How to Find Out if Your Car Has Been Towed
It’s a car owner’s worst nightmare. You come out of a store or restaurant to the street or parking lot where you parked your car, but it’s gone. You wonder if maybe it has been stolen. It’s easy to panic when you don’t know what happened to your vehicle, but try to stay calm. Finding out whether your car has been towed is the first step.
- Check for signs. If you’re parked in a private parking lot, they can’t legally tow your car unless there are posted signs detailing the parking regulations. On the street, there should also be signs that detail when you can and can’t park there. If you see a sign that says you weren’t supposed to park there, it’s a good bet that your car was towed rather than stolen.
- Gather your information. In order to inquire about a towed vehicle, you need to have some information about it. Make sure you know the year, make, and model of your car, as well as the address of the location from where you think it might have been towed. You may also be asked for the VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) and your license plate number.
- Call around. The posted signs should include a number to call to determine where your car was taken. If you were parked on the street, or if you can’t locate any signs, you should call the local police number and ask if your car was towed. Depending on the municipality, they may ask you to call local towing storage facilities yourself to determine whether your car is there. Note: Many municipalities will only give you this information if you’re the legal owner of the vehicle, so it’s not a good idea to have someone else call for you.
- Act fast. Don’t wait to locate your vehicle. Towing yards and impound lots charge by the day for storage, so putting off the search for your car for a few days can get pricey very fast. Many lots have extended hours, but if it’s late at night, you will probably have to wait until the next morning and pay for an additional day of storage.
Figuring out what happened to your car is your first priority when it goes missing. Don’t assume anything until you have confirmation. Once you find out for sure that your car has been towed, you can start the process of trying to get it back.
For advice specific to your city, here’s what to do if you car has been towed in…