard. If the car parks in a designated space for residents of a specific apartment complex, you can also pull up to the curb and put coins in the meter. Parking permits and meters work together to ensure that only cars with tickets or coins can park there without fear of being towed.

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s The Best Way To Get A Towed Car Back Without Paying?

  • Using your connections to pass an order to the police.
  • Calling the tow truck driver and offering to pay him less than what he was supposed to charge.

What’s The Best Way To Negotiate A Towing Fee With Your Insurance?

  • I politely ask the tow truck driver what their fee is and offer a price lower than their fee.
  • I threaten to call the police.
  • Get out of my car and argue with the person at the tow truck company.

How to Reduce the Cost of Towing?

  • Have the government subsidize the cost for people who are not insured.
  • Track and publish tow truck prices in a database that anybody can access and use.
  • Require people to buy a certain level of insurance (similar to car insurance).

What Is the Primary Reason Why Towing Is Expensive?

  • The government makes towed companies pay outrageous fees.
  • The truck driver requires expensive training.
  • Towing companies have to pay off the police.


In conclusion, it is your right as a citizen of the United States not to pay for a car if it does tow. After all, the only way the tow truck driver can legally take your car away is because you owe them money. If you don’t owe them money, they can’t charge money for their services, and you can avoid paying any additional fees. Courtney D. Sanders I am a writer, entrepreneur, and marketing specialist. I have recently graduated from Michigan with a B.S. in Business Administration and Management. I have been working at General Motors Company for over two years as the Marketing Operations Production Coordinator. I love cars and love to share everything about them with my readers. I am the founder of the Automotiveex blog, where I share everything about automotive, like car news, car mechanical issues, and anything else that comes up in my blog posts. Did you park your car somewhere in California and can’t seem to find it? It’s possible that the towing agency took it. Getting back your car can be tough, especially if you don’t have money. So, how do you get a towed car back without paying in California? Cars get towed because of obstruction of traffic, mistaken abandonment, unpaid tickets, and other infractions. However, to get it back for free, you’ll have to determine the reason for towing and if it’s a violation. Then you can report to the police, seek help from a charity, or use a towing plan. Although it’s possible to get your towed car back for free, the chance of this is higher if the reason for the car being towed isn’t connected to a criminal offense. It’s also important to get your towed car back early to reduce the costs. Here, we discuss getting a towed car back without paying in California.

  • Why A Car Might Get Towed
  • Finding Your Car After Towing
  • Getting Your Towed Vehicle Back Without Paying
  • In Conclusion

Why A Car Might Get Towed

Before you can get your towed car back, you’ll usually need to determine why it was towed. Several reasons could lead the authorities to tow your car. They include:

1. Parking In Restricted Spots

There are towing and no parking zones all over the state. If you park in those areas, your car will likely get towed. So, look out for any sign prohibiting parking before you decide to park your car in any area.

2. Obstruction Of Traffic

It sometimes happens that you’re not parked in the wrong spot, but you’re using your car to obstruct traffic flow. For example, you might have parked haphazardly, not moving every part of your car, causing it to affect other vehicles using the road. In such cases, the authorities won’t hesitate to remove your car.

3. Parking Tickets

If you have several parking tickets or fines you’ve not paid, there’s a high risk of your car being towed. Police authorities have the right to run your license plates against DMV records at any time. They can tow your car if they do so and discover that you have several unpaid parking tickets. Thus, it’s essential to pay for your parking tickets on time. Even if you have borrowed from a friend that does it, make sure you do it on time. Failure to do so could lead to bigger fines and higher costs when the police eventually catch up with you.

4. Parking Against Fire Hydrants

One of the parking offenses you might commit is obstructing the fire hydrant with your car. If you do so, your car may get towed. In addition, fire hydrants could be needed for emergencies. The rule in California is that your car should be between 15 and 20 feet away from the fire hydrants.

5. Expired License Plates and Other Infractions

Authorities can tow your car due to simple but obvious infractions. For instance, if your car registration has expired or you don’t attach the license plates correctly, the police could impound your car. Driving around with expired registration documents could send your car to the tow company lot.

