If you're like most people in San Diego, you rely on your car for many aspects of your life, including getting to and from work, running errands, picking up the kids, and getting around for leisurely pursuits. This means it can be extremely unsettling if your car is being towed. Whether it's a planned tow or an unexpected one, you want to be prepared at all times to deal with the situation. Here are some helpful tips to follow for when your car is being towed:
For Planned Tows
If you know in advance that your car will be towed (referred to as consensual towing), there are steps you should take to ensure that things go smoothly. A planned tow is usually due to the car needing repair or maintenance. Sometimes, it's because you've been in an accident, and the car is unsafe to drive. Before you have your car towed, be sure to:
- Remove valuable items from your car. Towing companies generally are not liable for any lost or stolen items during the tow.
- Take a quick look at your car (and maybe take pictures) and note existing damage; that way, you'll know if any damage was caused to your car during the towing process.
- Get a phone number and business license number for the company that is towing your car, and be sure they are legitimate and reliable.
- Make sure you know exactly where your car is going, and how long it will be there. We suggest researching the mechanic or auto shop you choose, in addition to your tow company. Are they BBB-accredited? Are they AAA-Approved?
- Make plans for transportation to the auto shop when it's time to retrieve your car after the tow.
- Have your AAA card, roadside assistance, or other towing insurance information ready.
If you need to have your car towed to a repair shop, check us out at Convoy Auto Repair. We're AAA-Approved. Our preferred towing service is AAA-Certified Kearny Mesa Towing (KMT); they'll bring your car safely to us, and you can call them any time. For early bird/night owl tows to our location, you can drop your keys off in our secure drop box, using the envelope provided. Include your phone number and we'll get in touch with you shortly.
Dealing with Unexpected Car Tows
There's nothing worse than returning to where you parked, only to find that your car isn't there (referred to as non-consensual towing). In most cases, you can check with the parking or building management to determine whether your car has been towed. If it has, you should:
- Gather "evidence" at the scene: Before trying to retrieve your car, take a quick survey of the surroundings. Take note (and pictures) of any signs, parking curb colors, or other related factors. You may also try to speak with persons who witnessed the tow or with parking/building management for more information.
- Retrieve your car: Usually, "No Parking" signs will include a number to call, and a location for where you can retrieve your towed car. You can call a relative or friend for a ride, or take a taxi/Uber to the towing lot. Most towing lots will charge a fee to release your car, and many of them only take cash.
- Read and Preserve any documents: Be sure to read any towing documents thoroughly so you understand why your car was towed. In some instances, you may be able to challenge a parking ticket, especially if you've gathered evidence in support of your claim. Also, take note that no one can charge you fees that are above the amount that is posted. In some cases, you might have a right to a "tow hearing" to contest fees or holding times, etc.
Unexpected tows can happen for various reasons, including:
- Parking at a red curb or other no parking zone
- Parking in a way that blocks a fire hydrant, handicap ramp, or other area that needs access
- Obstructing traffic with your parking
- Violations such as expired registration tags, unpaid tickets, or driving without a valid license
The best, most proactive way to avoid having your car towed is to keep your car properly maintained. Many tow situations occur because a car won't start or has malfunctioned, and often, the cause is preventable.
Be sure to keep your car running smoothly at all times with regularly scheduled complete car service, complete with free multipoint inspection. Stop by Convoy Auto Repair today if you need regular maintenance, or if your car has a specific issue that needs to be addressed. See our full list of services and find out how we can help you.
Ready to talk to us? Schedule an appointment online or call us now at 858-217-4279.