What happens if you don't pay towing fees?
The towing company or the official police garage will hold your vehicle until you pay the towing fees. If you are unable to pay the fees, you have the right to retrieve all the personal property from the car. These could be personal items you left in the vehicle, such as your keys, wallet, sunglasses, documents, etc. The towing company does not have the right to hold these items.
You have up until 30 days to pay the towing fees and reclaim your vehicle. If you still cannot pay those fees after 30 days, the city will sell your car at a lien sale auction. It is a publicly held auction at the address disclosed on the local government website. People have the freedom to inspect the vehicle before the start of the auction. Once someone successfully bids and purchases your car, you will lose ownership of it.
City officials conduct these sales because it is the only way they can get their money back on the impound fees and expenses that weren't paid. Unless the vehicle is worth less than $1,000, it would be in your best interest to find a way to pay the towing fees before 30 days expires. Otherwise, you will lose all the money you put into the vehicle.
We suggest applying for a personal loan if you don't have the cash-on-hand to pay the fees. Approval for a $1,000 personal loan should be easy if you have a decent credit score. You could also consider using a credit card or taking out a line of credit on your home if you own it. There are lots of ways to come up with the money to pay your towing bill. Just think of how much more money it will cost you to purchase another vehicle.
In many cases, your bill probably won't even be $1,000. The average Californian pays between $150 and $400 for their towing bill. Can you come up with this much money within 30 days? Hopefully, you can do so regardless of your financial situation. We know that towing fees can catch people off guard, but the government enforces strict regulations when it comes to towing.
The worst part is that you're still liable for all the other fees and liens associated with your vehicle. For instance, if you're still making monthly payments on a car loan, you're obligated to continue the payments until the loan is satisfied. The lien sale auction does not wipe away your previous financial responsibilities to the car.