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What to Do if Your Car is Towed in Seattle

What to Do if Your Car Is Towed in Seattle

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Coming out of a building with grocery bags or coffee cups for the whole office in hand to find that your car was towed is not the way you’d want to start or end your day. So here’s some advice on what you to do if you find yourself car-less in Seattle:

Public or Private?
The first thing to determine where your car was towed from – a public street or the private property. There are appropriate companies for each specific situation.

If your car was towed from a public Seattle street, also known as a police-authorized impound, it would be taken to Lincoln Towing. You can call them at 206-364-2000.

If the car was towed from a private property, your car could have been towed to various places. You may have to look around to find signs with the phone number of the tow company that supervises the lot. Or, if you do not see any signs, you may have to contact the owner of the property and ask about the vehicle.

How Do I Get My Car Back?
After obtaining the location of your towed and/or impounded vehicle, the next step is to retrieve your car and here’s how you do that:

For each, you have certain fees that you’ll need to pay. For the police-authorized impounds, each class (reason for impoundment) has a different maximum towing cost. Not only are there impound fees, but there are storage fees, additional service fees, and city administrative fees as well. The amount you, in particular, would have to pay would depend on your circumstance specifically. Find out what you could potentially pay here.

As far as the private impounds go, they are certainly more expensive than the police-authorized impounds, according to the chart detailed here. The City of Seattle requires them to charge an impound fee of $15, but the rest of the fees will vary, like the police-authorized impounds. The maximum allowable fee allowed in the first hour of towing is $186.84 while the second and subsequent hours of towing is $133.34. There is a storage fee of $30.37 for every 12 hours your vehicle is kept as well. They also require an after-hours release fee of at most, $100, so try your best to pick up your vehicle within the private tow company’s hours of operation.

However, while both impounds may not charge the same amount in fees, they both require the proper documentation in order to release your vehicle:
• Vehicle title and registration
• Current valid Driver’s License
• Copy of the rental contract if the vehicle was rented

Get all the payment details and any other details at the Consumer Protection Unit website.

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