Can A Towing Company Sell My Car Florida?

In Florida, it is not uncommon for car owners to wonder if a towing company can legally sell their vehicle. This article explores the regulations and circumstances surrounding the sale of cars by towing companies in the state of Florida. Understanding your rights and the laws that govern the process is crucial if you find yourself in a situation where your car has been towed. By examining the specific guidelines and requirements that must be met, you can ensure that your vehicle is being handled properly and that you are protected as a car owner in Florida. When faced with the unfortunate circumstance of having your vehicle towed in Florida, you may wonder if the towing company has the authority to sell your car. The short answer is yes, a towing company in Florida can sell your car under certain circumstances. In this article, we will explore the specific scenarios in which a towing company can sell your car, the notice requirements they must follow, their lien rights, the requirements for selling the vehicle, the timeline for selling your vehicle, what happens to the proceeds from the sale, remedies for the illegal sale of your car, and conclude with a summary of the information provided.

Can A Towing Company Sell My Car Florida?

When Can a Towing Company Sell Your Car?

A towing company in Florida can sell your car if it has been in their possession for a certain period of time without being claimed or retrieved by the owner. This is typically known as the “abandoned vehicle” scenario. However, it is important to note that a towing company cannot simply sell your car immediately after towing it. There are specific notice requirements that they must fulfill in order to proceed with the sale.

Notice Requirements

Before a towing company can sell your car, they must provide you with notice of their intent to sell. This notice must be sent to you, the registered owner of the vehicle, via certified mail, return receipt requested. In addition to mailing the notice, the towing company must also post a notice on the vehicle itself. This ensures that you are aware of the potential sale and have an opportunity to retrieve your car before it is sold.

Storage and Lien Rights

In Florida, a towing company has the right to charge storage fees for your vehicle while it is in their possession. These fees can accumulate over time and can become quite costly. If the fees are not paid, the towing company may exercise their lien rights. This means that they can legally keep possession of your car until the fees are satisfied or until they are able to sell the vehicle to recoup their expenses.

Can A Towing Company Sell My Car Florida?

Sale of Your Vehicle

In order to sell your vehicle, a towing company must follow certain requirements set forth by the state of Florida. First, they must provide notice of the sale to you, the registered owner, as well as any other interested parties such as lienholders or the insurance company. This notice must be sent at least 10 days prior to the sale of the vehicle. Additionally, the towing company must publish a notice of the sale in a newspaper of general circulation in the county where the vehicle is being stored.

Requirements for Selling the Vehicle

Before selling the vehicle, the towing company must make a good faith effort to determine the value of the car. This can be done through various means, such as obtaining appraisals or researching similar vehicles in the market. The towing company must also ensure that the sale is conducted in a commercially reasonable manner. This means that they must take reasonable steps to obtain the best possible price for the vehicle, such as advertising the sale and allowing interested buyers to inspect the car.

Timeline for Selling Your Vehicle

Once the towing company has fulfilled all notice requirements and determined the value of the vehicle, they can proceed with the sale. However, it is important to note that they cannot sell the vehicle immediately after the notice period expires. In Florida, there is a minimum time period of 10 days before the sale can take place. This provides you with an opportunity to retrieve your car or make necessary arrangements to prevent the sale from occurring.

What Happens to the Proceeds from the Sale?

After the sale of your vehicle, the proceeds are used to satisfy the towing company’s fees and any outstanding liens on the vehicle. If there are any funds left over after these expenses have been paid, the remaining proceeds will typically be held by the towing company for a certain period of time. During this time, you may have the opportunity to make a claim for the remaining funds. However, it is important to note that the towing company may also have the right to retain these funds if there are any outstanding debts owed to them.

What if You Want to Retrieve Your Vehicle?

If you wish to retrieve your vehicle before it is sold, you must act quickly. Once you receive notice of the impending sale, you should contact the towing company immediately to discuss your options. In some cases, you may be able to pay the outstanding fees and retrieve your car. Keep in mind, however, that the towing company has the right to refuse to release the vehicle until all fees have been satisfied.

Remedies for Illegal Sale of Your Car

If you believe that your car was sold illegally by a towing company in Florida, you may have legal recourse. You can seek the assistance of an attorney to help navigate the process and potentially recover damages for the unlawful sale of your vehicle. It is important to gather any evidence that supports your claim, such as documentation of the notice requirements not being fulfilled or evidence that the sale was conducted in an unfair manner.


While it is unfortunate to have your car towed in Florida, it is important to understand the circumstances in which a towing company can legally sell your vehicle. By being aware of the notice requirements, lien rights, and sale procedures, you can take the necessary steps to retrieve your car or protect your rights if an illegal sale has occurred. If you find yourself in a situation where your car has been towed, it is advisable to seek legal counsel to ensure that your rights are protected.