How Long Can A Tow Company Keep Your Car

The Length of Time Tow Companies Can keep Your Vehicle

There are many things to consider when your vehicle is towed by a tow company, including how long they can keep it. It is important to understand the legality of tow companies, to be aware of your rights, and to know how long they are allowed to keep your vehicle.

Legal Authority of Tow Companies

Tow companies are regulated by their states, so the laws can vary. Generally, the tow company is granted authority through the state’s police power, allowing the tow company certain rights and responsibilities in the handling of towed vehicles. In any case, the tow company will be able to justify their towing fees and storage costs based on the information provided to them via the state’s towing statutes and other regulations.

Your Rights and Timeline

Knowing your rights when it comes to recovered vehicles can help in understanding the time frame of a tow company’s authority to keep your vehicle. A tow company must comply with requirements such as providing timely notice of the tow and storage costs, and then giving the owner or lienholder the opportunity to reclaim the vehicle before it is sold to pay the fees. However, many states also have their own specific laws that protect the owner of the vehicle and provide a time frame for the tow company’s ability to keep your vehicle.

Tow Companies: Varying Rules

Depending on the state in which the tow company is located, they may have different rules and timelines regarding the storage of vehicles and the fees they can charge. For example, in some states the storage fees can accrue until the vehicle is redeemed, while in other states the storage may accumulate only after a certain date.

Knowledge is Power

In order to protect yourself and your vehicle, it is important to be aware of the law in your area and the rights of a tow company. It is also important to understand the timeline for reclaiming a vehicle and the potential for storage fees to accumulate. Knowing this information can empower you to reclaim your vehicle within the allocated time frame, and to take prompt action if there is a dispute in the towing and storage costs.

Repercussions of Not Acting Swiftly

If an owner of a towed vehicle fails to reclaim the vehicle before the allowed time frame, the vehicle may be sold to pay the towing and storage fees. Additionally, in states that allow the accrual of storage fees, the vehicle may incur additional fees rather quickly. However, the bottom line is that if the vehicle is not reclaimed within the time frame, the owner will lose possession of the vehicle regardless.


At the end of the day, a tow company may be granted certain rights and responsibilities in the handling of towed vehicles by the state police power. It is important to be aware of the towing laws in your state, the rights you have to reclaim your vehicle, and the timeline for doing so. Also, it is worth understanding the potential for storage fees to accumulate, as it can lead to further costs if the vehicle is not redeemed fast enough. Taking the time to research these laws and timelines can help protect oneself and one’s vehicle in the case of a tow.

Marjorie Turcios is a seasoned leader and management expert with over 25 years of experience. She has held various leadership positions in private industry, government, and education. She is an advocate for creating win-win solutions and has worked to create successful, lasting change in corporations and organizations. Marjorie is an award-winning author of several books on leadership, mentoring and coaching, and effective communication skills. Her passion is to help others discover their potential and reach new heights in their professional life through her writings. Marjorie resides in Dallas, Texas where she enjoys spending time with her family, traveling to different places around the world, and speaking at conferences about her areas of expertise.

Leave a Comment