Returning to your car only to find it missing is never a welcome development. Discover the reasons your vehicle can be impounded so you’ll know to avoid them.
If you’re worried your vehicle may be seized or towed, read this. It can help. Note that seizure practices and impounding bylaws differ from one location to another, so check with your municipality and province to know how car removals are regulated.
1. Private parking
If you’ve parked your car in front of a private entrance, the building owner has the right to have it towed. This can also happen if you park your car in the parking lot of a business or shopping center with signs that indicate the spot is designated for customers, when you are not one.
In both cases, your car will be towed a few blocks away, or in the worst case, impounded by the towing company.
2. Your car is impeding the maintenance of roadways
Your municipality reserves the right to tow your vehicle if it interferes with snow removal or any other type of street maintenance or road work. In this case, the city always posts temporary “no parking” signs to notify drivers. If you ignore this warning, your car will be ticketed, towed to another street, or possibly impounded by the city.
3. Abandoned vehicle
If you abandon your vehicle on a public road, it will be towed by the city or by the municipal police.
4. Your vehicle is seized by the police
There are numerous scenarios in which the police can seize your vehicle and have it towed to the impound lot. Among the most common are:
- Driving with an expired, suspended or revoked licence. Licences can be revoked or suspended if registration fees are overdue; if you have unpaid fines; if you’ve reached the limit of demerit point penalties under the Criminal Code, etc.
- Driving a vehicle without the correct class of licence.
- Driving with a blood alcohol level that is over the legal limit.
- Refusal to take a breathalyser test or give a blood sample.
- Excessive speeding.
- Driving an unregistered vehicle.
- Failure to comply with the Highway Safety Code.
- Street racing or car surfing.
Keep in mind that a vehicle can be seized even if it doesn’t belong to you.
Also, if you have been arrested for delinquent driving and taken to the police station, no one will offer to give you a ride. You will have to find your own way home.
Towing and impound fees can be expensive and frustrating. As the registered owner of the vehicle you are liable for it, therefore do not lend your car to anyone without a valid driver’s license, or to anyone who could violate the Highway Safety Code. Likewise, if you borrow a vehicle, make sure it is registered.