About NJ State Auto: Used Car Dealership in Jersey City

Welcome to NJ State Auto. We have been one of the top used car dealers in New Jersey since opening our doors in 1994, helping the general public find and buy quality Used Cars, Trucks, Vans, SUVs, and Hybrids below Kelley Blue Book (KBB) Value. If you are looking for used car bargains at wholesale prices with clean titles, then you have come to the right place. Take a look at what we have to offer in our inventory.

The NJ State Auto Auction offers Free CARFAX Vehicle History Reports. All vehicles are checked by CARFAX, have clean titles, and include the CARFAX Buyback Guarantee. We also offer auto loan financing and online credit approval.

We are the largest used car auction in the tri-state metro area, serving New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, and DC. We are ranked number one in customer service for all Public Auto Auctions in the Northeast Region. 

Visit Our Store in Jersey City, NJ

Buying a quality used car is a huge investment. So get the most out of your hard-earned money, and come to one of the most reliable used car dealers in NJ. Our friendly and helpful office staff is ready to answer any questions you might have. Call today and let us earn your business.

New Jersey State Auto Used Car Dealership

406 Sip Avenue

Jersey City, NJ 07306

Phone: (201) 200-1100

Posted on Categories FAQs

How to Go Farther on Every Tank of Gas

Buying gas is part of the budget for any car, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find ways to save money. The way you drive and take care of your car has a big effect on the amount of fuel you use, according to the U.S. Union of Concerned Scientists. Keep yourself from pouring all of your money into your gas tank by following these easy tips for maximizing your car’s fuel economy.

How to Conserve Fuel While Driving

Give your car some TLC

Cars consume less fuel and run best when they are maintained well. This means getting regular oil and filter changes, spark plug replacements, and tire rotations. By taking good care of your car, you can prevent future damage and also improve the fuel economy. Check your vehicle’s owner’s manual to figure out when each maintenance appointment should take place.

Drive the speed limit

Slow down — save the fast driving for the race car drivers. The Consumer Energy Center of the California Energy Commission said all vehicles lose fuel economy when driven at speeds above 55 miles per hour. As for highway driving, going 65 mph instead of 75 mph reduces fuel cost by 13 percent. Avoid driving aggressively to save fuel in both the city and on the highway by driving the speed limit.

Take advice from your smartphone

If you have an app on your phone that you can use to monitor traffic, check it before you leave the house. By doing this, you can plan an alternate route and avoid wasting gas from idling during your commute. Also consider using a smartphone app that finds the cheapest gas in your area. Not only will this save you money at the pump, but it will also keep you from wasting your time trying to find the best gas prices in your area.

Avoid idling for more than a minute

Unfortunately, your engine uses a little bit of gasoline at its initial start-up. According to the UCS, letting your engine idle for more than a minute can burn more gas than turning off your engine and restarting it. Avoid idling by checking traffic in advance, or considering purchasing a car with “stop-start” technology that automatically turns off the engine when you brake.

Carpool when you can

If you have a friend whose business is close to your office, consider carpooling with them to get to work. Sharing a ride to work with friends is an effective way to double your fuel economy. Alternate every other week for driving with your pals to save both of you money on gas.

Park in the shade

The UCS recommended parking in the shade during the summer. Not only does this keep your car cooler during warm temperatures but it also minimizes fuel evaporation. Park in a garage or under an awning during the summer if possible. This is an easy way to save you money at the gas pump.

Find a Used Car With Good Fuel Economy in Jersey City

If you’re looking for an affordable, fuel-efficient car, check out NJ Auto Auction. Here, you’ll find a wide variety of CARFAX-certified cars, giving you many options to help find the perfect car that suits your needs. Let us know if you have any questions about our inventory.

Get a Free Vehicle History Report When You Shop at Our Used Car Dealership

Free Carfax Vehicle History report

One of the most important steps of shopping for a used car is checking a vehicle’s history, which is why NJ State Auto provides a free CARFAX report for each vehicle in our inventory. We think it’s critical that our customers know exactly what they’re getting when they buy a used car from us. 

