A car impound can be a really stressful situation, especially if you don’t know what to do. If your vehicle was impounded for no insurance, this blog post will help you out! You’ll learn about what happens when your car is impounded and how much it will cost to get it back. We also have tips on how to avoid being without car insurance so that you’re not stuck with another car impound fee in the future!
Vehicle owners should retrieve their vehicles as soon as possible in order to avoid the high costs associated with impound lots. Generally speaking, you will have to pay an impound fee and a tow truck fee when retrieving your vehicle. Impound lots also charge storage fees on a daily basis so it’s important that car owners return for their vehicles as soon as possible.
Table of Contents
How the Vehicle Impoundment Program works
The Vehicle Impoundment Program is an effective measure to reduce car accidents and fatalities. It removes suspended drivers from Ontario’s roads by removing their means of transportation, the car itself. The program also states that you are responsible for ensuring that everyone who drives your vehicle has a valid driver’s license. Your vehicle can still be impounded in the events of:
- lending your vehicle to friend or family member
- using your vehicle for business purposes
- renting or leasing a vehicle
- having an out-of-province or country licence
There are two situations that can impact the length of vehicle impoundments.
First, if a police officer pulls you over and notices that you have your licence suspended for a Criminal Code conviction, then your vehicle will be suspended for a minimum of 45 days. Here are some examples of Criminal Code convictions:
- driving while intoxicated
- driving while disqualified
- failing to remain at the scene of a collision
- failure to complete remedial measures to reinstate a suspended licence
- you are caught driving in violation of a condition on your driver’s licence, such as driving without a required approved ignition interlock device
Next, according to the Highway Traffic Act, your vehicle will be impounded for a minimum of 7 days if:
You’re caught driving when your licence is already suspended under certain Highway Traffic Act offences:
- a prior “warn range” suspension for BAC between 0.05 and 0.08
- a prior suspension for driving while impaired by a drug or a combination of a drug and alcohol
- too many demerit points
- careless driving
- default of family support
- race, stunt or contest driving
- a conviction for a Novice Violation
You are stopped by police and your licence is suspended immediately for the following reasons:
- Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) over 0.08
- driving while impaired by a drug or a combination of a drug and alcohol
- failure to comply with a police officer’s demand for alcohol or drug testing under the Criminal Code of Canada
Can your car get impounded for not having insurance?
In Ontario, car insurance is mandatory. If you are pulled over without car insurance and your car has an out-of-province registration plate, then the officer can impound your car for 30 days. However, if you’re driving with a valid Ontario license but no car insurance, then they’ll have the option to tow away your vehicle at their discretion.
If your car was sent to the impound without insurance, it can be a long and expensive process to get your car back. You’ll have to pay an impound fee as well as the cost for the tow truck driver who took away your car in addition to any outstanding parking tickets or fines that may exist on your vehicle.
Unfortunately, this doesn’t mean the problem with no car insurance ends there. You’ll still need to get car insurance in order for your license not to be suspended or revoked as a result of driving without valid insurance.
Can I get my car out of impound with no insurance?
In Ontario, it’s not possible to get your car out of impound without showing proof of insurance. This is because you are legally required to have car insurance to drive a vehicle on public roads, so it’s a risk for the lot to release a vehicle to an uninsured vehicle owner. In order to be able to get your car out of the impound, there are several things that you must show them. This includes your driver’s licence, vehicle ownership, vehicle registration, and proof of insurance.
If your car is towed to a private impound lot, it’s possible that they will let your car go if you can provide proof of ownership and registration. However, there are no guarantees with this type of release as the rules differ for each individual company.
Can someone else get my car out of impound?
Yes, someone else can retrieve your vehicle from impound even if they are not the vehicle owner. The impound lot will need proof of authorization from the vehicle owner to release the car. Unfortunately, your impounded car’s driver has to pay for all the fees outstanding on the vehicle. For that reason, it may be difficult to get someone else to pick up your car from the impound lot.
How much does it cost to get your car out of impound?
To get your car out of impound, the cost will vary depending on how long it was parked. If your car was towed by a public agency, like the police, you will need to pay anywhere from $100-$1000 when you get it back depending on the incident.
In general, you can expect to pay $100-$500 for a tow if your car is impounded. A vehicle that is impounded will cost you a fee just to release it. Storage fees can also start at a few dollars and go up from there depending on how long it takes for the car’s owner to come and retrieve their vehicle. Limiting the time that your car is in an impound lot can help keep down the total cost. But typically, you’re looking to spend a couple of hundred dollars to get your vehicle off the impound lot.
Can you get your car out of impound without paying?
There are a few situations in which you can get your car out of impound without paying.
If you have a valid Ontario driver’s license and insurance, then the police will release it to you after 24 hours at no additional cost. You may also be able to go back to the auto garage that towed your vehicle (or even call them) and they might be able to release it without charging you. However, this is extremely unlikely as they typically charge towing and storage fees.
If your car was towed by a private company, such as an apartment complex or shopping centre, then the fees will vary depending on whether you have been in contact with them before or not.
You may also be able to get out of impound if there is an emergency situation, such as a death in the family or a medical emergency.
In order to avoid all of this hassle you can purchase special auto insurance policies which can protect you from impound fees should your vehicle get towed!
If you do not pay the fee for your vehicle, then the tow yard will sell it and they will bill you for the remaining balance. The problem is, if you do abandon your vehicle at this point, then you can also be summoned by the tow company for abandoning your vehicle. When this happens, you will likely be hit with a fine that can range anywhere from $50 to as high as $500. The unfortunate consequences of a car being impounded are not cut and dry. In fact, the worst part is that your license can be suspended for as much as two years once the police notify your province’s service center.