What to Do If Your Car Breaks Down at Night in a Parking Lot

If you have a broken down vehicle and are in an area where it could be towed, you want to be wise about what you do. You don't want to wait to move the vehicle in the hopes that someone you know can fix it and then end up having it removed from the parking lot by a tow company that the commercial property owner calls. Instead of leaving your car until the morning, consider doing the following things.

Pay for Your Own Tow

If the vehicle is impounded, the cost to get it out can be hundreds of dollars. The vehicle has to be lifted up onto the tow truck, taken to the location where the vehicle will be stored, and then you have to pay a fee until you get the vehicle out. Instead of leaving the vehicle in the parking lot and putting it at the risk of being towed and impounded, you'll want to pay for a tow. If you're worried about the cost of the tow, call your insurance provider to see if they cover a tow during the coverage year.

Call a Mobile Mechanical  Service

A mobile mechanic service can come and determine if you need to replace the battery, if there is something wrong with the starter or alternator, or if there is another problem with the vehicle. If the vehicle can't be jump-started to drive it to a mechanical shop or to be fixed at your home, you'll have to find another way to get the vehicle home. The service fee for them to jump the car may be minimal enough that it's much more affordable than the tow, or it could be a simple fix like replacing the battery.

Notify the Property Owner

It may be difficult to get a hold of the person that owns the property, especially if it's after hours of if it's a franchise. Try to get in touch with the property owner to see if you have time to spare before they tow any illegally parked cars in their lot. You can also explain the situation, give them a description of your vehicle, and ask that they do not have it towed.

You'll want to try to fix the vehicle or have it removed on your own if you can't get a hold of someone who can give you permission to leave the vehicle there. Call a tow truck like Jim's Tow Service to ask about towing your car off the parking lot.