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If your car is impounded, you’ll likely want to get it out as quickly as possible. One of the key steps to get your vehicle back is showing proof of auto insurance along with other essential documents. If you don’t currently have coverage, you’ll have to add an auto insurance policy before the car gets out of impound.
Luckily, many auto insurance providers offer instant coverage and a simple purchasing process that can be performed online or over the phone. We’ve ranked the best car insurance providers to determine which ones offer coverage that can quickly get your vehicle out of impound.
Do I Need Insurance To Get My Car Out of Impound?
In most situations, you cannot get your car out of impound with no insurance. Motorists are regularly asked to show proof of ownership, a valid driver’s license and proof of car insurance before an impounded vehicle is given back.
Remember that most states require all cars to meet or exceed minimum coverage standards for auto insurance. While it’s important that you add car insurance to get your vehicle out of impound, it’s also necessary to avoid breaking the law.
You May Not Need To Show Proof of Insurance
It’s illegal to drive your car out of the impound lot without car insurance, but the tow yard attendant may not ask for proof of coverage. Not all lots explicitly require employees to ask, and some attendants may forget. This is the only way to get around the requirement for auto insurance.
Remember that even if you can take your car off the impound lot without insurance, it’s still illegal to drive. You still need to meet your state’s minimum coverage limits to legally drive it, and you’ll need long-lasting coverage rather than temporary auto insurance. This is true even if you are simply driving the vehicle to your house.
Get Instant Car Insurance and Take Your Car Out of Impound
Assuming that your car is impounded and you do not currently have insurance, you will need to get coverage. Luckily, many auto insurance providers offer plans that start immediately. You can even use rate comparison tools to check out car insurance quotes right away, and mobile apps typically come with virtual copies of your new insurance card.
How To Get Insurance When Your Car Is Impounded
The process of getting cheap car insurance when your car gets impounded is identical to getting coverage at any point. You’ll to provide the following information to potential insurers:
- Your name and date of birth
- Your driver’s license number
- Your car insurance history
- Your driving record
- Your current address
- The vehicle identification number (VIN)
While you may get charged more for car insurance if you were previously an uninsured motorist, it’s important that you tell the truth about your coverage history and driving record. Otherwise, you could be dropped again and would likely face even higher rates when you pick up coverage the next time.
Can I Wait To Get My Car Out of Impound?
While you can wait a while to take your car out of impound, it’s an extremely risky move. That’s because most municipalities only keep your vehicle impounded for 30 days before placing a lien on the car. They can then auction your car off to pay the towing company and to cover all applicable storage fees.
If you wait more than 30 days to get your impounded car, you may no longer have a vehicle to retrieve. Remember that 30 days is the average wait period, but the exact amount of time varies by the city and state.
Additionally, many impound lots will charge steep fees by the day. The longer your car stays on their impound lot, the more money you’ll likely have to pay to get it back.
Documents Needed To Get a Car Out of Impound
Proof of insurance is not the only requirement for getting your car out of impound. Expect to provide the documentation listed below before having your vehicle returned:
- Proof of insurance
- Driver’s license
- Vehicle title or vehicle registration
- Money to pay appropriate fees
Keep in mind that some impound lots may have a minimum waiting period before you can retrieve your car. Make sure to contact the applicable lot to see if this is the case.
Reasons for Your Car To Be Impounded
It’s much better not to end up in a situation where your car is impounded, but it occasionally happens. The following are some reasons you may end up needing to find your towed vehicle:
- You parked illegally
- You got pulled over for a traffic violation and were driving without insurance
- You got pulled over driving without a license or with a suspended license
- You were caught driving an unregistered car
- Driving under the influence (DUI) could get your license plate impounded
- You were caught driving recklessly
- You were arrested while driving
- Your vehicle is evidence in a crime
There are various other reasons why your car could get impounded, so this list is not exhaustive. Remember that either way, you’ll have a difficult time if you attempt to get your car out of impound without insurance.
Make sure to carry at least the minimum coverage required by your state’s department of motor vehicles (DMV). If you’re caught driving without liability insurance, police officers or other law enforcement officials could impound your vehicle. You don’t need full coverage auto insurance to avoid the repossession of your car, but it could be good for drivers who’d like to move beyond liability coverage.
Our Recommendations for Auto Insurance
Whether you need auto insurance in a hurry to get your car out of impound or are browsing more slowly, make sure to compare car insurance policies. Leading providers to consider include GEICO, USAA and Progressive.
FIND OUT HOW MUCH YOU CAN
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GEICO: Best Overall
Drivers often turn to GEICO for its affordable rates and wide range of insurance coverage types. The company has some notable extra benefits available such as rental reimbursement, mechanical breakdown insurance and roadside assistance.
USAA: Best Military Provider
Not everyone can pick up USAA, as its insurance covers only military members, their families and veterans. It regularly offers the industry’s cheapest rates, so drivers who qualify should consider reaching out to USAA insurance agents.
Progressive: Best for High-Risk Drivers
Progressive insurance is known for offering reasonable rates to high-risk drivers, which includes many who want to get their cars out of impound with no insurance. It’s also more willing to insure those with driving records that are far from spotless. Some of the extras offered by Progressive include rental coverage, roadside assistance, and travel expenses.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can someone else get my car out of impound in California?
Yes, someone other than the registered owner can get a car out of impound if you send a notarized letter with your identification and permission. It’s much easier to personally get a vehicle out, but this works if that plan is not possible.
What happens if you get pulled over without insurance in Michigan?
This is a misdemeanor in Michigan. The consequences of driving without insurance can include a fine of between $200 and $500, up to a year in jail and your driver’s license being suspended.
How much does it cost to get your car out of impound in Texas?
The overall cost depends on the weight of your vehicle. Assuming it weighs less than 10,000 pounds, you likely have to pay a tow fee of between $150 and $250.
How do I get my impound fee waived in Minnesota?
Minnesota lets you request a waiver on your impound fee by filling out an IFP form. This could work if the owner of the vehicle is of a low income level and can’t pay costs for the vehicle impoundment.
The Detroit Bureau collects data from every major car insurance provider to formulate rankings of the best insurers. Our in-depth rating system takes into account market share, coverage, auto insurance rate estimates generated by Quadrant Information Services, customer satisfaction and ratings from industry experts. Each insurer is given a weighted score in four categories, as well as an overall score out of 10.0.
We recommend auto insurance companies based on these rankings, but we also encourage you to perform your own research and compare quotes to find the best coverage.