6. Handicapped Space Obstruction

You might want to quickly get something in the store and realize there are no free parking spots. In such cases, you might be tempted to park in the handicapped spot or in front of an access point to get what you want quickly. Doing this could lead to your car being towed.

7. Parking In One Spot for A Long Time

Unless it’s your garage or in front of your house, you shouldn’t leave your car on the street for long. Maybe you’re traveling, and you decide to leave your car on the curbside. You might come back and not find the car. Authorities may assume that the car has been abandoned and tow it.

Finding Your Car After Towing

If you can’t find your car where you left it and are sure it’s not stolen, try looking at the closest lot to you. Each city usually has a toll-free number that you can call. Or you could go to the lot.

Getting Your Towed Vehicle Back Without Paying

Once you’ve found your towed vehicle, getting it back without paying can be tricky. But it’s possible with these steps.

1. Establish The Reason for The Towing

Getting your car back without paying depends on the offense allegedly committed. So, you should determine what you did. If it’s something illegal or criminal, you won’t be able to get the car back until you pay.

2. Determine If There’s a Violation

Once you know the alleged offense, you can try to prove there was a mistake. The towing agents might be wrong. For example, parking your car on the street for a long time isn’t an offense. You have to prove you didn’t abandon the vehicle. It’s also possible that the wrong parking isn’t your fault because there was no sign telling you that. If you have a for sale sign on your car. It could be towed when you park it in front of a business establishment. Just prove that you’re not trespassing and weren’t using their space to sell your car.

3. Know The Stare Laws Around Towing

Each state has its laws on towing. Know the California law and see if the towing company followed the law. If they fail to do so, it could be your ground to get back your property or even sue them and get damages.

4. Report To the Police

If you can’t find your car, report to the police. They can help you locate your vehicle. But they’re unlikely to help you get it out for free. However, they might sometimes help you talk to the towing company.

5. Use A Towing Plan

You’ll have to pay fines and towing fees if you violate a parking law. Some towing companies offer plans to pay partially or lower the costs if you don’t have enough money. Some might even offer options for reclaiming your vehicle that won’t involve money.

6. Request Help from A Charity or No Profit

Some community organizations such as churches, mosques, and non-profits help people reclaim their cars from the towing garage without paying. You can use the option. If the towing company is trying to exploit you, seek a Pro Bono lawyer to help you. Just ensure the car towing isn’t due to a criminal offense.

In Conclusion

Getting your car back after it has been towed will usually cost you. But there are some ways to avoid these costs. The best thing is to make sure you avoid any reason that could lead to the car being towed in the first place. If your car’s been towed, you should expect to pay a fine or fee to get your vehicle back, unless it was towed improperly or illegally. Maybe you parked in a private parking lot or you forgot to renew your permit to park at your apartment complex. Perhaps you’ve even got a collection of unpaid tickets, or, worse yet, your lender has initiated a repossession on your vehicle. Whatever the reason, a tow truck just took off with your car, and you’ll likely have to drop some serious cash to get it back—but there are some instances in which you could get it back for free. To help you figure out if getting your car back without paying is even an option, Jerry, the trustworthy insurance comparison app built to save drivers money on car insurance, is here with everything you need to know. RECOMMENDED

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Can you get your towed car back without paying?

Maybe—but probably not. Whether you can get your towed car back without paying depends on a number of factors, not the least of which is why it was towed in the first place. If your car was towed because of something illegal you did, the odds of your getting it back without paying are slim to none. However, even in these circumstances, you may have some options to at least lower your fees, even if you can’t erase them completely.

How to get a towed car back without paying

Here are some steps you can follow to determine not only why your car was towed but also how you might be able to minimize (or even erase) the costs to get it back.

Pro Tip Even if you get your towing fees waived, impound will require the vehicle owner to present a valid driver’s license and proof of insurance to drive a car out of the impound lot, so be sure you gather those documents before taking any further steps to retrieve your car.

