There are various reasons for which a vehicle can be towed in New York City. Parking fines greater than $350, unpaid parking meter, blocking a driveway, parking in front of fire hydrant and the like. But you can also have your car towed for reasons out of your control.
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You can have your car towed for reasons out of your control
Say you hurt yourself at home and have a friend drive you to the ER for help. Next thing you know, your situation gets worse before it gets better, and you spend days recovering in the hospital. By the time you come back home, your own vehicle, which was parked legally days ago, has now been towed because eventually it was parked on the wrong side of the street.
NYC can tow your vehicle 10 days after it’s towed
To penalize you for wrongdoing, New York City’s legal system allows the city itself to auction off towed vehicles 10 (business) days after they’ve impounded it. Plus, if your car was towed and you didn’t get it back in time, you’re not allowed to bid at the auction to get it back. The vehicle must go to someone else.
The Vehicle and Traffic Law permits New York City to designate the entirety of the city as a “tow away zone”
For many two weeks is not enough time to gather up the funds
So you basically have two weeks to get your car back after its been hauled away. 10 days may seem enough but between finding out where the vehicle is held, saving the funds to pay for all the various fees, working, family life, and other day-to-day tasks, for most 10 days doesn’t work. For those who are living paycheck to paycheck, and get paid every two weeks, it makes matters worse. Their car may even be crucial to their work itself, depending on where they live and how much access they have to public transportation.
SEE ALSO: UNREADABLE NYC LICENSE PLATES; INJURIES, FATALITIES, LOST REVENUE
Towing fees are exorbitant
The NYC Department of Finance oversees towing with proceeds from the auction go on to pay the judgment debt after all expenses are paid. Expenses can include poundage, storage, towing, booting, license plate removal, and the like. In fact, if you want to get your car back before those 10 days are up, you must pay various fees. The tow itself which can cost anywhere from $185 to $370, storage fee of $20 a day for the lot the car is on, unpaid parking tickets, penalties and interest. A boot fee is an extra $185. Plus, if the tow was due to an expired car registration or inspection sticker, you must pay another $250 to the towing company.
Police officials said during a City Council hearing that officers have towed more than 8,600 of the so-called “ghost cars” in the city since the start of 2022
Hyundais, Nissans, Jeeps, and Chevrolets are auctioned off
All previously towed vehicles are auctioned off as is. Here’s an idea of the kinds of makes being auctioned off; all listed on the NYC Gov website. Today, November 28, 2023 there’s a public sale going on in the Bronx. A 2015 and 2019 Nissan are up for grabs. So is a 2020 Hyundai, and a 2023 Jeep. In fact, there are 56 (previous-towed) vehicles auctioned off tomorrow in the Bronx alone. Tomorrow, on November 29th, Brooklyn will have its own auction starting at 10 am. A 2022 Hyundai is on display, a 2013 Chevrolet, a 2015 Ford, a 2018 Jeep and so many more for a grand total of 75 vehicles to be auctioned off.
Before the NYPD tow pound on Manhattan’s West Side shut down, processed nearly 200 cars per day. Now there are three tow pounds in Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx, each capable of housing roughly 200 cars each.