Why you can trust The Zebra

The Zebra partners with some of the companies we write about. However, our content is written and reviewed by an independent team of editors and licensed agents. Reference our data methodology and learn more about how we make money.

If your car has been impounded and you don't have auto insurance, what are your options?

 

While a car can be impounded for myriad reasons, there's usually only one way to get it out: by paying an impound fee and presenting the required documentation. This documentation usually includes your driver's license, vehicle identification number (VIN), and proof of insurance.

If you don't have valid insurance for your impounded vehicle, it will be difficult — if not impossible — to get your car out of the impound lot.


Can my vehicle be impounded for not having insurance?

It depends. You can get a ticket for driving without insurance, but it is within the police officer's discretion whether your vehicle will be towed and impounded. Outside of New Hampshire, you're required by law to carry at least the minimum liability insurance. By failing to do so, you risk having your vehicle towed and impounded.

Although your state may only mandate liability coverage, you may be required to carry comprehensive and collision coverage if you drive a leased vehicle.

tow truck

Do I need insurance to get my car out of impound?

 

You will need to show active proof of car insurance to get your vehicle out of impound.

Car insurance is a requirement for any vehicle registered in a U.S. state and driven on public roads (outside of New Hampshire


How to get insurance for an impounded car

You'll need to show proof of insurance in order to get your vehicle out of impound — which means you'll need to purchase an auto insurance policy. Streamline the process of shopping for car insurance by having the following information at the ready:

  • Personal information of any drivers using the vehicle: driving history, insurance history, date(s) of birth, and driver’s license(s)
  • Primary residence: where the vehicle is parked
  • Vehicle information number (VIN)
  • Lienholder information (if applicable)
ID card

Car insurance after repo

 

If your car is repossessed by the bank or your financing company, the best course of action is to cancel your car insurance policy immediately, since it's no longer in your possession — it's now the bank's property. Keep in mind when you finance a car, it's not entirely your property yet — for as long as you're making payments, the financing company holds a financial interest in the vehicle. If you continue to have car insurance on your repossessed car, you're paying for coverage on a car you no longer own and no longer drive.

When you get car insurance again after having a repossessed car on your record, your rates are likely to be increased. This is because a history of not making car payments would show up on financial records — like your credit report — that insurers will screen when you get a new insurance policy, which is seen as a liability to car insurance companies.

When you get car insurance again after having a repossessed car on your record, your rates are likely to be increased


Does car insurance cover damage from towing?

Let's say your car is damaged while it's being towed to be impounded. Because the towing company is at fault, it would be the company's responsibility to cover the cost of any damages. You could go through your own insurance company since financed cars are required to have full coverage (liability, collision, and comprehensive). As long as the damage is caused by a covered peril, costs could be covered by your insurer even if your car is headed for impoundment.

If you’re ready to get a quote for an impounded car online, you can use The Zebra to compare car insurance rates side-by-side and find an affordable policy.

question magnifying glass

Buy car insurance online and start saving.

or
Location pin icon
No junk mail. No spam calls. Free quotes.

RECENT QUESTIONS

Can I insure multiple vehicles with different carriers?

Each company has different underwriting requirements so you should keep shopping to find one that will allow for your situation. It's best to ask carriers about this before starting a quote so you avoid wasting time with a company that will not insure your one car.
Oct 20, 2016 Deerfield, IL

How can I get my daughter removed from my insurance?

Thanks for your question. Since she is receiving her mail at your address, that is considered her residence.
Jul 1, 2019 Milwaukie, OR

Registration grace period in Colorado?

If the vehicle is going to be driven or parked on any public roads, it needs to be registered immediately. To my knowledge, there is no such thing as a grace period for registration.
Sep 3, 2018 Aurora, CO

Getting insurance for my RV with a foreign license

For any policy, car or RV, you will need a permanent address. However, I wouldn't recommend using an address in Michigan.
Mar 10, 2018 Yuma, Arizona

Ava Lynch photo
Ava LynchSenior Analyst

Ava joined The Zebra as a writer and licensed insurance agent in 2016. She now works as a senior analyst, providing insights and data analysis as one of The Zebra's property and casualty insurance experts.

Ava’s insurance career began as an agent with Farmers Insurance. Over the years, she has become an authority in all things property and casualty insurance, helping her to write informative guides for shoppers.

Ava’s work has been cited in publications such as InvestopediaThe BalanceMoney.comLiberty Mutual, U.S. News & World Report, GasBuddy, Car and Driver and Yahoo! Finance.

About The Zebra

The Zebra is not an insurance company. We publish data-backed, expert-reviewed resources to help consumers make more informed insurance decisions.

  • The Zebra’s insurance content is written and reviewed for accuracy by licensed insurance agents.
  • The Zebra’s insurance content is not subject to review or alteration by insurance companies or partners.
  • The Zebra’s editorial team operates independently of the company’s partnerships and commercialization interests, publishing unbiased information for consumer benefit.
  • The auto insurance rates published on The Zebra’s pages are based on a comprehensive analysis of car insurance pricing data, evaluating more than 83 million insurance rates from across the United States.