We’re especially proud to partner with CARFAX on account of the extensive details in their signature vehicle history reports. Below is a list of everything a CARFAX report covers.

CARFAX Vehicle History Reports Cover the Following:

  • Major Accident
  • Mileage Rollback
  • Multiple Owners
  • Structural Damage
  • Vehicle Service History
  • Lease, Personal, Taxi or Police Use
  • Total Loss
  • Rebuilt
  • Flood Damage
  • Airbag Deployment
  • Mileage Rollover
  • Salvaged
  • Hail Damage
  • Branded a Lemon
  • Last Reported Mileage
  • Junked
  • State Owned
  • Length of Ownership
  • Estimated Miles Driven Per Year
  • Not Actual Mileage
  • Recall Information
  • Warranty Information

Our Jersey City used car dealership offers free CARFAX reporting on our full inventory of vehicles. In addition to providing a detailed history based on each vehicle’s VIN, we also complete a thorough inspection on every car that arrives on our lot.

If you purchase a vehicle and still find something wrong with it based on an incident not listed in the vehicle history, we have more good news. All of our cars come with the CARFAX Buyback Guarantee.

At NJ State Auto, we’re committed to giving our customers a quality experience. If you have questions about a car on our lot or our free CARFAX report program, contact us by phone or through our website. We look forward to hearing from you.

4 Reasons to Avoid Driving on Underinflated Tires

Believe it or not, driving with too little air in your tires can be risky for more than just your well-being. It can jeopardize other parts of your car and even wreak havoc on your budget without compromising any of your hardware. 

Luckily, inflating your tires is quick and simple with a tire gauge, an air pump and a little time. Make sure you’re consulting your owner’s manual to find the exact pressure. By keeping the amount of air at this level, you’ll be dodging a lot of these road troubles.

Why You Don’t Want to Drive on Deflated Tires

Reduced fuel economy

As soon as you take to the road on underinflated tires, you’ll be feeling some pocketbook pain at the pump. A drop of 6 psi can make a sedan’s fuel economy drop by 5 percent. That can mean sacrificing a couple of miles per gallon, which will add up quickly during any commute. 

Easier tire blowouts

You won’t be kicking yourself at the pump if you get a flat before filling up again, though. Underinflating your tires is the easiest way to kill them — the inner pieces of the tire don’t function well without the correct air pressure. This can spell immediate trouble if you’re normally hauling heavy cargo, too. If the tires are severely underinflated — any pressure 20 psi under the suggested amount — you may experience a blowout sooner rather than later.

Blowouts mean paying more to get the tires replaced, or getting into an even more dangerous situation.

Decreased braking force

The reason the owner’s manuals suggest such precise tire pressure is because the equipment is made to have the highest contact with the pavement and greatest efficiency at that level. Underinflated tires cause performance issues, the most dangerous of which is increased stopping distance. On underinflated tires, you may roll a few extra feet after slamming on the brakes. In an emergency, every inch matters, and those extra feet could mean nicking a bumper or getting into a worse accident.

Increased tire wear and tear

Even if your tires don’t blow out, having too little air in them will cause them to break down quicker. Underinflation will cause greater wear on the treads toward the sides of the tire. In the case of a Honda Accord the source used as an example, a drop in 6 psi would cause the tires to degrade roughly 25 percent faster. 

Keep your tires inflated at appropriate levels to lengthen the lifespan of your equipment and keep some extra cash in your pocket.

Don’t let deflated tires stand between you and a care-free road trip. Especially with used cars, maintenance and extra care is critical for safe, cost-effective driving. For all your budget-friendly, secure driving needs, visit NJ State Auto Auction in Jersey City, NJ.

What Should You Do If You Have a Flat Tire While Driving?

A flat tire can be one of the most annoying and inconvenient obstacles for a driver to have to overcome. While there’s never really a good time for a flat, driving through town or even down the freeway with a punctured tire is one of the most irksome situations to find yourself in. In fact, driving on a flat at cruising speeds on a highway can be especially dangerous if drivers respond poorly. 

