How Long Can A Tow Company Keep Your Car In Florida?

In Florida, it is crucial to understand the duration a tow company is legally permitted to hold your car. When your vehicle has been towed, it is natural to feel a sense of urgency in resolving the situation promptly. However, as a vehicle owner, it is essential to be aware of the legal guidelines governing tow companies in Florida, to avoid any potential violations of your rights. This article will provide you with a comprehensive understanding of the maximum time a tow company can keep hold of your car in the sunshine state.

Overview of towing laws in Florida

In Florida, the laws regarding towing are governed by Chapter 715 of the Florida Statutes. These laws establish guidelines and regulations that towing companies must adhere to when towing and storing vehicles. It is important for vehicle owners to be aware of these laws to understand their rights and responsibilities in such situations.

Reasons for car tow

There are several reasons why your car may be towed in Florida. The most common reason is if your vehicle is parked illegally, blocking a fire hydrant, or obstructing traffic. Other reasons for towing may include expired registration, abandoned vehicles, or vehicles involved in accidents. In these situations, it is the responsibility of law enforcement or property owners to arrange for the towing of the vehicle.

How Long Can A Tow Company Keep Your Car In Florida?

This image is property of

Duration of storage for towed cars

Once your vehicle has been towed and impounded by a tow company, you may wonder how long they can keep it. In Florida, the tow company has the right to keep your car for a reasonable amount of time, which is generally up to 35 days. However, it is important to note that certain exceptions may apply, allowing the tow company to extend the storage period.

Release of the towed vehicle

To retrieve your towed vehicle, you will need to contact the tow company and provide the necessary documentation and payment of fees. The tow company is obligated to release the vehicle to the registered owner or their authorized representative. This process usually involves presenting a valid driver’s license, proof of ownership, and payment of all outstanding fees, including towing and storage charges.

How Long Can A Tow Company Keep Your Car In Florida?

This image is property of

Notification requirements

Tow companies in Florida are required by law to notify the vehicle owner of the tow within a specified timeframe. For non-consensual tows, such as those authorized by law enforcement, the tow company must send a notification within 72 hours of the tow, excluding weekends and holidays. Failure to comply with this notification requirement may result in penalties for the tow company.

Tow company fees and charges

When your car is towed and impounded, you will be responsible for paying various fees and charges. These fees may include a towing fee, a storage fee for each day the vehicle is in the tow company’s possession, and any additional fees for special services, such as inventory processing or vehicle retrieval outside of regular business hours. It is important to review the tow company’s fee schedule to understand the costs involved.

How Long Can A Tow Company Keep Your Car In Florida?

This image is property of

Options for contesting towing

If you believe your vehicle was wrongfully towed, you do have options for contesting the towing. First, you can contact the tow company and try to resolve the issue directly. If that is not successful, you can file a complaint with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, which regulates towing companies in the state. Additionally, you may have the option to file a lawsuit seeking damages for the improper towing of your vehicle.

Impounded vehicle auctions

In cases where the owner fails to retrieve their impounded vehicle within the specified time frame, the tow company may choose to sell the vehicle through an impounded vehicle auction. These auctions provide an opportunity for interested buyers to purchase impounded vehicles at a discounted price. Proceeds from these auctions are typically used to cover the outstanding fees and charges associated with the towing and storage of the vehicle.

How Long Can A Tow Company Keep Your Car In Florida?

Legal recourse for improper towing

If you believe your vehicle was improperly towed, you may have legal recourse to seek compensation for any damages or losses resulting from the towing. It is recommended to consult with a qualified attorney who specializes in towing laws to understand your rights and options. They can guide you through the legal process and help you determine the best course of action to pursue your claim.

Tips to avoid unnecessary towing

To prevent your vehicle from being towed in Florida, it is important to follow all parking regulations and traffic laws. Be mindful of parking signs and restrictions, ensuring that you park legally and do not obstruct any designated areas. Additionally, maintaining up-to-date registration and promptly renewing any expired documents can help avoid being towed for registration-related issues. By being vigilant and proactive, you can minimize the chances of your car being towed unnecessarily.

In conclusion, understanding the towing laws in Florida is crucial for vehicle owners to protect their rights and navigate through any towing situations effectively. By familiarizing yourself with these laws, knowing the duration of storage, being aware of notification requirements, and understanding the options for contesting towing, you can ensure a smoother process if your car is ever towed. Remember to always follow parking regulations and traffic laws to avoid unnecessary towing and associated fees.

How Long Can A Tow Company Keep Your Car In Florida?