If you've returned to your car to discover that it's been impounded, chances are you'll be feeling stressed- and maybe even perplexed. There are a number of reasons that you can end up in this situation, and some of which you might be completely unaware of. Here are a few of them, and what to do next if you've ended up in this predicament.
You've Been Driving Illegally
Your car may have been impounded if it's been discovered that you were driving it illegally. If you don't have the right driving license, tax or insurance then you're breaking the law. Not only will you be prosecuted but your vehicle could be seized too.
Either someone has reported you to the police, or an automatic detection software has discovered your car and the authorities have been called to remove it. If you know that you are in fact driving legally, this could be a case of some paperwork that hasn't been filled in correctly, crossed wires or human error- so be sure to phone up as soon as you can to put things right.
The Vehicle Was Used as Part of a Crime
Have you recently purchased your vehicle? The previous owner may have used it in a crime. Perhaps it was taken without your consent during the time you've owned it, even if it was returned to you it could have been involved in criminal activity in the time you weren't in possession of it.
The police may need to hold onto it before they can release it to you because of the evidence. It's important to keep hold of documents to show when you purchased the vehicle to prove your innocence in these situations, and where you can, only buy from trusted dealers. At the very least, run checks on any car you buy before parting with cash to avoid this from happening.
You Have Defaulted on Your Vehicle Finance Payments
You might have bought yourself a brand new car on finance, but if you've not been keeping up with your loan payments, the company in question is within their contractual rights to impound the vehicle. Typically, this will happen after you've missed a number of payments and can't come to an arrangement with the lender. If you're struggling with money, rather than burying your head in the sand it's vital to contact the company to come up with a solution.
If your car gets impounded it will cost you more money, and you risk not getting it back at all. How much does it cost to get your car out of impound? Well, it can cost anywhere from $75 and $300 which is significant when you're already struggling financially. You will need to be the licensed driver and you also need to have insurance to get your vehicle back.
Dangerously or Illegally Parking Your Car
Another common reason for a vehicle being impounded is because it has been parked in a dangerous or illegal area. If you're parked illegally, causing a blockage or any kind of danger then your car can (and likely will) be seized and impounded.
Before parking, take a look at your surroundings, make sure you're not in any restricted areas and there aren't any signs around which state parking rules. If there are marked bays then ensure that your car is in between the lines to avoid fines and problems.