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Moving Your Car And Belongings? Here Are Your Options:

When you’re moving your car, belongings or anything else across a great distance, you have a few options. Do you hire a professional moving truck, rent a smaller vehicle you drive yourself or just use a trailer attached via a hitch?

Though the options are many, the solution is relatively easy to figure out based on a few factors. Are you looking for the cheapest option, or are you interested in the best protection for your vehicle and goods?

Hiring A Professional

Let’s assume you’re moving from state to state. You have a car you’re taking with you and an apartment-sized amount of furniture and goods.

Hiring a professional mover has the benefit of less work for you. Want to skip packing boxes and loading a truck? This is the way to go. If you have the money, this is the easiest way to move your belongings.

When it comes to moving your vehicle, most moving companies have extremely strict rules on moving it via a semi-truck. To load your car, you have to drain your gas tank completely before loading it to prevent any kind of fiery mishaps that might occur. That can be troublesome for a diesel, which requires you to bleed the system if the fuel runs dry (a lengthy and annoying process).

Renting A Truck

Renting a truck or moving van, such as the popular U-Haul rentals, is certainly an option for most anyone. It’s more affordable than hiring a full moving company in exchange for a little more work from you.

In terms of moving your vehicle, there is a slight problem. If you have rented a truck, you cannot drive both at one time. You’ll need a friend or family member to follow you along driving your car. But, that does present a choice you have to make:

When it comes to driving your car long distance, ask yourself if your car can take the stress. An 800-mile journey can take a toll on your car, and you need to account for the wear and tear it’ll cause on your tires, brakes, oil and other car parts.

If your car can’t handle the stress, especially if it’s already high in miles, hiring a tow truck to move your car locally or nationally is the better option to preserve your car. If you can’t do that, there is another option…

Hitching A Trailer

Renting a trailer allows you to move your own items attached to your own car. It’s a little less room than renting an entire truck for yourself, but you can attach it to your own car and move everything together at once.

Learn more about which hitch you need from our previous article.

If you want the best of both worlds, you could get a 2-wheel trailer and attach it to a rental truck so you can tow your car behind it. Of course, this does present the same problem of still causing wear and tear on your car by dragging it along. Also, not all cars can be towed like this, so be sure to check your vehicle’s manual for more information.

And, if you want to talk about towing your car throughout northeast Florida, give us a call at 904-771-0790.

ASAP Towing #1 used car sales at our auctionsL

ASAP Towing offers great deals and lots of variety in our used car inventory.

Email ASAP Towing Or call us at (904) 771-0790
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Towing Prices On The Rise?

An important part of any tow is price, and news from Tallahassee means that prices might be going up soon.

Tallahassee commissioners voted and approved to increase the maximum trespass tow fee from $88 to $110. This $22 bump was pushed by towing companies there who had gone 10 years without any change to the laws that determine what they can charge.

The towing companies argued that during those 10 years fuel insurance, labor and other operating costs they face have gone up substantially while the laws that dictate their costs have not.

In addition to the upped trespass fee (which means parking illegally or where you’re not supposed to park), Tallahassee has also increased the storage fee per-day for keeping cars and the administrative fees associated with mailing car owners, insurance companies and others informing them about the tow. All in all, your average towing cost in Florida’s capital city has gone up $44.

Now, that increase is local to the city of Tallahassee only as each city decides on towing ordinance for their area. But, could we see an increase in Jacksonville or St. Augustine towing costs?

You can look up Jacksonville’s municipal code online and look at the “establishment of rates” section yourself, but here are the highlights:

Our city’s trespassing tow fees are already higher than the $88 rate in Tallahassee when the issue was brought up and changed. Jacksonville is currently limited to $91.73 a mile, which isn’t much higher. So, we may be due for a change as well.

And with Tallahassee making the change, more cities are more likely to reevaluate their city’s rules and find they’re in need for a change.

So when do these towing laws change? Looking at the municipal code, all it says is that the ordinance can be amended “from time to time.” What that really means is that it’s up to the city and its citizens to bring up the issue, debate it and ultimately decide if the time is right.

Reading through this you might be upset at the thought of having more expensive tows, but keep a few things in mind:

  • Be glad that towing prices are set by the city. This is done to protect citizens like you from outrageous prices and hidden towing fees from less-than-reputable towing companies.
  • There is no guarantee that towing will increase in north Florida because of this, it’s just news from one city that could affect others.
  • How often are you towed? These are fees levied against cars that park illegally or ignore rules that most people follow. If you continue to obey the law, you shouldn’t be worried.

Stay tuned for more towing news as we’ll be sure to notify you of changes coming up to the Jacksonville and St. Augustine area. And if you have questions about fees or costs you might face, give us a call today at 904-771-0790.

