Impounded Car, Need Advice!


#1

So my car has been at the impound lot for awhile. I’m poor so i haven’t been able to go get it, but now that it’s been awhile I’m wondering if it’s worth it to pay them all that money or just put that money toward a new car. My car is a 2003 Toyota Echo, certainly not fancy but it’s been an excellent car for me. i bought it gently used about 7 years ago. I’ve put a lot of miles on it and it does need some work. Would it be worth paying the $1500+ to get it out, or should i just save my money and start again?


#2

Small cars aren’t as good as the 2003 Echo. If the body isn’t all rusty, it may be worth the money you mentioned. Bring a tow truck unless they will let you install a new battery because yours is probably dead.

When they tell you how much it will cost to get it out, ask if there is anybody else you will have to pay afterward. If your registration is expired, they might not let you drive it out of there until it is paid. You may need proof of insurance too.

Check the prices on another echo before you do anything. Ask if they will let you sign over the title on your car or forget that and let them auction it off. At city prices, they don’t deserve the title.


#3

Do you really think you’d be able to get as good a car for &1500?
If you’re admittedly poor, how do you plan to make car payments?

Get the Echo from impound. When you get in better financial shape, we can talk about getting a new car then.


#4

It’s probably in a lot owned by the tow company, right? If so, they may be agreeable to negotiating the storage fees …Depends on whether they want your car or not…At some point the car becomes theirs and they can / will sell it…Offer them $500 cash to release it and see what happens…Do this in person, not over the phone…


#5

That is a good idea from Caddyman.


#6

While I respect Caddymans contributions I could not disagree more.

The tow yard does not want your car. It’s an Echo and not worth a plugged nickel, figuratively speaking.
I have been to hundreds of tow yards for work related purposes and if you try negotiating more than likely they will laugh at you or unleash a dialogue that would embarrass a sailor.

If you don’t pick it up they will apply for title and auction or sell it.


#7

If you offer them the same money as they could hope to get at auction, they just might take it…


#8

Trade in value is about $1500 for a 2003 Echo sedan with auto trans. You might expect them to go for a $1000 offer. But start negotiating at $500 and see where it goes from there.


#9

Here’s some info you need before you can make your decision: If you don’t pick it up, and let the tow yard keep the Echo for themselves, are you free and clear of it financially then? Or will the DMV still demand fines/fees from you when you try to register your next car or renew your driver’s license?

That said, I think those Echo’s were pretty good cars. 2003 was near the end of the production run on that line, so it should have all the design bugs worked out. I don’t think they are quite as robust as the Corolla, but still if the total fee to get it back is $1500, I’d be inclined to keep it provided it isn’t too badly rusted.


#10

The Echo is sturdy enough, but not popular for a Toyota. Prior generations had been Tercels and more recent are Yarises. There are plenty of poorer people who do as you’re proposing, but it only makes sense if they want more than the car is worth and you can afford something at least as good. Also, be sure to consider accurate repair costs. If your Echo is fading away it may not be worth even $1500.


#11

Thanks everyone. I managed to scrape the money together to retrieve my car. I think I did the right thing. I think the Echo and I can have several more good years together, provided it doesn’t get impounded again!


#12

I too think you did the right thing. The Echo is an underappreciated car, worthy of more respect than it gets. I wish you many more good years with yours.


#13

Good for you. Happy driving. I agree, that Echo is a good car to own.