What to Do if Your Car Is Towed in St. Louis
There are many legal reasons to tow a vehicle in St. Louis, including vehicle abandonment, the driver getting arrested, and the more common illegal parking. When you experience that dreaded moment of coming outside to find that your car isn’t where you left it, you need to follow the right steps to get it back as soon as possible. If you don’t retrieve the car within 30 days, the law states that it can be sold at auction. Follow the tips below to get your car back quickly.
- Stay calm. Although it’s easy to get frustrated when your car is towed, try to stay calm and focus on the steps you need to take. You’ll get much better cooperation from the police and the towing company if you’re polite and respectful.
- Contact the district. On private property, there will often be a convenient sign telling you exactly where your car was taken, along with the phone number to call. But if you were towed from public property or a residential home, you’ll need to figure out where your car was taken. The police department for the district from which your car was towed can tell you which towing company they work with and where their storage lot is located. The St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department has a website page with a map of districts. Click on the district to get the phone number for the corresponding police department.
- Find out the charges. Depending on the towing company, you’ll pay a different amount to get your vehicle back. The total usually includes a towing fee, any applicable extra charges like dolly fees, and a storage fee. The storage fee will be assessed per day, which is another reason not to delay.
- Find out what you’ll need. In addition to the fee (which sometimes must be paid in cash—make sure you ask when you call the towing company to confirm that your car is there), you’ll also have to provide proof of identification and vehicle ownership. If you have unpaid tickets, you’ll need to pay them and bring the receipt. A police hold on the vehicle must be released first and then the receipt order shown to the towing company before they’ll give you your car.
As you know if your car has ever been towed, a parking mistake can get expensive very quickly. But keep a cool head and follow the correct procedure, and you’ll get your car back as quickly as possible.