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How to Get Your Car Stuck Out of Sand

When you think of cars getting stuck in the environment, you think of them stuck in ditches, snow or mud. Here in Florida, especially at the beautiful beaches in St. Augustine and Jacksonville, we have another enemy to watch out for: sand.

Sand is everywhere in Florida, and it’s easy to get your car tires stuck in a sand dune. Especially at the beach with the changing tide, you can park your car, walk away and come back to find it up to the doors in sand and water.

So what can you do? There are not “sand tires’ like there are snow tires, and chains won’t help, so how can you get your car unstuck? (Besides calling us for a tow, that is!)

Dig Out The Tires

Your first step is to dig out the tires. If you don’t have a shovel, get ready to use your hands. You want to dig down until you can see the bottom of your tire, and you need to scoop out a trench in the direction you’re trying to drive out. If you have to reverse your car out, dig behind the tire. If you can drive it forward without landing in the water, dig in front of the tire.

Create Traction

Thin, smooth tires can be great for the road but terrible for getting out of a problem like this. Creating traction will help your tires drive forward on the loose surface instead of digging further into the ground. Creating traction can be done a few ways:

Let the air out of your tires to create a greater surface area. Now that you’ve dug the sand out around the tire, remove the caps from your tires and press the release to let about half of the air pressure out. If you’re using a tire gauge, around 18 psi should do it. With the air out, your tires will widen and have a better chance of driving on the sand.

Alternatively (or in addition to if you want to do your best), take the floor mats out of your car, flip them upside down so the rubber bottom is facing upwards and stick them under your tires to give it a better surface for traction. You can also do this other materials you might have on hand.

Start Your Engines

With your tires prepped and a clear surface to drive on, it’s time to hit the throttle! Hopefully you have someone there to help push while you press the gas. Countdown so they push while you press the gas pedal for maximum effect. And, I do mean press that pedal. Speed is required to get out of the sand, so floor it!

Don’t forget, if you’ve let the pressure out of your tires you need to fill them back up at a local gas station before driving too long. If you don’t, you could face serious damage to your tires or car.

ASAP Can Get Your Car Out Of Any Situation

Sand, snow, or mud, we’re experts at getting your vehicle out of safely and quickly.

Email ASAP Towing Or call us at (904) 771-0790
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What Happens To Impounded Cars In Florida?

Can’t find your car? It’s everyone’s worst fear. You park your car to go shopping or maybe on the street outside of your friend’s house for the night and come back to find it missing. Where has it gone?

It’s easy to miss parking signs, so there’s a chance you parked in a tow away zone or left your car in a time-sensitive parking spot. For example, parking in downtown Jacksonville is free after 6 PM, but parking there during the day will cost $.25 a minute.

If your car has been towed and impounded by the city, where has it gone and, more importantly, what will happen to it?

Finding Out Who Has It

Check out your surroundings for signs. Most illegal parking zones have “do not park” signs along with signs from the tow company itself. These identify the companies in charge of moving cars and should have contact information on them.

You can also call your city to find out if they’ve had it towed; this includes the police department or sheriff’s office. For example, this is the page on recovering vehicles from the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office.

Lastly, you can always wait. Florida law requires that companies that store your vehicle send certified mail to the registered owner, the insurance company insuring the vehicle and all persons claiming a lien against the vehicle within seven business days.

Claiming Your Car

Now that you know where it is, getting your car back largely depends on why it was taken and by who. If it’s a regular towing company operating on behalf of a shopping center or property manager, you should pay your fine and be on your way.

Cars taken by the city of police department for infractions can be trickier. Depending on their reasons, getting your car back can be a process. If, for example, this whole time you parked legally but your car was located near a crime scene is now part of the investigation, you might be out of luck. If you just have some unpaid parking tickets, pay your bill!

Unclaimed Cars

So what happens to those that lose their car and never get it back? Florida law states that after 35 days from the time the vehicle is stored, the owner or operator of the storage space can sell the car. (It’s 35 days for cars three years or older, and 50 days for vehicles less than three years old.)

That means you have 35 days to get your car back before, and this is another part of the Florida law, the vehicle is sold in a public sale for cash. They’re part of the inventory that makes up local car auctions and police/government car auctions.

If you’re looking for an impounded car in Jacksonville or St. Augustine, Florida, be sure to check out our car auction inventory online to make sure it’s not there. Just visit the page and select the location nearest you.

Your Vehicle is Safe In Our Hands

We treat your car as if it was our own. ASAP Towing is a top-rated towing company in FL.

Email ASAP Towing Or call us at (904) 771-0790
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A New Outlook: Changing Your Windshield Wiper Blades

It’s the rainy season here in Florida, which means us Jacksonville and St. Augustine residents are getting daily, sometimes double, showers. These summer storms blow in, pour inches of water onto the Earth in minutes then seemingly blow away before you realize what happened.

