IF YOU HAD A VEHICLE TOWED IN A PRIVATE AREA
DON’T PAY THEM WITH CASH OR ANYTHING
TELL THEM TO BILL YOU!
IF THEY REFUSE: TELL THEM YOU WILL BE CONTACTING THE POLICE FOR GRAND THEFT AUTO.
IT IS ILLEGAL FOR A TOW COMPANY IN THE STATE OF ARIZONA TO HOLD A VEHICLE HOSTAGE FOR PAYMENT .
If you have been Towed in a private parking area that isn’t owned by the city then you don’t have to pay in cash or any other payment to receive the vehicle that was towed.
In Arizona, it is legal to park on private property unless the area is posted with “no parking” signs that are clearly visible from any point within the area and at all entrances. This sign should also warn violators that their vehicles will be towed pursuant to Arizona abandoned vehicle statutes
In Arizona, it is legal to park on private property unless the area is posted with “no parking” signs that are clearly visible from any point within the area and at all entrances. This sign should also warn violators that their vehicles will be towed pursuant to Arizona abandoned vehicle statutes. This sign should also tell drivers who to contact in order to retrieve their vehicle.
Permission to Tow
If you do not have signs warning against illegal parking, you will need to contact law enforcement for permission to have the vehicle removed from your property. An officer will grant permission to have the vehicle towed away if he or she has reasonable grounds to believe that a vehicle illegally parked on private property is stolen, abandoned, or otherwise unclaimed.
Notification of Law Enforcement
If you have proper signage and are able to legally have a vehicle removed from your property, you must notify law enforcement by telephone where the vehicle was discovered within 48 hours of having the vehicle towed. You will need to submit the towed vehicle’s VIN number to the department, so be sure to write down this information before the tow truck arrives.
KNOW YOUR RIGHTS
So, your car has been impounded. Now what?
Can the tow company legally hold your car until payment is made for towing and storage?
Can the tow company hold your car hostage for payment?
The answer is YES and NO. There are different types of impounds: Law enforcement ordered, repossession or bank ordered, university ordered, and private party ordered. Repos I will leave that one alone. Suffice it to say, if your car is repoed you need to contact the lienholder.
Private party tows
Are ordered by businesses like apartment complexes, office buildings, stores, or any place where a business is concerned with who is parking in their lot. If your car has been impounded because you parked in one of these lots without proper authorization you will need to find out who the towing company is and contact them for release requirements. By law, a towing company has to post signs in the lot that they are towing away from (ARS 9-499.05). So obtaining information on who towed your car should be quite simple. Chances are there is a sign close to where your car was parked. In the case of private party impounds, the towing company cannot hold your car hostage for payment. If you can prove ownership of the impounded vehicle you simply need to go pick it up. You do not have to pay for towing and storage at that time. The only recourse the towing company has is to bill you. If you do not pay, your bill will be sent to a collection agency or you may be taken to court. This rule was established in 1984 by the court case Capson vs Superior Court of Arizona.