Can you get your personal belongings out of a car that has been towed?

Asked on July 29, 2015 under Accident Law, Florida


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

You have a right to get your personal belongings. In the majority of states, a towing company cannot charge a fee for storing/returning a person's personal property, however they do have a right to charge a storage fee for the car.

Personal items would be loose items such as clothing, CDs, tools, cell phones and detachable media players/navigation systems, etc. That having been said, the tow company does not have to return "fixtures"; that is items such as stereos, sounds systems, tire rims or GPS devices that are installed permanently in or on the car.

If the tow company refuses to let you get your possessions, or if the property is damaged or missing, you may have a claim against them. You may want to contact your state attorney general's office or consumer protection agency, or consult directly with a local attorney as to your rights under specific state law.

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