While certainly a major concern, a flat tire doesn’t have to be a total car catastrophe. Here’s what you should do if it happens to you. 

How To Handle a Flat Tire While Driving

Identify the flat

You may not always realize right away that you’ve got a flat tire. While puncture damage, such as running over a nail, tends to announce itself a bit more aggressively, sometimes a flat can be caused by a slow leak or a damaged valve stem. In such cases, there may not be an immediate telltale.

Your car does a good job of telling you something’s wrong, but it helps to know what to look for. If you notice that you’re having difficulty accelerating, or feel like you’re driving with the parking break on, there’s a good chance a tire may be flat. Difficulty maintaining speed can be another sign, as can your car pulling to one side, generally toward the direction of the flat. 

Get off the road

Driving with a flat is not a good idea for you or your car. You may be tempted to finish your trip home or to a gas station and fix the problem then, but if you do, you not only compromise your car’s ability to handle and brake, but you also risk dealing more serious damage to the wheel itself. As soon as you notice you have a flat, you should make an effort to get off the road as quickly as you can, but try to do so as calmly and safely as possible. 

Don’t slam on the brakes or jerk the wheel — you could lose control of the vehicle. Instead, slowly guide your car toward the breakdown lane or shoulder of the road, easing up on the gas slowly but steadily until you come to a complete stop.

Get Tire Service at Your Local Tire Center

If you experience a flat tire or any other problems with your vehicle, make an appointment with your local car care center. For help finding a car, get in touch with us at NJ State Auto Auction where we have a broad inventory of pre-owned vehicles in Jersey City, NJ.

The Ultimate Checklist for Buying a Used Hybrid Car

Since the introduction of the Toyota Prius to North America in 2000, a portion of the general public has had a fascination with the hybrid vehicle. With impressive gas mileage and environmentally-friendly features, it’s not hard to see why.

Now, almost a decade later, there are more hybrids on the market, and interest among car buyers continues to grow. For those who are interested in purchasing a used hybrid car, what exactly goes into researching this type of automobile? And for those who have purchased used cars in the past, can their prior knowledge be used toward a hybrid purchase?

Here are some things potential hybrid owners should consider when looking at used cars.

Used Hybrid Car Buying Checklist

Get the history

As with all used car purchases, it’s still important to run the history of a car — be it hybrid or not. It’s worth knowing what kind of work has been done and whether or not the car was involved in an accident. It may also be a good idea to get a pre-purchase inspection from a dealer who is authorized to sell the same make of the used car you’re looking at.

Factor in the mileage

In the past, people who were looking to purchase a used car usually paid attention to the mileage of the vehicle. High mileage meant there was most likely more wear and tear on a car. However, this way of thinking may not apply to used hybrids.

These cars are meant to have higher mileage, so it may be typical to see cars with 80,000 miles on the odometer. In fact, there have been reports that some hybrids in the market have already gone past 100,000 miles

Understand the hybrid battery

Part of the reason hybrid cars get such good mileage is that they partially run off a battery, which also helps owners save on gas (a full tank of gas in a hybrid can go much further when compared to a standard gas-powered car). But like all batteries, there may come a day when the one in an older hybrid model needs to be replaced. 

It’s important for used car buyers to get a full understanding of what a battery replacement may entail. For example, those looking into a used Toyota Prius should conduct research and talk to dealers so they understand how they should replace the car’s battery if it should come to that.

Learn how to drive

Finally, keep in mind that hybrids are a different kind of car and that just turning them on may confuse some consumers who have spent years driving gas-powered vehicles. Doing the necessary research on how to operate a hybrid car will help buyers be more comfortable during and after the process of buying a used car.

Shop Used Hybrid Cars in Jersey City, NJ

Now that you’re equipped with your checklist, it’s time to check out some cars. We stock several options in our inventory of used hybrid cars for sale in Jersey City, New Jersey. Visit NJ State Auto Used Cars to see which is the best fit for you.