Determine why you car was towed

Why? This is the first and most important question to ask if your car gets towed. Some of the most common reasons vehicles get towed include:

  • Illegal parking
  • Unpaid tickets
  • Unpaid auto insurance
  • Criminal activity

If your car has been towed because of criminal activity, you should resign yourself to the fact that you’re going to have to pay to get it back—not to mention prove your innocence. If your car was towed for any other reason, you may have some options for negotiation or assistance that could help you retrieve your ride more quickly (and less expensively).

Confirm whether the violation is correct

Just because your car was towed doesn’t mean it was supposed to be towed. Here are some things you can do to determine if your car may have been towed in error:

  • Check for No Parking signs—If your car is towed because you’ve been told you parked illegally, check the area around where your car was parked to ensure proper signage is both posted and clearly visible. Be sure to document photographic evidence if you plan to contest the violation.
  • Question management—If your car was towed from a parking lot with no clear signage prohibiting parking, check with the property owner or property management to determine why they had your vehicle towed. Especially if you have a For Sale sign indicating your car is available for private sale, you may have been mistakenly towed if management thought you were using their private property for free exposure (i.e. trespassing).
  • Research your state’s towing laws—Since a person’s car is usually a key to their livelihood (getting to and from work, etc.), most states have laws on the books restricting towing in certain instances, especially those having to do with bankruptcy. Check your state’s laws to see if they contain exceptions or loopholes for your circumstances that may have been overlooked by a lender, insurance provider, or other entity.

If you suspect your vehicle was towed illegally, contact local police via the non-emergency line to assist in vehicle recovery. The best-case-scenario is that you will be able to prove there was inadequate signage warning against parking in a given location or that your car was towed due to a misunderstanding or error rather than an actual violation on your part. In these cases, you’re almost guaranteed to get your car back free of charge. Now let’s see what options you have if your car’s been towed for legitimate reasons.

Locate your vehicle

DO NOT CALL 911! Yes, having your car towed is a serious inconvenience, but it is not a life-threatening emergency worthy of a call to 911. All police departments have non-emergency phone numbers for citizens to call in situations where assistance and/or service are needed, such as if your car’s been towed. Whether your car was towed by the police or by another entity, law enforcement should be able to help you determine not only why your car was towed but also where it was towed. If your car has been towed because of unpaid parking tickets or other moving violations, or any type of criminal activity, you will not be able to get it back until after the fines and fees for those infractions are paid. Period. Likewise, if your car was towed due to unpaid insurance premiums, you will not be able to retrieve your vehicle until after you’ve brought your policy up to date. In both cases, you should also expect to pay fees for towing and storage of your vehicle at the tow yard. If your car was towed because of where it was parked or how long it was parked there, you may have some options, and a police officer may be able to act as a go-between for you and the tow yard or you and whomever has had your car towed. Keep in mind, though, just because an officer may be happy to act as a mediator that doesn’t mean you’re inherently in the right or entitled to get your car back free of charge.

Pro Tip You need to move fast to get your vehicle out of impound. Every day the tow company stores your car, storage charges are piling up that you may have to pay to retrieve your car.

File a complaint and/or dispute claims

If you’re able to show that tickets resulting in your vehicle being towed were invalid or that you had to park illegally due to emergency circumstances, you may be able to get your tow charge and impound fees waived. Check your city’s official website (ending in .gov or .org) to learn how to request a hearing. If you’re worried about the added potential cost of filing a claim, note that you can often get free legal assistance or at least discounted legal aid if you’re able to demonstrate financial need.

What to do if you can’t get your towed car back for free

If all of the above attempts have failed, you still have options for getting your car back without paying the full towing and impound fees immediately.

  • Ask about financing—Some tow companies offer financing and payment plans to help make paying towing and impound fees more manageable. Note, however, that these plans often come with high interest rates, so you may be better served by considering other options, or paying the cost in full.
  • Seek out community action agencies—Local nonprofit organizations, charities, and churches may offer programs to help those who can demonstrate financial need pay or finance their towing and impound costs. In some cases, fees may be paid in exchange for volunteer service, or low-interest loans may be offered.
  • Get a payday or title loan—This is certainly not your best option, as payday loans are often accompanied by massive interest rates and fees, but it is still an option when all else fails. Note that if you default on a title loan, you’ll be back at square one with your towed-vehicle problem.

