Insider Secrets of the Car Towing Business

Ever wonder how the world of reposession and impound towing work? Here's the inside scoop of the (oft seedy) business:

Dan worked as a part-time driver for five years and gave us some insight into how the repossession business works. The first step is simply getting the address of the car. It doesn't matter how they find out where the person lives, they just need to have that address.

Dan said that some finance companies give them an address, but if it's the wrong one, "They might have someone call the guy and tell him something stupid like he's won tickets to something and they want to know where to send them -- anything sneaky so they get the guy's address," he said. "Some people are so dumb that that they give their address and their car is just sitting there."

He said some people know it's a possibility their car will be repossessed so they park the car a few houses down thinking that the tow truck drivers won't be able to find it ... that doesn't work. We asked Dan what the best time to take a car was and he said, "Take them whenever! Whenever they least expect it."

Towing companies have strategies for everything, including illegally parked cars in a parking lot:

Normally, these drivers won't grab all the cars from a lot because they don't want people to think there's a strict policy. "It's kind of like fishing, you want to keep some bait out there," Dan said. "But when the money's tight, people take every car they can."


Newest 5
Newest 5 Comments

my car was towed recently(earlier today)I live in NJ and the parking lot where i parked my car is in a shopping parking lot area coz i was planning to go shopping after coming back from NY. I left my car at 9:30am, came back at 3:30pm and plan to do some shopping. I couldn't find my car anywhere. I didn't even know where to call or even where to look for my car. There are no signs at all that says i can only stay for couple of hours at least or a sign that it is a towing away zone. I was gone for 6hours and already a towing company already took my car. I actually don't know the basis of these towing companies for taking the car or any cars in a parking lot even with the authority of the parking lot owners. Can they just take your car away just because you were parked too long? I have to go from store to store to ask for the management that owned the parking lot area or the whole shopping mall, and finally one lady that worked in one store finally gave me a number to call that ended up the towing company, I finally get to call them at 4:40 and told us that they are closing at 5pm and we have to go there and pick up the car and I told them how am i going to pick up my car when they got my car? they want us to get a cab, it would take awhile for a cab to get to where I am of course, and they are charging me $184.00 and since they know that we can't come to get the car, the next day, I will be charge $226.00. this is so frustrating and aggravating.
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
My brother (the idiot) went to a Saints game one night and he was late as usual and couldn't find a place to park. He saw a group of cars (more than 100) parked in this illegal section. He admitted that he also saw a line of tow trucks (5 or so) just waiting for the game to start. He parked there anyway with the attitude "What, there's more than a hundred cars here, they can't get them all." Dingbat forgot that a football game lasts for HOURS. Yep, they got them all. I thought it was funny. He didn't....
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
A friend of mine got a job repossessing cars for a car finance college when we were in college. It was pretty easy since he (as a representative for the true owner of the car, the finance company) could get the key codes right from the dealer. He'd knock out some new keys, park a few blocks away, and just walk right up and drive away. He usually tried to take the car from deadbeat's place of work -- the odds for a "bad" confrontation were a lot lower if they were at their employer. When it got REALLY amusing was when the deadbeat would have the car backed with expensive personal property like photographic equipment or band equipment. The loss of that usually got them in teh mood to come up with the $ they owed. You probably can't do that anymore, though...
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
We asked him what the company he worked for did in these cases. "If someone offered them cash for the car they just kind of unloaded it off to them." He said they didn't get in trouble for that because, "They had a connection up at the DMV, a lady was making titles for them."

By law, the towing companies are supposed to wait 45 days before they apply for the title at the DMV. "But you know, it varies," Dan said.

Nice! The amount of corruption in every aspect of daily life is staggering.
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
Login to comment.

Email This Post to a Friend
"Insider Secrets of the Car Towing Business"

Separate multiple emails with a comma. Limit 5.


Success! Your email has been sent!

close window

This website uses cookies.

This website uses cookies to improve user experience. By using this website you consent to all cookies in accordance with our Privacy Policy.

I agree
Learn More