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“Oh, no! My Car’s Been Towed!”

This being San Francisco, parking spots are often hard to find. Worse, it’s sometimes impossible to tell where, exactly, we’re allowed to park and where we’re not. If there’s one thing you can count on, however, it is this: a tow truck will swoop down on your vehicle in a matter of minutes should you ever park it illegally or in a designated area. Business owners are notorious for calling tow truck companies when someone parks in their lot without permission.

Should your car ever be towed (this could very well happen while you innocently shop for groceries), we urge you to act quickly and to take the following steps. And remember take a deep breath—you’ll be back behind the wheel in no time at all.

Step # 1: Check the Parking Lot for the Towing Sign

This sign list the towing company’s name, address, and phone number. Just as important, it lists the hours during which you are allowed to park your car in the lot. Use your cell phone to take a picture of this sign, for your car may have been towed illegally.

Step # 2: Call the Towing Company

The receptionist or customer service agent will ask you for some basic details—the make and model of your car, the address from which your car was towed—so speed up the process by having them on hand before you make the call. In the event that the towing company does not have any record of your car, assume that your car was stolen and call the police. If you’re driving a leased car, call your dealership and find out if your car was repossessed.

Step 3: Prepare the Necessary Details and Arrange a Ride to the Tow Lot

The faster you get to the tow lot the better, as you’ll be charged more for each passing hour. After you arrive at the lot, you’ll be asked to present your driver’s license, proof of insurance, and car title. Unfortunately, you’ll also be charged a fine of anywhere between $50 and $500.

Remember: Act quickly! The faster you gather your documents and cough up the fine, the sooner you’ll be back behind the wheel of your car.

Interested in learning more about towing? Contact us now, and one of our customer service agents will answer any questions about towing and towing laws. We also urge you to keep reading our blog, in which we regularly provide you with useful tips about roadside emergencies.