NJ State Auto Used Cars Ranks the Top 4 Car Rivalries Ever

Like many of you, we recently saw the trailer for the highly-anticipated Ford v. Ferrari, which is set to hit theaters this November. That got us thinking: What other matchups do we consider among the greatest car rivalries in history? 

You’ll have to keep reading to find out.

Our Favorite Car Rivalries

Toyota vs. Honda

The two big Japanese manufacturers have a long and turbulent history together. Sub5Zero explains that Honda was founded in an act of seeming defiance — Soichira Honda went his own way and created the company’s first car, the T360 pickup, despite the protestations of Japan’s manufacturing leaders. 

The two brands bump heads frequently with their sizeable control of the family sedan market, though their supercars like the NSX and Supra sometimes scuffle, too. Maybe there are good feelings underneath it all, though: Honda’s founder shared pistons with Toyota prior to World War II.

VW GTI vs. Ford Focus ST 

These two hatchbacks both bring the heat. The VW GTI has the street cred, according to Popular Mechanics:

“For hot-hatchbacks devotees, the VW GTI is as revered as the Porsche 911 or the Chevy Corvette. This is the car that defines the segment.”

Pretty high praise, to be sure. But Ford brought its A-game with the Ford Focus ST, generating more than respectable horsepower and torque to surpass the GTI in engine performance. However, the Focus ST is a bit heavy and doesn’t have the GTI’s torque.

The verdict: Tie. Popular Mechanics decided that the two cars are rather evenly matched — a perfect opportunity for Ford and VW to raise the stakes in the coming years.

Nissan GT-R vs. Porsche 911 Turbo

Speaking of the Porsche 911, it’s caught up in its own little rivalry. Perhaps “little” isn’t the right word — Jalopnik readers named this feud as one of the top ten most vicious car rivalries of all time. Nissan threw some serious shade back in 2008 when it decided to start setting some lap records on the tracks in Nürburgring, Germany, also known as The Royal and Impenetrable Kingdom of Porsche (unofficially).

Of course, Porsche went into full get-off-my-lawn mode and took its 911 model to Turbo status. Nissan boosted its GT-R, Porsche responded with their own updates, and the two cars took the track to see who reigned supreme.

According to Raphael Orlove in a post for Jalopnik:

“Sure, the monomaniacal focus on lap times got a bit silly, but it was an epic battle for sports car dominance nonetheless.”

Ford Mustang vs. Chevrolet Camaro 

The Ford Mustang and Chevrolet Camaro have been fighting since they were first introduced. The Mustang shook up the U.S. car market when it arrived on the scene in 1964, and Chevrolet knew it had to up the ante, Sub5Zero explains.

Thus were the competitive circumstances of the Camaro’s birth on a fateful day in 1967. Did the Camaro bow under the weight of the pressure and all the hopes and dreams riding on it? No. It rose to the occasion, proving a formidable opponent to the Mustang in the ensuing decades.

There may be a whiff of change in the air, though. USA Today reports that the redesigned Mustang has set itself apart as the favorite, with its updated engine and suspension. The proof is in the numbers: Ford sold 113,607 Mustangs in the first 11 months of 2015 — a 55.4% increase in sales, while Camaro sales were down 9.5%. 

Don’t think this fight is won, though — it’s very possible the Camaro will make an epic comeback.

Shop Used Cars for Sale in Jersey City, NJ

If you’d rather take a break from all the competition, head to NJ State Auto, where you can find the best car to suit your needs, at an affordable price. We feature many of the above automakers in our inventory of used cars for sale in Jersey City, New Jersey.

15 Things You Should Always Have In Your Car

You’re speeding along the highway, singing to your favorite song on the radio, when all of a sudden your tire blows out. Hope you didn’t have any upcoming appointments because now you’re going to be late. Very late.

Accidents always seem to happen at the worst possible moment. You never know when an emergency will happen, but if you’re prepared you can save yourself a lot of time and headaches. If you come prepared with an emergency kit, you will be in control of the situation, and you could even save your life and the lives of your family and friends.

