Overcoming the unexpected: A comprehensive guide to understanding impound towing

Impound towing is a process that involves the removal and storage of vehicles by authorized authorities. It is typically carried out when a car is parked or abandoned in a prohibited area or when the owner violates specific laws. It plays a crucial role in maintaining order and ensuring the safety of the public on the roads.

Impound towing is not limited to just abandoned or illegally parked vehicles. It can also be enforced in cases of unpaid fines, expired registration, or vehicles involved in criminal activities. The goal of impound towing is to remove cars that pose a threat or inconvenience to others and ensure compliance with laws and regulations.

Reasons for Impound Towing

Impound towing can occur in various scenarios, each with its unique circumstances. Some common scenarios that may lead to municipal impound towing include:

  • Parking Violations: When a vehicle is parked in a no-parking zone, blocking access, or violating parking regulations, it may be subject to towing. This can happen in areas such as fire lanes, handicapped parking spots, or in front of fire hydrants. Impound towing in these situations is necessary to allow emergency services to access the area quickly and efficiently.
  • Expired Registration: Vehicles with expired registration tags are at risk of being impounded as they are not legally allowed to be on the road.
  • Unpaid Fines: Failure to pay fines, such as traffic tickets or parking tickets, can result in impound towing as a means of enforcing compliance.
  • Abandoned Vehicles: Vehicles left unattended for an extended period without proper authorization or in a state of disrepair may be impounded to prevent blight and ensure public safety. Abandoned vehicles not only create an eyesore but can also become a breeding ground for crime and vandalism. By removing these vehicles, towing for impounded vehicles helps to maintain the aesthetics and safety of the surroundings.

Understanding these common scenarios can help vehicle owners avoid towing services for impound facilities by taking necessary precautions and complying with laws and regulations.

Reasons for Impound Towing infographic

Impound Towing Regulations and Laws

Impound towing is governed by specific regulations and laws that vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. It is essential to understand these regulations to ensure that it is carried out lawfully and fairly.
One crucial aspect of impound towing regulations is the proper notification process. Authorities are required to provide sufficient notice to the vehicle owner before impounding their vehicle. This notice usually includes information about the impound location, the reason for towing, and the steps required to retrieve the vehicle.
Additionally, impound towing regulations also outline the rights and responsibilities of both vehicle owners and impound tow truck services providers. These regulations ensure that the impound towing process is conducted fairly and that vehicle owners have the opportunity to dispute the impound or request a hearing if they believe their vehicle was wrongfully towed.

How it Works

Impound towing follows a systematic process to ensure efficiency and accuracy. When a vehicle is identified for impound towing, a tow truck is dispatched to the location. The tow truck driver carefully attaches the vehicle to the truck and transports it to the designated impound lot.
Once at the impound lot, the vehicle is securely stored until the owner takes the necessary steps to retrieve it. These steps typically involve contacting the impound lot, providing proper identification and documentation, and paying the required fees.
It is important to note that impound towing is carried out by licensed and authorized towing providers who follow strict protocols to protect the rights of vehicle owners and ensure the safe handling of vehicles.

Impound Towing Fees and Payment Options

When a vehicle is impounded, there are fees associated with the towing and storage of the vehicle. These fees can vary depending on the jurisdiction and impound lot. It is important to understand the fees and payment options to retrieve the impounded vehicle.

Typically, impound towing fees include a towing fee, daily storage fees, and any additional fees for services such as inventory or administrative costs. These fees can quickly add up, especially if the vehicle is not promptly retrieved.
To retrieve an impounded vehicle, the owner must pay all outstanding fees in full. Payment options may include cash, credit card, or in some cases, a payment plan. It is essential to contact the impound lot and inquire about the accepted payment methods and any additional requirements. For more details about impound fees: Vehicle Impound Invoice

Vehicle Impound Towing & Storage Rates

Gross Vehicle Weight

Towing Distance


X < 3000 kg3000 kg< X < 6300 kg6300 kg< X < 9073 kg9073 kg < X

Not more than 6 km





More than 6 km

$79.78 + $2.41 per km over 6 kms

$84.25 + $3.02 per km over 6 kms

$133.56 + $3.41 per km over 6 kms

$177.64 + $7.26 per km over 6 kms

Impound Storage Rates

Zone 1$23.98 per day for impound lots located within the municipal boundaries of the City of Vancouver, Corporation of the City of North Vancouver and the Corporation of the District of North Vancouver.
Zone 2$22.89 per day for impound lots that are located in the Capital Regional District, excluding areas that are listed within another zone
Zone 3

