How Does an Auto Impound Business Work?

by Cayden Conor - Updated September 26, 2017

An auto impound business can be lucrative. It accepts impounds from police and private citizens. Often, if a car is parked on a private lot and the owner is not visiting the business that owns the parking lot, the business owner may have the car impounded. Police regularly have cars impounded. These vehicles may have been recovered after being stolen, vehicles confiscated from drug users or pushers, and cars being held in an investigation. Often, the impound lot has its own tow trucks and will pick up a car when called by police or a business owner.

Once a car is impounded, the owner of the impound lot catalogues the vehicle and assigns an identification number to it. If the car needs to be impounded for a certain amount of time, the impound lot owner will have records regarding this. He will also allow detectives access to the car so they may complete their investigation.

The auto impound business makes its money by charging impound fees. In order for your vehicle to be released, you must pay the fees, which include an impound fee and a per diem storage fee. Your car may be damaged while at the impound lot--and if so, most impound lots do not pay for damages. You will be responsible for damages once you bail out your vehicle.

If a car is left at an impound lot for a certain number of days (this varies by state), the impound lot owner has the right to apply for the title and sell the vehicle either whole or for parts. It is in your best interest to get your vehicle out of the auto impound lot as soon as possible to minimize the high daily storage fees and any damage that might be done to the vehicle while on the lot. Also, should your car be impounded for any reason, you should know how long the impound lot is required to hold the car prior to applying for the title.

About the Author

Cayden Conor has been writing since 1996. She has been published on several websites and in the winter 1996 issue of "QECE." Conor specializes in home and garden, dogs, legal, automotive and business subjects, with years of hands-on experience in these areas. She has an Associate of Science (paralegal) from Manchester Community College and studied computer science, criminology and education at University of Tampa.

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