The Top 15 Things to Pack in Your Car’s Emergency Kit

1. Cell phone charger

We all use our cellphones all the time, and yet we never seem to remember to bring our chargers with us. Avoid being thrown back to the dark ages by keeping a car charger with you. You’ll definitely be grateful for it when the tow company puts you on hold for the third time.

2. Tool kit

How do you expect to change that flat tire if you don’t have a tool kit? A tool kit with a Phillips head screwdriver, a flathead screwdriver, vise grips, an adjustable wrench, and a pair of pliers will come in handy if your car breaks down so you can fix things immediately. 

3. First-aid kit

Dad thinks he can change the tire by himself, even though it is pitch black outside. While Dad did successfully do that, he also cut his hand in the process. Now is not the time to say I told you so. Better to just keep a first-aid kit in the trunk with bandages, gauze pads, adhesive tape, aspirin, antiseptic wipes, and antibiotic ointment. This way, Dad can change the tire, and get his bandaid too.

4. Flashlight

You’ve seen that horror movie, right? The one where the couple’s car breaks down at night and they are stranded in the unknown woods, hearing the sounds of snapping branches and animal howls? Avoid becoming the star in your own horror movie and keep a flashlight in your glove compartment, as well as some extra batteries. 

5. Multi-tool

It fits in your pocket and it has so many uses! A standard multipurpose knife will come with a bottle opener, a flathead screwdriver, a wire cutter, a rescue blade, and a glass breaker. It’s a useful tool in any situation. 

6. Rain gear

Is it fashionable? Eh. Is it useful? Absolutely. If you’re fixing that flat tire and it suddenly starts pouring, you’ll be happy to keep dry with a poncho. But what about an umbrella? If you’re driving alone, who is going to hold the umbrella while you loosen the lug nuts? No-one, exactly. You’ll drive home completely drenched with your useless umbrella. Just keep a poncho in your car, or be ready to take an unexpected clothes-on shower in the rain.

7. Comfortable shoes

These boots are made for walking, but if you walk too far in them you’ll get blisters. Maybe we should change that phrase to these boots are made for limping. If you happen to run out of gas on the middle of the highway, you’ll need to walk somewhere to refill the tank. And you’ll probably have to walk farther than you’d like. Comfortable walking shoes, like sneakers or hiking shoes, will make the trek more bearable. 

8. Jumper cables

There’s a major sale going on at the mall. The parking lot is totally full. Suddenly a spot opens up, and you’re so excited that you snatch it and run into the store. But you forgot to turn your lights off. And when you come out with your newly bought packages, your battery is dead. Leave jumper cables in your car so a nearby vehicle can help get your ride running again. This could also be very useful if your car doesn’t start because the weather is too cold.

9. Fire extinguisher

Are you really hot, or is that smoke coming from your front hood? Whether from overheating or from a spark caused by an electrical problem, a fire extinguisher can prevent a very dangerous situation from getting worse. Make sure the expiration date on the fire extinguisher is current too. There’s nothing worse than having a fire extinguisher that doesn’t work when you need it.

10. Reflective barriers

Cars are whizzing past you, practically clipping your side mirror, but your engine just won’t start. Place some reflective warning triangles around your car to notify oncoming drivers that your car is stationary. It will also signal them to slow down. LED flares are another good option to prevent roadside mishaps and alert drivers to use caution as they pass you.

11. Non-perishable snacks

This is the most fun item to keep in your car. Everybody loves snacks! If your car breaks down and you’re far away from civilization, your pre-packed snacks can help stave off hunger. Just make sure that you don’t eat them all during regular road trips.

12. Bottled water

Along with snacks, keeping bottled water in your car is vital. Snacks are delicious, but water is practical. Especially if your snacks are salty. If you get stuck somewhere overnight for some reason, you will stay hydrated and much happier. We need water to live, so it’s worth it to bring it along.

13. Cat litter

You decided to finally visit those distant cousins in Minnesota for Thanksgiving. Hooray! You drove through the snow to see them, but you parked your car on a patch of ice and now you’re stuck. Boo! You press the gas pedal, but the tires just spin. Use cat litter as a replacement for sand to create traction beneath the tires if you happen to get stuck. It really does work, and it will save you an a-meow-zing a-meow-nt of time.

