Car Towing Facts
Getting your vehicle towed won’t be as much of a surprise when you are involved in an accident. However, finding your car gone after you were away from it while running errands can be shocking. In either case, locating and getting your vehicle back is often possible only after a lengthy and stressful procedure. Here are some useful facts you should know when your car gets towed to help you deal with the aftermath.
Common Reasons for Towing
One of the most common reasons for towing a car is if it becomes inoperable due to an accident or engine failure. The second reason a vehicle might get removed from a place where it is parked is that it’s parked illegally. Whether it’s on private property, obstructing an entrance, or expired license or registration, these could all be valid reasons for towing your car. If you return to find your parking spot empty, look around and try to locate a no parking sign to make sure your vehicle hasn’t been stolen. If there is a sign, it should also give you the next clue on where you might find your car.
What Are Your Rights?
Regarding towing vehicles, every driver has the right to take specific steps to protect themselves and their property. As these can help you either avoid your drive being removed from a parking lot or at least reduce your costs, it’s worth knowing them. For example, if you return to the scene while your car is getting hooked up to the tow car, you might be able to get it right back in return for a small fee. In most cases, even if it’s already on the towing lot, you can still access it to remove your personal belongings and documentation. Once you have paid every necessary fee, you can claim your vehicle within 24 hours when those payments are made.
Finding Your Vehicle
Aside from having the right to remove unwanted vehicles, private property owners are legally responsible for posting no parking signs in clearly visible places. In most states, in Texas, these signs usually have a phone number on them belonging to the tow company. You can call this number for help when required and obtain all the information you need to find your vehicle. This will help you locate it sooner and mean that you will resolve any dispute much faster. If you can’t find any street signs, you should check if your city has an online towing registry and try to inquire there about your car’s whereabouts.
Getting Your Car Back
To take possession of your vehicle, first, you must prove that it belongs to you or that you have the owner’s permission to drive it. If the ownership documentation is located inside the vehicle when it was towed, ask for quick access to it to get the necessary paperwork. You will also be required to pay a towing and storage fee, all of which you can obtain more information from the office of the tow company. Please pay particular attention to their payment policy, as they might accept only one or two methods. If your car was towed due to unpaid tickets, you might get it back only after you also paid those.
The Effect of Towing on Insurance
Getting your car towed once usually won’t have much bearing on your monthly premiums, as your insurance doesn’t pay for towing fees. However, if this happens regularly to you, or you have accumulated several unpaid tickets in a short period, your insurance company might consider that you are at a higher risk of being sued due to being an irresponsible driver. Your insurer will increase your rates to cover their costs for the possibility of a claim being filed against you. You may also face an increase in your monthly insurance bills if you decide to dispute any car-related fees at a court and lose your case.
Of course, the best way to avoid dealing with towing companies and their fees is to be vigilant about where you park and keep up with your car-related paperwork. Although unfortunately, this isn’t guaranteed to keep your vehicle safe either. For example, if a parking controller overlooks your handicap permit, they could get your car removed by mistake. Knowing your rights and obligations regarding parking can help avoid many stressful situations, even if your car gets towed.