Can I pick up my towed vehicle with no money?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Can I pick up my towed vehicle with no money?

My truck got towed from a apartment complex. In less than 1 hour and the amount was $400 of fees. Now 4 days have passed without any contact with the towing company because I was researching of what to do. Can I just pick up my vehicle showing that I’m the registered owner?

Asked on February 13, 2018 under General Practice, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

No, you cannot. When your vehicle is towed and/or stored by a towing company, they do not have to release it without the payment of their towing and/or storage charges. You have to pay to get your car released. If you believe the towing was improper (e.g. you were in a legal spot and there was no basis for towing), you may be able to sue whomever caused you to be towed (e.g. the apartment complex's property management, if they called in and caused the tow when they should not have) to recover your costs and losses--but if the tow was proper, you have no recourse at all.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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