14. Radio handset

Video killed the Radio Star, but radios are a great tool for communication and information. Leave a battery-powered or hand crank radio in the car to listen for weather warnings and other important news if your vehicle’s radio or your cell phone stops working. Why would your cell phone stop working? Well you definitely listened to my sage advice and brought a power charger, but perhaps you decided  to forego that poncho after all and your cell got drenched in your back pocket. Or perhaps you’ve driven into the horror movie where cell service stops working. Either way, going old school with a radio will help connect you to the outside world.

15. Blankets

Storing a fleece blanket in the trunk of your car could save your life. Remember those cousins you visited in Minnesota? So you had your cat litter and you were able to get your car out of that icy patch, but now your car has broken down completely, very far from their house. Too far and too cold to walk with your walking shoes. And yes, it has started snowing again. The blanket will help keep you warm as you wait for help to arrive.

Get Your Car Inspected Before a Road Trip

Prevention is always the best plan. If your car is due for an inspection, make sure to have a certified mechanic look at it before you embark on a long journey. 

For more advice on cars or trip planning, come chat with us at New Jersey State Auto Auction in Jersey City. We can get you set up in a pre-owned vehicle that is ready for any excursion. Browse our inventory of used cars for sale now.

What You Need to Know About Your Used Car Warranty

When looking to buy a pre-owned car, researching the vehicle you are interested will help you decide what is the best option for you. Knowing about the warranty of the car you want is especially helpful so you know what kind of coverage you can expect to have. Most used car dealerships, like New Jersey State Auto Auction, will have information ready for you, but it’s a good idea to do your homework before taking the next step.

What’s the Difference Between a New and Used Car Warranty?

Car manufacturers offer certain warranties on their new vehicles that tend to expire after a certain period of time or once the car reaches a certain mileage. These warranties are different for each vehicle and can protect new cars from costly problems. Many people believe that buying a used car voids these benefits, but that isn’t true.

A certified pre-owned vehicle protection plan begins once the original warranty ends. Different brands have different benefits, but car manufacturers like Chevrolet extend their bumper-to-bumper warranty. Other companies like Honda, adds years to their powertrain protection. BMW goes as far as extending their new car warranty, offering owners roadside assistance and emergency services to their pre-owned car drivers. 

Knowing what warranty and options you have is important and can influence your decision when purchasing your new pre-owned car.

Make Sure Your Used Car Is Covered in Jersey City

At New Jersey State Auto Auction, we can help you look at your options and determine the best fit for you. Doing your research and knowing what you want before you look is very important and will make the buying process much easier. 

If you are ready to start looking for your next car, visit New Jersey State Auto Auction to view our inventory of used cars for sale. Reach out to us to schedule a visit or learn more about the car you’re interested in.

6 Points of ID Verification – What You’ll Need to Pass the 6 Points of ID Verification at the NJ MVC

6 Points of ID Verification

The first step is you’ll have to prove your identity by passing the 6 Points of ID Verification process at the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission (NJMVC).

Have you considered applying for driver’s license and permits through the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC)? 

The 6 Points ID Verification system was implemented to help curb identity theft by ensuring all licenses are issued with proper legal documents and verification. Keep reading to learn more.

Your 6 Points of ID Verification Questions Answered

Why Is Passing Important?

Certain licenses can’t be attained without 6 points of identification. If you’re seeking any of the following, you’ll need to comply with MVC guidelines:

  • New Jersey driver’s license

  • New Jersey driver’s permit or “probationary” license

  • Non-driver state ID card

  • Boat license

  • Motorcycle license

What Documents are Accepted?

The goal is to achieve 6 points through four possible types of documents. These include: 

  • At least one primary ID

  • At least one secondary ID

  • Verifiable Social Security Number

  • Proof of address

For information on specific point values, check out this 6 Points of ID brochure from the MVC.

