Coming back to a missing car can be a scary thing and the fees associated with a towed car can be even scarier. On top of that, you only have 72 hours to find your vehicle and either pay off your owed judgment debt or create a payment plan and retrieve your car from the tow lot. You can learn more about finding and claiming a towed vehicle on the NYC Department of Finance towed vehicle reclamation information page.
So what happens if you don’t reclaim your vehicle in time, either by choice or by circumstance? After 72 hours, the auction process begins for a towed vehicle and a vehicle can be sold in as few as 10 days if a sale hold, which can be requested at any NYC Department of finance business center, is not made.
If you’re not the person whose vehicle is being sold (you can’t buy back your own vehicle), a towed vehicle auction can be a great way to get a vehicle at a discounted rate. Having a decent amount of car knowledge is recommended, however, as these vehicles are sold as is. Some allow vehicles to be towed simply because they’re not worth keeping, so don’t get caught with a bad deal.