Can my car be towed without warning?

 In Blog

It’s very rare to wake up in the morning and think, “I’m going to have my car towed today.” Nobody plans on having a flat tire, an engine die, or an accident that demands the use of a towing company. If we knew that was on the agenda, we wouldn’t leave the house.

In most of those cases, however, the vehicle owner probably authorized the towing company to tow the car to a mechanic or garage to get the issue fixed. There are other times a car can be towed not because of a mechanical error, but because of an intentional operator error.

Why Was My Car Towed?

There are several reasons why a vehicle is towed in Washington State, even if the driver was powerless to prevent it. Let’s say the car or truck ran out of gas on the side of a highway. For whatever reason, the driver needs to walk to a gas station to get some gas.

If a law enforcement officer comes on the scene, they may just leave a sticker on the car notifying the owner they have 24 hours to remove it. Chances are, the driver will be back with more gas or help later that day. If that’s the case, there’s no issue.

A tow truck will be called immediately if the car is parked in an unsafe manner or obstructing the public right of way. The vehicle owner will be required to pay for the towing and storing of the car at this point.

The situation may have been out of their control, but they are still responsible to do what they can to leave the car in a safe position. (This is a good reminder: ALWAYS get somewhere safe before making any decisions on what to do with your car if you can no longer drive it.)

Other Reasons

Being Pulled Over By The Police Department
A vehicle usually isn’t towed for minor infractions, such as going a few miles over the speed limit or even running through a stop sign. A ticket? Absolutely, but not towed. However, if it’s discovered that the driver was under the influence of drugs or alcohol, driving without a license, or driving with a suspended or revoked license, it can be towed without warning.

Parking Poorly
Parking on private property isn’t usually an issue unless you don’t have permission to. The property owner can call a towing company and have the car towed immediately. In addition to being towed from private property, a vehicle can also be towed for being illegally parked on private, non-residential property with posted signage. If the vehicle is parked illegally on non-residential private property without signage, the owner will get 24 hours to move before it gets towed.

Too Many Parking Tickets?
A parking ticket seems to be a rite of passage for people working or visiting a downtown area for any amount of time. Either because they are unfamiliar with paying for parking or are “in a hurry.” Chances are you may have earned a parking ticket of your own. The question is: can your car be towed for too many tickets?

In Clark County, maybe not. However, you will face fines over and over again and you may be required to pay those fines before being able to renew your vehicle registration or driver’s license. They can’t, however, just tow your car for having too many tickets.

If your car is towed, what happens next? The easiest answer is to go to the impound lot, pay the towing fee and storage fee and you’ll get the car back. If you feel the towing was in error, there are steps you can take in an attempt to get the vehicle back without paying these fees.

For nearly 40 years, Chappelle’s Towing has been helping motorists stranded by lack of fuel, flat tire, or other mechanical problems. We also help property owners remove abandoned vehicles from their land and law enforcement impound cars that have been left behind unsafe situations.

If you need a tow, don’t hesitate to call Chappelle’s Towing. We’re fast, experienced, and friendly and have been a top service provider for AAA 10 years in a row. If you are using AAA, make sure to request Chappelle’s Towing, a local towing company with locations in Vancouver and Battle Ground. We’re never too far away.

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