Pro Tip If your towing and storage fees aren’t paid and your vehicle isn’t retrieved in a specific amount of time, the towing company is legally entitled to seize and sell your vehicle to cover the costs.

How to find cheap car insurance

Unfortunately, if your car’s been towed, the odds are against you when it comes to getting it back without paying both towing and storage fees. But what if you could offset the cost of having your vehicle towed by saving money on your car insurance! If you shop for coverage with Jerry, that’s exactly what you could do! Shopping for car insurance with Jerry is fast, free, and easy. Just download the free app and answer a few questions, and Jerry will sift through quotes from our pool of 55+ insurance partners to find the best offers optimized for your driving and budget needs. Better yet, the average user saves over $800 a year on insurance premiums when they switch with Jerry—that should go a long way toward paying for car towing costs!

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There is nothing more surprising then parking your car in a specific area then coming back to see that it is not there. Whether you parked on accident or on purpose in an area where you were not supposed to, chances are your car has been towed. During this period nothing is more important than staying calm about the situation. With that, what do you do next? Well, let’s discuss how to get your car back after being towed and the many different factors to keep in mind.

1. Call The Police

Now, many individuals will automatically call the police, which is vital if you suspect your car has been stolen. However, when it comes to your car being towed, you actually are supposed to call 411. This will then reach the local police department, where you can further inquire about your car being towed. With this, you can then ask to where and hours of operation. Now, many cities will actually have a specific number to call in the case that your car has been towed. Here you can inquire about the make and model of the car. To add to this, some cities will have an online database where you can search your car by make, model, and license plate.

2. Have All Document

One important factor on how to get your car back after being towed is to have all the legal information and documentation regularly required. This includes your license, registration, and insurance. Proof of insurance and registration will be required to get your car back. Therefore, this step is vital. If you have it at home, it is important to take a pit stop there first to get all the required information.

3. Unpaid Ticket Check

This is where you may need to brace yourself. Many towing company Tampa will check the VIN number of the car to ensure that there are no unpaid tickets. If you have unpaid tickets, you will be required to pay for those first before you receive your car back.

4. Prepare To Pay

Considering that your car has been towed, you will need to pay a fee for the towing Tampa, storage, and to release it from the impound. All of this is in accordance with the rules and regulations of the city you are in. With that said, these fees can range from $100 to $250. Therefore, when you want to get your car out of the impound, paying a fee is 100% for certain.

5. Check Hours of Operation

Not all impound lots are open 24 hours a day. Therefore, it is important to consider the hours of operation where your car has been placed. Also, it is important to consider if your car has been removed from a municipal property, which means it has been taken to the city impound lot, which most commonly does not open during the weekend. With that in mind, if your car has been towed from private property, then it is most likely in the local private impound lot.

6. Take Pictures Before and After

This is one step that is often overlooked when an individual discovers that his car has been towed. When your car has been towed, always take pictures of the area that you parked. If you feel that your car has been towed illegally, you can ask for a hearing and present a case. Once you arrive at that impound, always take pictures of your car after it has been towed, before you take it out of the lot. While damage is rare when you have your car impounded, it can occur.

7. You Have 72 Hours

This is one of the most crucial factors to consider. When your car has been towed, in many cities, the auction process occurs after 72 hours. New York City begins the auction process three days after the car has been towed and it can sell as quick as ten days. With that in mind, it will be much harder to get your car back after it has been sold legally, compared to rushing to get it on time. How To Get Your Car Back After Being Towed If your car has been towed, nothing is more important than acting quickly and rationally. With that in mind, it is important to stay calm if this is your first time going through this process. Other than a bit of patience and fees, getting your car back after it has been towed is much easier than most people think.

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