Did you park your car somewhere in California and can’t seem to find it? It’s possible that the towing agency took it. Getting back your car can be tough, especially if you don’t have money. So, how do you get a towed car back without paying in California?
Cars get towed because of obstruction of traffic, mistaken abandonment, unpaid tickets, and other infractions. However, to get it back for free, you’ll have to determine the reason for towing and if it’s a violation. Then you can report to the police, seek help from a charity, or use a towing plan.
Although it’s possible to get your towed car back for free, the chance of this is higher if the reason for the car being towed isn’t connected to a criminal offense. It’s also important to get your towed car back early to reduce the costs. Here, we discuss getting a towed car back without paying in California.
Why A Car Might Get Towed
Before you can get your towed car back, you’ll usually need to determine why it was towed. Several reasons could lead the authorities to tow your car. They include:
1. Parking In Restricted Spots
There are towing and no parking zones all over the state. If you park in those areas, your car will likely get towed. So, look out for any sign prohibiting parking before you decide to park your car in any area.
2. Obstruction Of Traffic
It sometimes happens that you’re not parked in the wrong spot, but you’re using your car to obstruct traffic flow. For example, you might have parked haphazardly, not moving every part of your car, causing it to affect other vehicles using the road. In such cases, the authorities won’t hesitate to remove your car.
3. Parking Tickets
If you have several parking tickets or fines you’ve not paid, there’s a high risk of your car being towed. Police authorities have the right to run your license plates against DMV records at any time. They can tow your car if they do so and discover that you have several unpaid parking tickets.
Thus, it’s essential to pay for your parking tickets on time. Even if you have borrowed from a friend that does it, make sure you do it on time. Failure to do so could lead to bigger fines and higher costs when the police eventually catch up with you.
4. Parking Against Fire Hydrants
One of the parking offenses you might commit is obstructing the fire hydrant with your car. If you do so, your car may get towed. In addition, fire hydrants could be needed for emergencies. The rule in California is that your car should be between 15 and 20 feet away from the fire hydrants.
5. Expired License Plates and Other Infractions
Authorities can tow your car due to simple but obvious infractions. For instance, if your car registration has expired or you don’t attach the license plates correctly, the police could impound your car. Driving around with expired registration documents could send your car to the tow company lot.
6. Handicapped Space Obstruction
You might want to quickly get something in the store and realize there are no free parking spots. In such cases, you might be tempted to park in the handicapped spot or in front of an access point to get what you want quickly. Doing this could lead to your car being towed.
7. Parking In One Spot for A Long Time
Unless it’s your garage or in front of your house, you shouldn’t leave your car on the street for long. Maybe you’re traveling, and you decide to leave your car on the curbside. You might come back and not find the car. Authorities may assume that the car has been abandoned and tow it.
Finding Your Car After Towing
If you can’t find your car where you left it and are sure it’s not stolen, try looking at the closest lot to you. Each city usually has a toll-free number that you can call. Or you could go to the lot.
Getting Your Towed Vehicle Back Without Paying
Once you’ve found your towed vehicle, getting it back without paying can be tricky. But it’s possible with these steps.
1. Establish The Reason for The Towing
Getting your car back without paying depends on the offense allegedly committed. So, you should determine what you did. If it’s something illegal or criminal, you won’t be able to get the car back until you pay.
2. Determine If There’s a Violation
Once you know the alleged offense, you can try to prove there was a mistake. The towing agents might be wrong. For example, parking your car on the street for a long time isn’t an offense. You have to prove you didn’t abandon the vehicle. It’s also possible that the wrong parking isn’t your fault because there was no sign telling you that. If you have a for sale sign on your car. It could be towed when you park it in front of a business establishment. Just prove that you’re not trespassing and weren’t using their space to sell your car.
3. Know The Stare Laws Around Towing
Each state has its laws on towing. Know the California law and see if the towing company followed the law. If they fail to do so, it could be your ground to get back your property or even sue them and get damages.
4. Report To the Police
If you can’t find your car, report to the police. They can help you locate your vehicle. But they’re unlikely to help you get it out for free. However, they might sometimes help you talk to the towing company.
5. Use A Towing Plan
You’ll have to pay fines and towing fees if you violate a parking law. Some towing companies offer plans to pay partially or lower the costs if you don’t have enough money. Some might even offer options for reclaiming your vehicle that won’t involve money.
6. Request Help from A Charity or No Profit
Some community organizations such as churches, mosques, and non-profits help people reclaim their cars from the towing garage without paying. You can use the option. If the towing company is trying to exploit you, seek a Pro Bono lawyer to help you. Just ensure the car towing isn’t due to a criminal offense.
Getting your car back after it has been towed will usually cost you. But there are some ways to avoid these costs. The best thing is to make sure you avoid any reason that could lead to the car being towed in the first place.