How to get your car out of impound for free
It’s never pleasant to deal with a local impound yard to try and get your car back. Aside from the expensive fees, you’ll likely have to talk to some unpleasant workers. What’s worse is when you don’t have the money to pick up your vehicle. You must learn how to free your vehicle from impound.
This guide will cover all options. The average fees are also discussed and explained.
This guide can only be used for entertainment and is not intended to provide financial or legal advice. To get the most accurate answer, consult a lawyer.
How to Freely Get Your Car out of Impound
You can get your car free of charge by contacting the officer responsible for towing it. All documents, including photos and identification, should be available. The impound cannot be waived, but it is possible.
This page contains more details about other methods of handling the impound.
1. Financing Plans
Call the impound lot to get the details of the fees before you proceed. While you are on the phone, it’s wise to ask them about financial plans.
While most impound lots aren’t willing to work with customers, it never hurts to ask. To avoid additional fees, ask if they can create a financial plan.
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There may be non-profits that can help pay the fees. There may also be help available from the local church. However, this process doesn’t normally go quickly, so expect to spend a few more days without your car.
It is necessary to talk with the charity about your personal circumstances. Even if the charity can’t help you, the people there normally have lots of information and can connect you with other support. If the car was involved in some sort of illegal activity, this option probably wouldn’t be beneficial to you as most charities don’t want to get involved in this behavior.
You can give back to the church or charity that helped you by volunteering your time. It’s likely they need support too.
3. Friends & Family
You can count on your family and friends more than you could ever imagine. Talking to loved ones about what happened can help you get support. You can get out of financial trouble by asking your loved ones for money or lending it to you.
There’s also the option to set up an online fundraising page that can be shared with your friends and family. You might get support from them sharing it. Keep in mind, however that taxes will be due on any money you earn through these channels.
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4. Credit Card
While using your credit card doesn’t help you get the car out of impound for free, it defers the time you have to pay for it. With enough cash on your credit card you can swipe your card and you will be able to get your car.
Budget to quickly pay off the debt in order not to get into financial difficulties. After all, it doesn’t help to have interest added to the bill each month.
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5. Get a Payday Loan
You may be able to borrow a cash advance to pay for your vehicle if you don't have any other options. These loans come with a very high-interest rate and must be paid back with your next paycheck, so it’s definitely not a recommended solution.
You will pay more for your car if this is your only option. But what about your other options? In the future, it’s best to keep a small amount of money saved up for emergencies just like this.
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6. Assistance from the Employer
Your employer may be able to assist you if your car is impounded and you are unable to get to work. Your boss might be able to give you some money from the next paycheck and allow you to continue with your daily activities.
However, if you have a boss that doesn’t care, you might end up losing your job unless you get your car out of the impound lot or find another ride to work. If that’s the case, it might be time to look for another job.
Average car impound fees
You can only find out how much you will be charged in impound fees if you speak to everyone. Each impound fee has its own set of fees. But, we are able to give you an overview of all the costs that can be expected, which typically run into hundreds of dollars.
- The police may charge a fee to place a boot on your car. These boots can be found in a variety of prices depending on where you live, though the minimum price is $100.
- Tow Fee: You probably won’t spend less than $100 on tow fees. These can go up if your vehicle is larger or heavier than the truck that's towing it.
- Storage Fees: Your car will be stored at an impound lot for a charge. The initial cost will likely be less than $100, and there will then be an additional fee for each day your vehicle sits on the lots. You may be charged an additional fee for impounding your vehicle if you have more than one spot on the lot.
- Fees/Tickets. If your vehicle was impounded by the police because it is late in traffic or has parking violations, you will need to pay them before you can get your car back. These fees must also be paid if your vehicle was in an accident that resulted in reckless driving charges or similar.
- Additional Charges: Other fees may be added depending on the reason your car was impounded. These fees can be used for towing long distances or cleanup following an accident.
Sadly, you don’t get to choose what impound lot your car goes to or what fees will be charged. You might get the chance to have fees reduced by the local police. But you'd have to prove the vehicle was not towable or you are experiencing financial hardship. Unfortunately, most police departments won’t do anything about it or even listen to your complaints, but it’s always worth trying.
Is it possible to retrieve an impound car in the time required?
If your car ends up in an impound lot, you won’t be able to get it right away. The vehicle will be processed in the system within 12-24 hours. It’s also possible if the car was impounded during a holiday or weekend, you might have to wait until normal business hours.
Also, consider the time it will take to collect your car. Most cases have a 30-day limit. Your vehicle will then be put up for auction by the impound lots. With this in mind, it’s best not to put off getting your car, not only because it continues to incur fees but also because you could lose it and everything in it.