Have you ever had your car towed and then had to pay impound fees on top of that? If so, you’re not alone. Towing companies often charge high fees, and many people don’t know that there are ways to get those fees waived.
While there may be different guidelines and laws within each city, state, or country you are in, there are some suggestions to try that are more universal.
The total cost of your impound
There are a few different fees that make up the total impound fee. You can expect to pay hundreds to get your car out of the impound lot. The total cost will be made up of these added together:
- If there was a boot on your car before it was towed away, expect a fee for the boot.
- Storage costs on a daily basis.
- The tow itself and transportation fees. Transport fees pay the company that uses a flatbed truck or a tow truck to physically move your car into the impound lot.
- Any outstanding tickets resulting from your vehicle being towed
7 tips to get your impound fees waived
It is also possible to get impound fees waived if you can prove to a court that the ticket was issued in error or you have an excuse for violating the law. You will likely still need to pay upfront to get your car out of the impound, but you might be able to get the court to reimburse the fees.
1. Offer an explanation to get a reduction in fees
The first step is to call the towing company and explain your situation. Many times, the towing company will be willing to work with you if you explain why you feel the tow was in error, or that you are on a low income and have no means to pay the fee.
Tip # 7 Fight your ticket and impound fees with the help of a 3rd party
Keep in mind that it costs money to tow a vehicle, and this will likely not reduce the overall bill much. You will likely still have to pay, but they may reduce it, and you have a good case to fight the charge if you can prove the tow was in error in the future.
Also, consider that these are the types of calls towing companies get all day long, so if you can in any way be different than the average distraught person who calls, that will give you an advantage.
A little humor goes a long way, so does empathy for them. If you were in their shoes, you would perk up a bit if you were talking to someone who knew how you felt. If they can do anything at all, this is the type of person they will do it for.
If the towing company is not willing to work with you, your next step is to call the police department. The police department may be able to help you get your impound fees waived.
3. Insurance Assistance
Another option is to call your insurance company. Many insurance companies have a policy that covers impound fees.
4. Stolen Car Impound Fees
Some cities and municipalities have agreed to waive impound fees if your car ends up being towed while stolen.
This may seem like an obvious decision, but it still costs the parties involved an investment to get the car out of the area it doesn’t belong and into a storage facility. The storage facility and the towing company have bills to pay too.
5. Contact the city’s mayor or councilmember
You can try contacting your city’s mayor or city councilmember. Depending on your situation, they may be able to help you get your impound fees waived.
6. Low income or homeless
If you are homeless or have a low income and can prove it, impound fees may be waived in some cases.Each state has its own rules.
7. Dispute It
You can dispute it, go to court, or opt to have a third-party fight on your behalf. This takes energy and time, and depending on the situation, how much of your personal resources can you spare to do this?
Many chose this route and are happy they did. Even if the entire impound bill cannot be cleared, it is frequently significantly reduced.
To be clear, you will have to pay the impound fees first to release your car, then go to work hiring help to get the charges disputed and, hopefully, reimbursed at a later date.
How to find the money to release your car
If all else fails and you have to pay the impound fee because you have to get on with your life, what if you do not have the money? You can try the following:
- Borrowing from friends or taking out a small loan may be the way forward. You may also choose to fight the fees after you release your car, but you will still have to pay to get the vehicle out of the storage area.
- Ask the impound facility about any payment assistance or financing options they may have to help those who are not able to pay the full amount.
- Use a credit card and pay it off as soon as you can.
- Try a crowdfunding service; many can be found online.
- Ask your employer if they can help.
You win some and you learn some
There’s a saying that people say about learning, sometimes the hard way. You either win, or you learn. We hope that you are able to release your car with a reduced fee or no fee.
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