Everything You Need to Know About Arizona Towing Laws

Think your car has been wrongly towed? Learn about Arizona’s towing laws and your rights.
Written by Christelle Agustin
Reviewed by Jessica Barrett
Knowing your rights as a car owner is important if you ever find your vehicle towed. Towing laws are aplenty and vary from city to town depending on where you live in
, including maximum towing rates and rules about parking on private property.
If your car has been towed and you don’t know what to do about it,
, the
car insurance
expert app, has put together a guide to Arizona’s towing laws.
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When can police tow a vehicle in Arizona? 

Arizona police may tow your vehicle for reasons ranging from possessing an invalid driver’s license to blocking a highway. In general, police tow your vehicle for safety reasons, in order to keep fellow residents and drivers safe on the road.
You’ll find the official rules of when police can tow your vehicle under
Section 28-3511
of the Arizona Revised Statutes. It’s a lengthy law with several clauses that may be hard to understand. Lucky for you, we’ve broken it down for you in simpler terms.
These are the main reasons your vehicle may be towed by law enforcement:
  • You are driving without a license
  • You are driving with a
    suspended license
  • You have been arrested for Extreme
    or Aggravated DUI
  • You are under 21 years old and have consumed alcohol 
  • You do not have an ignition interlock device (also known as a “breathalyzer”) installed in your vehicle as appointed by the court
  • You are transporting an illegal resident
  • You are blocking a main road or highway 
  • Your vehicle is for sale with a destroyed vehicle identification number (VIN)
On the other hand, your car may not be towed if all of the following apply: 
  • Your vehicle is registered 
  • You are with another person who holds a valid driver’s license and is not under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol
  • The other person with you notifies the police officer that you will drive home or to another place of safety

How to get your car out of an impound lot in Arizona

First things first, you should know that impound lots are required to return your vehicle on the day of your request—as long as you provide proper documentation. These are the documents you’ll need:
  • Your valid driver’s license
  • Proof of vehicle registration
  • Proof of insurance
You can then proceed to get your vehicle back by following these four steps:
  • Contact the law enforcement agency that impounded your vehicle.
  • Provide valid paperwork.
  • Pay the necessary fees.
  • Arrive at the impoundment facility.
Pretty easy, right? The only tough part is the number of fees you’ll have to pay to get your car back. The storage of your vehicle doesn’t only require storage space but also labor from the towing company’s employees. Here’s what your fee breakdown may look like: 
  • Towing fees (e.g. your vehicle weight, equipment used, etc.)
  • Storage fees
  • Administrative fees 
  • Lien fees, if applicable
  • After-hours fees, if applicable
MORE: My car got towed. Now what?

When can private property owners tow a vehicle in Arizona?

In Arizona, it is legal to park on private properties—as long as there is no “No Parking” sign. Private property ranges from homes and businesses to landlord properties like apartments, which means private property owners may also have individual rules. 
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While each city and municipality can set their own regulations, the state of Arizona has these general laws for parking on private property:
  • The maximum rate for towing, transporting, or impounding a vehicle from private property is set by each city or town
  • Parking areas on private property must have visible signs that are readable from any part of the area. The signs must include parking restrictions (i.e. appropriate location and/or hours), a warning to violators, and the maximum fine for the violation. (
    ARS Section 9-499.05
  • If you do not have a storage contract, you may not park your car on private property for more than 15 days or it can be towed.
  • A vehicle is considered abandoned if it has been left unattended for at least 72 hours and may be towed. 
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When can your car be towed from a parking lot in Arizona?

Don’t get it twisted, parking lots still have rules! In Arizona, your car can be towed from a parking lot if:
  • Your vehicle is obstructing the regular flow of traffic
  • Your vehicle is stolen or taken without permission from the owner
  • Your vehicle is on a private parking lot for more than 15 days that isn’t covered by a storage contract
  • Your vehicle is on a private parking lot and you have violated its rules
MORE: Car insurance scams: How to avoid insurance fraud

What are my rights if my car is towed in Arizona?

Your car may be towed, but all is not lost! Take a deep breath and remember that you still have rights. Towing companies can sometimes be predatory with their services, but they are also subject to laws set by both the state and the city or town. 
If your car is towed in Arizona, you are entitled to the following:
  • As long as you have the proper documentation, the towing company must release your vehicle at your request.
  • You may access your vehicle and retrieve your belongings without paying a fee to the towing company or impound lot. 
  • Towing companies must provide you with a written statement of fees before requesting a payment.
  • Your vehicle must be towed to the nearest available lot unless law enforcement says otherwise.
  • Towing companies may not charge a fee if they are absent during work hours (Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.).
MORE: How to get car insurance with a bad driving record

How to save on car insurance in Arizona

If your car has been towed, your car insurance rates have likely gone up too. Since your driving record now includes a new violation, your insurance company will take note, consider you a higher-risk driver, and raise your premium. But don’t panic—there’s a way to get you down to your previous rate or lower. 
What’s the secret? Simply download the
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Arizona allows cities, towns, and other governing bodies to set their own maximum rates for towing, transporting, and storage fees. The maximum towing fee varies.
No, it is illegal for a landlord to tow your car without notice. Arizona law requires landlords and other private property owners to receive written permission from the vehicle’s owner or driver before they can tow a vehicle—unless law enforcement permits it.
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