How to Find My Car Once It's Been Towed

by MelissaH

It does not matter whether you did not see the "No Parking" sign, let your meter expire, or simply ignored the red curb--the last thing you want is to return to your parking spot and find out your car has been towed. While the big dent in your wallet might be inevitable, the big dent in your schedule does not have to be. Knowing how to retrieve your car ahead of time can spare you the added hassle.


Look for signs. If you parked in a "No Parking" zone, posted signs will usually list a phone number for your city or county. Call the number. Follow the automated prompts to find the location of your car. Often, this requires that you know your license plate number and/or the make and model of your vehicle.


Call for assistance. You will need someone to take you to the pound. Dialing "411" can help you find a ride, give you the location of the nearest impound lot or connect you to the appropriate towing resource.


Investigate online. If no signs are posted and 411 cannot be of assistance, search for towing services in your area. Many major cities--such as New York, Chicago and San Francisco--have websites where you can enter your information and find the exact location of your towed vehicle.


  • check Act quickly. It is important you get to the impound lot as soon as possible. Many cities charge a fee for each day your vehicle is stored. When retrieving your car, have all your proper identification materials on hand. This includes your driver's license or identification, license plate number and proof of registration. If you have any outstanding fines, you will need to pay them before you can get your car back.


  • close Do not call "911" if your car has been towed, unless you feel you are in a genuinely dangerous or emergency situation.

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