Posts made in May, 2016

What to Do If You Think Your Vehicle Has Been Towed

It’s a traumatic experience to return to where you parked your car, only to be greeted by an empty space. Your car might have been towed, or it might have been stolen. You need to act quickly to ensure that the necessary action is taken. So what do you need to do?

Checking the Signs

Look for signage that dictates any parking restrictions for the area. This signage might not be located right next to where you parked, so you should walk down the street until you spot the necessary information. The signage will have a telephone number to call. This might be a number for the appropriate department of the local council, or it might be for the towing company that is authorised to remove improperly parked vehicles.

Stolen or Towed

If you can locate such signage, call the number immediately to find out where your vehicle has been taken. If no signage can be found, or if the towing authorities are not in possession of your vehicle, you should call the police to report the vehicle as missing.

Retrieving the Vehicle

You will need to go to the appropriate impound yard to retrieve the vehicle. Find out if you need to make an appointment first, but it will generally be possible to do so immediately. You will need to provide photo ID to retrieve the vehicle. You will also need to pay a hefty release fee to retrieve your vehicle, and this amount will vary depending on which authority has impounded the vehicle. For example, small towns might charge less than if your vehicle was impounded in a large city. It just depends on which council oversees the process.

Additional Fees

It’s in your best interests to pay the retrieval fee as soon as possible, even if you plan to dispute the towing at a later stage. There are usually a certain number of days when the vehicle is held for a flat fee, and additional storage charges might be imposed if the vehicle is not retrieved within this timeframe. Query this fee and timeframe with the towing company or the local council.

Disputing the Towing

If you wish to dispute the towing, you will usually need to do so with the local council. Find out their process for this, and you will generally need to fill in a specific form. Your options for successfully disputing a towing are limited. You might be entitled to a refund of the towing fee in extenuating circumstances, which are generally limited to medical emergencies (for which you will be required to provide proof). Incorrect or missing signage can also be grounds to successfully dispute a towing.

While traumatic, it’s important to take quick action if you discover that your vehicle is not where you left it.

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Is Paintless Dent Repair the Right Choice for Your Car?

If your car has a scratch, dent, or ding, you might not relish the idea of paying lots of money to have it bumped out, but you might also not want to drive around with a beat-up car either. This might especially be true for those who may be thinking about selling their car and who know that even a sight nick can mean a reduced asking cost. Whatever your reasons for wanting to fix every minor scratch on your car, you might note if paintless dent repair is an option for you. 

1. Is paintless dent repair a quality fix?

In truth, paintless dent repair might be the highest-quality fix you can get for your car, as it means massaging out the dent from behind or the front, using special tools. There is no bonding agent, fillers, epoxy, or touchup paint involved in paintless dent repairs, so your car will look like it was never dented in the first place. You don’t need to worry about the bonding agent or filler getting cracked and brittle down the road, or about the paint not matching completely when you choose paintless dent repair.

2. Does paintless dent repair damage the paint?

You might think that the paint of a car would get chipped or cracked when the car is dented or dinged, but most of today’s car paints are meant to be very flexible so that they can actually bend slightly. Paintless dent repair shouldn’t crack or chip the paint if it’s still intact when the work begins.

3. Can all dents and dings be fixed with paintless dent repair?

If a dent is very big then it may have chipped the paint and you would need to have new paint put over it, even if you could massage it out. Some dents and dings are also so deep that the metal cannot be massaged out completely and it would need filler material. Also, if rust has been exposed from the dent, this usually needs sanding and new paint even if the dent is somewhat small. Your repair tech can tell you your options and note why paintless dent repair won’t work, if that’s the case.

4. Does paintless dent repair compromise the vehicle’s strength?

Massaging a dent out of a panel doesn’t somehow make the panel weaker; some very large dents might compromise a vehicle body strength and in those cases, you might want to have the panel replaced completely. However, massaging the dent back out of the panel doesn’t leave weak spots along the outside area of the dent or mean that you’re more likely to develop holes in that area.

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