$20.71 per day for impound lots located in the following locations:

• City of Abbotsford • City of Burnaby • City of Chilliwack • City of Coquitlam • City of Kamloops • City of Kelowna • City of Langley • City of Maple Ridge • City of Nanaimo • City of Prince George • City of Richmond • City of Surrey • Corporation of Delta • Corporation of the City of New Westminster • Corporation of the City of Port Coquitlam • Corporation of the City of White Rock • Corporation of the Township of Langley • District of Mission • District of Squamish • Resort Municipality of Whistler

Zone 4

$16.35 per day for impound lots located in the following locations:

• Corporation of the District of Central Saanich • District of North Saanich • District of Sooke • The unincorporated community of Port Renfrew • Saltspring Island • Town of Sidney • All other areas located within British Columbia that are not listed within another zone.

tow away zone tow near me

Read more: Understanding Tow-Away Zone. Everything you need to know.

Discover the tow-away zone to protect your vehicle from being towed. Explore their purpose, functioning, repercussions of parking in these restricted areas.

Tips for Avoiding

To avoid the hassle and expense of impound towing, it is crucial to follow certain guidelines and be aware of parking regulations in your area. Here are some tips to help you avoid impound towing:

  • Observe Parking Signs: Always park in designated areas and adhere to parking signs and regulations.
  • Renew Vehicle Registration: Ensure your vehicle’s registration is up-to-date to avoid impound towing for expired registration.
  • Pay Fines Promptly: Address any outstanding fines promptly to prevent impound towing due to unpaid fines.
  • Do Not Abandon Vehicles: Avoid leaving vehicles unattended for extended periods to prevent them from being considered abandoned.

Following these tips can significantly reduce the chances of your vehicle being subjected to impound towing.

What to Do if Your Vehicle Has Been Impounded

Discovering that your vehicle has been impounded can be stressful and overwhelming. However, it is essential to remain calm and take the necessary steps to retrieve your vehicle promptly.
The first step is to contact the impound lot where your vehicle is being held. Inquire about the specific requirements for retrieving the vehicle, including necessary documentation and payment options. It is crucial to gather all the required documentation, such as proof of ownership, valid identification, and any necessary release forms.
Once you have fulfilled all the requirements, proceed to the impound lot to retrieve your vehicle. Be prepared to pay any outstanding fees and provide the necessary documentation. Remember to inspect your vehicle for any damages before leaving the lot and address any concerns immediately.

Impound Towing vs. Private Towing: What’s the Difference?

Impound towing and private towing are two distinct processes that serve different purposes. Understanding the difference between the two can help clarify any confusion or misconceptions.
Impound towing is carried out by authorized authorities, such as law enforcement agencies or government entities. It is enforced to ensure compliance with laws and regulations and to maintain public safety. Impound towing is typically triggered by specific violations, such as parking violations or expired registration.
On the other hand, private towing is conducted by private towing companies and is often requested by the vehicle owner. Private towing is usually used for non-emergency situations, such as breakdowns, accidents, or relocating vehicles. The purpose of private towing is to assist vehicle owners in moving their vehicles safely and efficiently.



Impound towing is a complex process that serves an important purpose in maintaining order and safety on the roads. By understanding impound towing, its reasons, regulations, and common scenarios, vehicle owners can take necessary precautions to avoid having their vehicles impounded. In cases where impound towing is unavoidable, knowing the proper steps to retrieve the vehicle and understanding the differences between impound towing and private towing can make the process smoother and less stressful. Remember to always comply with parking and traffic regulations to minimize the risk of impound towing and ensure a hassle-free experience on the roads.

FAQ : Impound towing

Impound towing is the process of removing and storing vehicles by authorized authorities due to various reasons, such as parking violations, expired registration, or involvement in criminal activities.

Impound towing is carried out to maintain safety and order, such as when a vehicle is parked in a designated no-parking zone, left unattended for an extended period, or involved in criminal activities.

Impound towing is subject to specific regulations and laws that vary by jurisdiction, which include proper notification to vehicle owners and outlining their rights and responsibilities during the towing process

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Bob is an operation manager who has been working in roadside assistance since 2003. His labor of love is the towing service to people. He also blogs regularly on townearme.ca about roadside assistance, towing, automotive, and vehicles.