How to Get Your Car Out of Impound Without Insurance

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Several scenarios can cause your vehicle to be impounded. You may be arrested while driving without any valid registration or driver’s licence. Or maybe you parked your car illegally. Regardless of the reason, if your car is towed and impounded, you will usually have to show proof of insurance to get it back.

If you don’t have car insurance, it will be very difficult to get your car out of custody, and you may not be able to get your car back until you buy the coverage. To drive away from the towing yard, you must have a valid insurance policy, plus you will have to pay certain fees before your vehicle can be released.

What happens when your car is impounded

Your car may be impounded for many reasons. If you are stopped for a serious traffic offense, such as driving without insurance or a DUI, a law enforcement officer will likely have your vehicle pulled over. Once booked, your vehicle can remain in the towing yard for up to 30 days, but it depends on the situation. You must take your vehicle out of custody within that time, or the towing company may be legally allowed to sell or cancel it.

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Reasons for booking your car

There are a variety of reasons why your car may be impounded. In most cases, your car can be impounded if you are stopped, and the officer decides that you should not or cannot drive legally based on a law you broke. Here are some potential situations that could lead to your vehicle being impounded:

  • Parking illegally: If your vehicle is parked illegally or parked in a place that obstructs traffic, it may be towed into a holding yard.
  • No car insurance: Car insurance is a legal requirement to drive in almost every state. If your vehicle is parked and you do not have an active vehicle insurance policy, your vehicle may be towed and impounded.
  • Not having a driver’s license: Every state requires you to have a valid driver’s license to drive. If you are caught driving with a license, your vehicle will likely be impounded.
  • Driving an unregistered vehicle: Your vehicle must be registered with the DMV in your state to be able to drive legally. If you are stopped while driving an unregistered vehicle, your vehicle will likely be impounded. Note that not having a registration is different than having an expired one, which will usually just result in a ticket.
  • Reckless driving: If you are stopped for reckless driving, which includes speeding at a rate well above the permitted limit, your vehicle may be impounded.
  • Driving under the influence of alcohol: Drivers who are stopped because of a DUI/DUI will normally have their vehicle impounded. Getting your car out of custody after a DUI/DWI can be especially difficult because you may lose your driving privileges.

Can I take my car out of custody without car insurance?

Getting your car out of custody without car insurance is very difficult. It is very likely that you will not be able to get your car back without insurance coverage. Legally, you won’t be allowed to drive on a towing without insurance in most states anyway.

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Unfortunately, there are not many ways around this. However, it is possible that the lot you are holding your car in will not ask to see proof of insurance. You can contact the car owner and ask if you need to show proof of insurance to get your car back. But even if proof of coverage isn’t required, keep in mind that you still need insurance to drive your car home legally.

Can I get car insurance while booking my car?

In almost every case, car insurance is a requirement to take your car out of custody. The only exception is for drivers who live in New Hampshire or Virginia, where car insurance is not mandatory. Even then, drivers in these two states may need to show proof of financial responsibility, such as a deposit with the DMV, to get their vehicle back.

Fortunately, you can get car insurance while you book your car. Many insurance providers allow you to shop for and purchase a policy and download ID cards online in just a few minutes. Therefore, if you need to take your car out of custody, you can quickly buy insurance, even on weekends.

However, you still have to make a smart decision about which insurance policy and how much coverage to buy. If you are short on time, you may want to consider using the insurance marketplace to purchase a policy, which will help you find and compare the cheapest car insurance in your area.

Many insurance companies also have a mobile app that includes digital ID cards and proof of coverage. This way, there is no need to print the required documents before heading to the two halves. You can even buy an insurance policy on the spot at the place of booking if you need proof of insurance to get your car back.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best car insurance company?

The best car insurance company varies by driver. It depends on where you live, your budget, the type of coverage you need, the discounts you qualify for, and more. To find the best company for you, be sure to shop and compare insurance companies using your personal criteria.

If my car is returned, what should I do with my car insurance?

If your car has been repossessed, which means it was taken over by a lender, you may be wondering what to do with your insurance. If you are not planning to buy another car, you can cancel your car insurance policy. On the other hand, if you are planning to buy another car or pay to get your current car back, you should keep your policy active to avoid the coverage lapse.

Will my car insurance cover damage caused by towing my car?

This should be covered by the towing company’s insurance, as the damage would technically be their fault. If the towing company or their insurance does not accept liability, your car insurance may cover damage to your car if you have full car insurance, which includes collision and comprehensive coverage. If you only have liability insurance, your insurance will not cover damage to your car.

How much does car insurance cost?

Car insurance premiums vary based on many factors. Your condition, age, claims history, driving history, and make and model of your vehicle can all affect your pricing. For reference, the average cost of auto insurance in the United States is $1,674 per year for a full coverage policy. Your rate for similar coverage may be higher or lower depending on your circumstances.

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