How to Get a Car Towed

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Getting a car towed can seem like an expensive and frustrating experience, but it’s easier to handle when you know the proper steps to take.

With a bit of effort and organization, you can successfully get a vehicle impounded without too much headache. This article will teach you how to get a car towed by following these 6 simple steps.

Image of car front right wheel in towing contraption attached to tow truck with text overlay that reads "How to get a car towed".

7 Steps For Getting A Car Towed (That Isn’t Your Own)

1. Confirm that the car is parked illegally

The first thing you’ll want to determine before filing a police report is whether or not your vehicle is actually blocking traffic.

You can do this by asking any other drivers who may be waiting to use the same stretch of road as you. If the car owner has parked in front of your driveway, you have the right to call law enforcement.

It’s also illegally parked if it’s obstructing a sidewalk, bike lane, or fire hydrant. If it is, again, you have the right to call the police and report the vehicle. The car may be parked during a street cleaning or in a permit-only zone in a residential property as well.

Another common reason people call to have a vehicle towed is that a vehicle may have been sitting in the same spot for more than three days. This is against the law in most major cities, so again you have every right to call and report it.

You can get additional legal advice by researching your local city ordinances.

2. Call the police to report the vehicle is illegally blocking traffic

The next step will be calling local authorities. Call 911 or visit your nearest police station and ask for help filing a report about an illegally parked vehicle.

When speaking with officers on the phone, make sure to provide as much information as possible. Be sure to have the following information ready:

  • The make and model of the vehicle
  • License plate number
  • Where the car is located (street name and number)
  • What time it was spotted
  • How it is illegally parked

If your car isn’t blocking traffic but you’re concerned about its safety, you can call law enforcement and ask for a towing service to move it to a safe spot.

3. Wait for a police officer to arrive on scene

In some cases, a police officer may come to the scene to assess the situation. If this is the case, you’ll need to stay put and wait for their arrival.

Be sure to keep an eye on your car in case the owner returns while you’re waiting.

4. A police officer will call towing companies

If law enforcement decides that the vehicle needs to be towed, they will make arrangements with a towing service of their choosing.

If this is the case, you can end your involvement with the process at this point and allow officers to handle everything else.

If law enforcement doesn’t tow your vehicle away, they may instead issue a parking ticket or fine its owner for illegal parking.

5. Roadside assistance truck arrives and hooks up the vehicle

If law enforcement decides to have your car towed, the tow will arrive on the scene shortly afterward. The driver will then hook up the vehicle and take it away to a nearby lot.

The owner may be charged an impound fee by the tow company as well as a parking ticket or fine from law enforcement.

6. Vehicle gets hauled off

When the vehicle is removed by the tow truck operator, the process is complete. You may need to follow up with the tow company, but at this point, you no longer have any involvement in the situation.

How to Get Your Own Car Towed

If your car isn’t running or you’re just having too much of a headache dealing with it, you may want to have it towed. Here are some steps you can take to get your car towed:

1. Place emergency cones or flags near the vehicle

If you’re not comfortable being near the car, place some emergency cones or flags around it to warn other drivers. This will also help prevent you from getting ticketed if your car is parked in an illegal area.

2. Gather Valuable Documents

Before the tow truck arrives, you’ll want to gather any important documents or items from inside the car. This includes your driver’s license, registration, proof of insurance, and anything else that’s valuable to you.

You may also want to take a picture of the car as it is parked. This can help with insurance claims and will serve as proof of the car’s location and condition before it was towed.

3. Get Roadside Assistance

You can then call or visit your nearest towing company and request a tow truck come out to remove the vehicle from its current spot.

It’s usually required that you are present with the car when it’s being towed, but some companies may allow you to leave a key with them.

You’ll need to let the company know where the car is parked, what time you want it towed, and provide them with your driver’s license and registration.

You may be able to have it towed immediately, or you may need to wait until a certain time. You’ll also have the option of requesting that it be stored at your home rather than taken to an impound lot if desired.

4. Assist The Towing Company

Stay in a clear and visible area so that the towers can see you when they arrive. When the towing service arrives, you will have to fill out some paperwork. This will cover the cost of towing, the storage of the car, liability, and any other applicable fees.

The company may also want a copy of your driver’s license and registration. You should also take this opportunity to ask any questions you have about the process.

If something happens to your car while it’s in tow or during transport, you may be able to file a claim with the tow truck company.

How Much Does It Cost to Have a Car Towed?

The national average cost of towing a car is between $150 and $200. However, the final cost will depend on factors including location, time of day or year, vehicle weight, and labor costs in your area.

In some cases, you may also be charged for storage fees if the car impounded stays in the tow truck company’s lot for an extended period of time.

You can often get roadside assistance from a repair shop or AAA at a discounted or even free rate.

Final Thoughts

If there is a car blocking your home or illegally parked in a non residential property, you may be able to get it towed without any consequences.

Just be sure to follow the proper steps and take all the necessary precautions so that you can get the situation resolved as quickly and easily as possible.


About Emma

Hey there! I'm Emma. When I'm not wrangling kids I like to walk aimlessly around hardware stores and watch HGTV for hours on end.

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