You can also refer to their online document selector for help. These tools will tell you what you need to present at an MVC agency.*


En Español:

Find Us in Jersey City, NJ, Once Get Your New License

Once you pass the 6 Points of ID Verification process, there’s no better place to start your used car search than at NJ State Auto Used Cars.

We feature a variety of makes and models in our inventory of quality used cars for sale in Jersey City, NJ. Let us help you today.

* Every ID document you present must be an unexpired, unlaminated, original or certified copy with the official state or municipal seal. If any documents do not meet this requirement, or if any of your documents appear altered or false or are deemed invalid for any reason, you may be required to submit a reissued valid document or additional documentation.

Ready to buy a new car? Call or Text us at 201-200-1100. Or search through our other articles at our blog’s home page NJ State Auto Blog.

So, Your Car Got Towed. What’s Next?

It’s every driver’s worst nightmare: You walk out to the parking lot from the grocery store, library, or the office, only to discover that your car isn’t where you left it. Then the reality of the situation hits — you’ve been towed.

Despite your best efforts, getting your car towed is an unfortunate reality for a surprisingly large number of drivers. According to Statista, the instances of cars being towed are actually on the rise.

Whether you miscalculated your time at the meter, didn’t see that “no parking sign,” or just suffered from plain old bad luck, getting your car towed can be stressful and expensive.

Here are a few basic steps to guide you if you find yourself in this position.

Steps for Getting Your Car Back After a Tow

Get the facts

Walking out to a parking lot only to find your car missing can trigger a cascade of worry and panic, but it’s important to stay calm while avoiding assumptions.

Unfortunately, many towing companies aren’t obliged to inform you that your car has been removed, which leaves it up to you to figure out if your ride has been hauled away in the first place. 

The first thing you should do is call your local police department. They should be able to inform you if your car has been registered at any of the local impound lots, indicating that it’s been towed instead of stolen.

Even in this stressful situation, knowing that your car has only been towed is something of a silver lining.

Don’t wait

You may be tempted to wait until the weekend or your day off next week to retrieve your car, but that could have disastrous consequences.

Impound lots charge you a fee for every day your car sits there. That means the longer you wait to pick up your car, the more you’ll end up paying to bust it out. 

If you wait too long, the lot may simply auction off your car. Towing companies may not even call you to tell you your car is about to be auctioned. Instead, they’ll print the announcement of the auction in the local newspaper. 

Remember those? Didn’t think so. It’s definitely worth the minor inconvenience to avoid a major headache later.

Know your rights

Fortunately, you aren’t without rights in these situations, and it’s imperative that you keep these in mind so you can avoid being taken advantage of.

For example, many towing companies will insist that you pay the required fee in cash, which can put a damper on many people’s plans of reclaiming their rides. However, even though it’s standard practice, towing companies can’t legally obligate you to pay in cash. They have to accept debit or credit transactions. 

Similarly, some cities and states allow drivers to take their cars home from the tow lot without having to pay the fee up front — all that’s required is that you provide proof of ownership.

Inspect your car

You may think that tow truck drivers are obligated to take care of your car in the process of towing it, but this isn’t the case. In fact, in many instances, operators who are in a hurry, late for another appointment, or simply absent-minded may make careless mistakes that can result in things like scratches or even dents to your car.

Most of the time these issues are strictly cosmetic, but if you notice particularly egregious damage to your car’s exterior, it may be worth it to get it inspected to ensure there isn’t any more significant damage that’s been done. 


As they say: To err is human. Mistakes are an inevitable part of life, even those that result in your car getting towed. But the important thing is to use the process as a learning experience.

If your car was towed due to illegal parking, be sure to only park in spots that you know you’re permitted to do so. Similarly, avoid racking up parking tickets. They may seem like little more than a nuisance, but if amounts accumulate, you can find yourself making another trip to the impound lot. 

If you’re in the market for a high-quality used car, head to NJ State Auto Used Cars in Jersey City, New Jersey.

Here, you’ll find hundreds of Carfax-certified cars on the lot, ensuring that you’ll drive away in the ride of your dreams.