If you bring your car to the local repair shop, dealer, or any repair facility in the state, you automatically subject yourself to a lien on your car for the amount of the repairs if not paid. In addition, the repair facility is also entitled to a daily storage fee for every day your car remains at the facility due to your nonpayment. Under these circumstances, the repair facility is allowed by statute to keep possession of your car until the bill is paid. If you attempt to remove your car from the repair facility without paying your bill, the facility will stop you from doing so.
You may find yourself in the same predicament for storage fees alone if your car is left in a parking garage or lot and you do not pay storage fees. The facility will be able to keep your car until you pay the fees owed. Storage fee amounts are not insignificant, often exceeding $50.00 per day. The same fees apply if your car is towed at the request of the police. The facility to which it is towed is entitled the towing charges and storage fees per day until paid.
If you are unable to reach an agreement for payment with a repair or storage facility and disagree with the amounts claimed due, you must file a lawsuit called a “replevin” to have a court decide the amount of the fees owed and get your car back.
Author: George H. Thompson, Jr., Esq