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What Happens To Impounded Cars In Florida?

boy wonderingCan’t find your car? It’s everyone’s worst fear. You park your car to go shopping or maybe on the street outside of your friend’s house for the night and come back to find it missing. Where has it gone?

It’s easy to miss parking signs, so there’s a chance you parked in a tow away zone or left your car in a time-sensitive parking spot. For example, parking in downtown Jacksonville is free after 6 PM, but parking there during the day will cost $.25 a minute.

If your car has been towed and impounded by the city, where has it gone and, more importantly, what will happen to it?

Finding Out Who Has It

Check out your surroundings for signs. Most illegal parking zones have “do not park” signs along with signs from the tow company itself. These identify the companies in charge of moving cars and should have contact information on them.

You can also call your city to find out if they’ve had it towed; this includes the police department or sheriff’s office. For example, this is the page on recovering vehicles from the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office.

Lastly, you can always wait. Florida law requires that companies that store your vehicle send certified mail to the registered owner, the insurance company insuring the vehicle and all persons claiming a lien against the vehicle within seven business days.

Claiming Your Car

Now that you know where it is, getting your car back largely depends on why it was taken and by who. If it’s a regular towing company operating on behalf of a shopping center or property manager, you should pay your fine and be on your way.

Cars taken by the city of police department for infractions can be trickier. Depending on their reasons, getting your car back can be a process. If, for example, this whole time you parked legally but your car was located near a crime scene is now part of the investigation, you might be out of luck. If you just have some unpaid parking tickets, pay your bill!

Unclaimed Cars

So what happens to those that lose their car and never get it back? Florida law states that after 35 days from the time the vehicle is stored, the owner or operator of the storage space can sell the car. (It’s 35 days for cars three years or older, and 50 days for vehicles less than three years old.)

That means you have 35 days to get your car back before, and this is another part of the Florida law, the vehicle is sold in a public sale for cash. They’re part of the inventory that makes up local car auctions and police/government car auctions.

If you’re looking for an impounded car in Jacksonville or St. Augustine, Florida, be sure to check out our car auction inventory online to make sure it’s not there. Just visit the page and select the location nearest you.

Your Vehicle is Safe In Our Hands

We treat your car as if it was our own. ASAP Towing is a top-rated towing company in FL.

Email ASAP Towing Or call us at (904) 771-0790