How to Get Your Car Back From the Tow Company

by Krystal Wascher

If you stop or park your vehicle in a "no parking" zone or a private parking space, or forget to move your car during designated street-cleaning or snow-plowing times, you may find that your car was towed. Retrieving your vehicle is not as daunting as it may seem. Often the process involves paying a specific sum of money to an impound lot and showing proof of identification.

Locate your vehicle. If you are present when your vehicle is towed, ask the tow truck driver where you can retrieve your vehicle. If you were not present when your vehicle was towed, the tow truck driver likely did not leave a note or other documentation. In this case, contact the local police department. In most states, towing companies must report the make, model, color and license plate number of the vehicles that they tow. Have this information available when you call.

Contact the tow company where your vehicle is located before you go there. Verify that your vehicle is at the lot. Ask if they have any specific procedures for retrieving a vehicle, such as fees, forms of payment and identification. Some companies require cash payments or money orders and proof of ownership of the vehicle.

Collect the necessary information and payment forms. Travel to the tow lot and provide your name, identification, license plate number and the make of the car to the clerk. You will be asked to read and sign paperwork indicating that you are picking up the car. Pay any fees necessary to retrieve your vehicle and provide additional information and documentation if required.


  • check Pay any parking tickets associated with your towed vehicle in a timely manner to avoid additional penalties.

About the Author

Krystal Wascher has been writing online content since 2008. She received her Bachelor of Arts in political science and philosophy from Thiel College and a Juris Doctor from Duquesne University School of Law. She was admitted to the Pennsylvania Bar in 2009.

Photo Credits

  • photo_camera no parking tow zone sign image by Stephen Orsillo from