When you car isn't where you left it, that doesn't mean it was stolen. Your car may have been towed for obvious (or not so obvious) reasons. Here are some clues to help you locate your vehicle quickly. You'll also find some tips to help you avoid getting towed again.
Why Did Your Car Get Towed?
If you can determine why your car was towed, then it will be much easier to find. Check the lot or street you parked on, and look for signs like:
- No parking
- No overnight parking
- Parking for customers only
- 2 Hour parking limit
- Parking by permit only
Did You Take Someone's Spot?
When you parked in someone's reserved spot, they tend to get a bit fussy about it. Since everyone carries a cell phone, it is easy for an irate person to pull out the phone and report you for parking in his or her space.
The best thing you can do at this point is look for a sign that indicates that towing is enforced. If the name of the towing service is indicated, give them a call. If you can't find the name, ask the business owner who they use for their towing service. They probably contract the same company every time.
Did You Break Any Rules?
If you park in a city-owned garage, you can get your car booted or towed when parking violations start to add up. All the enforcing agency would need to do is run your plates to determine if you are in violation. Check with the city parking division to determine if you have outstanding parking tickets, pay them, and they'll tell you where to find your vehicle.
In the event that you have fallen behind on your car payment, the lender may have sent a recovery team to reclaim your vehicle. If you are going to default on your car loan in any way, it is a good idea to keep in contact with the lender, because non-payment and non-communication tends to make them nervous.
Don't Abandon Your Car
If your car breaks down, you may find yourself with no choice but to park it on the side of the road or a highway. You need to have your car removed as soon as possible, so that it doesn't create traffic problems. It is best to call a roadside assistance service to change your tire on the highway or to bring you gas. You may also want to call a towing service—like Ski Country Shell & Towing or another local business—to tow your vehicle to a repair shop. If you abandon your car, you may end up having to call every tow company in town to find it.
Towing services typically charge for the initial tow, though there may be additional fees after that. Recovering your car as soon as possible is the best way to keep a tow fees low.
Still Can't Find Your Car?
If you aren't in violation of any laws and you haven't parked illegally, then it is possible that your vehicle has been stolen. You should file a police report right away, and submit the report number to your car insurance provider. The police will help you find your car if it has been towed (and you were unaware). Your insurance company will perform their own investigation to try and track down your car if you have full coverage insurance.