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How to Get My Car Out of Impound for Free

  • Things To Know
  • Silas Smith
  • 7 minutes

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You returned from a long and tiring day at work to realize that your car had been taken to the impound. There is no other feeling as bad as knowing you must get your car out of impound. Most new car owners are unaware of what happens at the impound and how to get their cars back.  


Don’t worry. We at Way.com have got your back. Learn more about impound fees, rules, and, most importantly, how to get your car out of the impound without paying anything. ¬†

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What happens when a car is impounded? 

If your car is found guilty of violations, a tow truck will take it to the nearest impound lot. The pound will enter the vehicle details into its system and store them. Once you have confirmed that your car was impounded, contact the pound to know further details about the fee. The car will be stored at the pound for a fixed time, before which you can pay the fees and release the car. 


If you fail to release the vehicle within this time limit, the pound can proceed with auctioning or scrapping the car. Also, they may move to court if the money from the auction cannot pay the fees. But getting your car out of the pound is a complex and time-consuming process.  

How to get the car out of impound 

There are many reasons why your car might have been impounded. From parking at the wrong spot, unpaid parking tickets, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, leaving your car at a spot for more than the allowed time, and many others. Usually, police or any other law enforcement organization could impound your car. There is a process by which you can get your vehicle back from the pound, which can be complex at times. 


The first stage is to learn how much money you may have to spend to get your car back from the impound. There are different parts of the impound fee, and in each state, the impound fee will be different.  

How much does it cost to get a car out of impound? 


Depending on the violation charged on your car, you can expect to pay different amounts in the pound. Some of these are given below. 

Towing feeРA tow truck will be assigned to tow your car from the parking spot to the impound. In general, this amount will be between $100 and $200. In addition, the heavier the car is, the higher the towing fee. 

Storage feeРThe fee to keep your car at the impound can vary from one pound to another. You should pay a daily or fixed rate as a storage fee in different states.  

Release feeРThe amount you have to pay while releasing the car from the pound. This will change depending on the car and violations, if any. Usually, the minimum rates will start at $75 and can go as high as $100 or more. 

Extra chargesРThis will include any extra payments based on long-distance towing and charges for cleaning or removing debris from the vehicle. You may also have to pay the fee for the dolly or flatbed. 

Can someone else get my car out of impound? 


Unfortunately, no. Only the owner of the vehicle can get it out. You will have to provide ID and paperwork to prove your car ownership at some point in the release process. The pound will ask you to provide address proof, personal identity, and car registration documents before letting the car go. But there are a few exceptions, and if you can provide proper evidence to the pound, someone else can pick up the vehicle. Some of these include: 

  • You are currently abroad and unable to come back on time.¬†
  • You are admitted to a hospital.¬†
  • You are too ill.¬†
  • You are in police custody.¬†

How to get my car out of impound for free 

You can talk with the impound management and make a deal to pay the money in installments. In addition, you could get a personal loan and use the money to get your car out of the impound as fast as possible. But before even considering paying any fee, we can look into a few ways you can get your ride back for free.  

Stolen vehicles 


Technically, there are very few circumstances when you can walk away without paying a dime. First is the scenario when your car was stolen and was illegally parked or used for a crime. In some cities, the impounds will release the car without asking you to pay the fees. All you have to do is to provide the police report that you made when your car was stolen. If your insurance policy covers theft-related expenses, you can contact the insurance provider to initiate further proceedings. 

Waive or reduce impound fees 


Even if you cannot get the car out for free, there are situations and steps that you can follow to reduce the fees. Some of them are discussed below. 

Dispute the ticket: You can either do this yourself or get help from a third party. If your car was towed by the police or law enforcement, there are chances that they might make mistakes. If you can collect information about the charged violations, the time and place where your car was towed from, and the name and badge of the police officers involved, you will have a strong base to argue your case either at the pound or police station.  

Proof of low income or homelessness: Again, this will not work in all places in the USA. But if you can prove you are homeless or has low income, there are chances that the county or municipality will either reduce the certain fee or waive them. For example, you can reduce the administrative, dolly, and towing fees and even 15 days storage charges in San Francisco using this method. 

Even though you could go to court, the fees for hiring a lawyer will be much higher than the impound fees. You can use this method if there has been a major error from law enforcement or the pound. 

How to get a car out of impound without insurance 

You cannot get your car out of the impound unless you provide mandatory paperwork. This includes driver’s license, vehicle identity number, auto insurance coverage, and more. If your car does not have active insurance coverage, you will need to purchase a policy and present the proof at the pound.¬†

Bottom Line 

Every day there are hundreds of cars are getting towed to the impound. But not every owner can pay the fees necessary to get their car out. In most impounds, there is a time limit, usually 30 days, for you to pick up your vehicle. If you fail to do so, the impound may either auction or scrap the car.  


The bottom line is that you must pick up your car as easily as possible. The towing fee and storage rates at impound lots may vary every day. Besides, it takes a considerable time to process the car into the system and finish all administrative tasks at the pound. So, before going out, ensure your car has active insurance coverage and follows all legal procedures.

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Here’s more info on top-rated airport parking,¬†the best parking spots in your city, affordable¬†auto insurance, easy¬†auto refinance,¬†and¬†high-quality car washes near you.


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