Will Dollar General Tow Your Car

If you are looking for a place to park your car overnight, you might be looking around at some retail stores in your neighborhood. Maybe you have a friend visiting from out of town, and your apartment complex doesn’t offer guest parking. Or maybe you have been drinking and need to leave your car and call an Uber ride home. What can you do if you want a free place to park your car overnight? Will the local Dollar General store manager have your car towed if you park there during non-store hours?

Maybe. The parking rules are up to each individual store manager, and there are over 18,000 Dollar General locations in 47 U.S. states.

Is Dollar General even a good place to park your car overnight, or will your car stand out in an empty parking lot? Do you run the risk of your car getting towed if you park there? What do you do if you come back to find your car gone? Let me answer some of your questions, and help you brainstorm other options for parking your car for free.

Will your car get towed?

Before parking your car anywhere, you should look around to see if you see signs stating the parking rules and towing fees. These signs will typically identify the name of a towing company associated with this parking lot. In that case, do not leave your car there!

You should know, however, private property owners in only 30 states are required to display “tow-away” signs. If there are no signs, walk into the Dollar General location and ask the staff if they allow overnight or extended parking. It is even better if you can speak directly to the store manager.

According to the “The Drivin’ & Vibin’ Team,” there are no published corporate statements specifically on overnight parking, and this will be up to the individual store location manager.

What do you do if your car was towed?

If you cannot find your car, you should act fast. Either the car was stolen or towed. Call the police right away.

If your car was towed, look around the area where you parked for parking-related signage. There could be signs stating the parking hours and parking fees. The signs may even state the name of the towing company associated with this parking lot. A phone number should be listed, too.

If there aren’t any towing company signs, ask around. Contact your local police on a non-emergency number. In some instances, the police may have asked for your car to be towed or were at least contacted when your car was towed. According to PIRG.org, an advocate for public interest, 37 states require the towing company to notify the driver when their car has been towed.

You can also stop into the local businesses where you parked and ask if they know which towing company works in the area.

How much will it cost me?

Usually, there is a fee associated with towing a vehicle that varies based on the size of your vehicle. This fee could be up to $100.

Additionally, there will be a fee to retrieve your car from the “impound yard,” which is a place used to collect and contain motor vehicles. This fee is usually hundreds of dollars. There are even daily holding fees, sometimes after the first 24 hours your car is impounded.

So, unless you are willing to risk getting towed and paying $300+, do not park your car in an area where you are unsure about the parking rules.

Better places to park than a Dollar General lot?

When searching for free overnight parking options, we looked at recommendations by “van lifers,” or people that adopt the van life living out of their RV, camper, or van.

Two Roaming Souls suggests asking the local Wal-Mart staff about their overnight parking rules or a Cracker Barrel restaurant. Look at local rest stops, truck stops, and campsites. Check for a local casino, too. Always read the local signs, or speak to a staff member if you can.

Check out the street parking in the area. There will be signs designating the paid parking hours, and usually, these spots are free after 6:00 p.m. and before 8:00 a.m.

You can ask a local church about parking there for free. Other options are 24-hour businesses, like a 24-hour gym.

Bottom line

If you are looking for free parking, read the signs in the area and check with the staff of the local businesses. This goes for Dollar General or any private or public business. Getting your car towed is very stressful, not only because you must find and retrieve it, but also because the fees associated with getting your car towed can really add up.

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