All drivers know that rain greatly increases the risk of accidents, but there are ways to help prevent them from happening. Certain tires designed to handle water better, four-wheel drive cars and consumer products, like Rain-X, were created to help you tackle the elements and come out okay on the other side.

Most of those items, however, are optional extras. There’s only one item standard on all cars that help you handle the rain: windshield wipers.

The Anatomy Of A Wiper Blade

Windshield wipers are made up of a few parts, but it’s easiest to think of them in two main pieces: the arm connected to your car and the wiper blade that the arm holds and scrapes against your windshield.

Most cars are designed so that you replace the wiper blade instead of the entire assembly. The blades generally wear out after about six months, but during the rainy season of Florida you can’t wait that long. The more you use your wipers, the sooner they need to be replaced.

What To Look For In Old Wiper Blades

If the six month replacement time frame doesn’t keep you on schedule, it should be easy enough to notice when your wiper blades are in need of replacement. Signs you need to replace your windshield wiper blades include:

  • Skipping—the blade bouncing up and down as it moves across the screen.
  • Streaking—leaving visible smears across your windshield as it moves.
  • Splitting—the wiper blade is cracked and leaving streaks on your windshield.
  • Squeaking—an audible noise you can hear as your wiper blades move.

They Take Care Of You, Do You Take Care Of Them?

Like taking care of yourself, preventative care is always best in these situations. If you don’t replace your windshield wipers before it’s too late, you’ll be calling ASAP Towing for emergency roadside assistance. As much as we want your business, let’s try and keep you safe and on the road.

Including windshield wipers in your oil change is an easy way to stay on top of your regular maintenance. But, that might not be soon enough. Keeping an eye out for the signs of used wiper blades we discussed earlier (skipping, streaking, splitting and squeaking) is the best way to ensure you’re replacing your blades on time. At the least, you should change them once a year.

Do yourself a favor and change your wiper blades before it’s too late. With the daily rain storms here in Florida, the risk for driving accidents is worse than ever.

ASAP Towing #1 Reputable Company in Jacksonville, FL

ASAP Towing offers top rated roadside assistance and towing in Florida.

Email ASAP Towing Or call us at (904) 771-0790
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Property Managers And Towing: What You Need To Know

In addition to regular roadside assistance and broken-down tow calls, we offer on-call service to property managers of apartment communities, shopping malls and other privately owned businesses. Business owners need a way to clear illegally parked vehicles hindering their operations, and we provide 24-hour service to help.

Of course, there are rules and regulations when it comes to moving parked cars. You can’t just call us to tow any car you see on the street. You can read all of Florida’s parking statutes online, but here are the highlights:

  • Any owner or lessee of real property can cause any vehicle parked on their property without permission to be removed by a towing business without liability for the costs, storage or damage caused by removal.
  • The towing of that vehicle is subject to strict compliance with the following:
    • Notice of towing areas must be clearly posted in prominent places
    • The vehicle must be stored within a certain radius from its original (illegal) parking spot, and that storage site must be open during the same hours as the towing company that put it there.
    • The police must be notified about any car being towed.
    • If the owner of the vehicle finds the car in the process of being towed, the car can be returned to them upon payment of a service fee.

The Important Stuff

For a property manager looking for on private towing services, there are a few things to take away from this:

  • You need signs to notify potential parkers about the consequences.
  • You need a signed agreement with a local company.
  • You’re not responsible for costs associated with the tow.

The need for a local towing company comes from a restriction on how far you can tow the car. Based on the population of your county, a car can only be towed 10, 15 or 20 miles away from where it was illegally parked.

That’s why you need a local company with lots all over town to make sure they can legally comply with the rules. Luckily for you, ASAP Towing has five locations conveniently located in Jacksonville and St. Augustine to assist in any part of town.

As someone in charge of towing, you might also have heard about “24 hour tow stickers,” which are notices stuck to offending cars warning them of an impending tow. You’ll see in the Florida statues above that there is no legal requirement to use them, but some find it a harmless courtesy to do so. The choice is yours.

That might leave you with more questions, but we have an online FAQ to help answer some common questions, which you can find here. If you still have questions, give us a call to talk things over.

If you’re ready to get started and secure your private party, you can download our towing agreement here.

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Tips on Inspecting a Used Car

When buying a car, you always want to get the best deal possible. You’re spending thousands of dollars, and you want to get your money’s worth. But, when it comes to purchasing a used car, how can you make sure that happens?

A new car comes with all kinds of warranties and guarantees to put your mind at ease when making a decision, but used cars often come with more risk.

Instead of relying on a dealership’s promises, learn how to properly inspect a used car yourself.

Use A Mechanic

If you have a mechanic or garage you trust, ask them if they’ll do a pre-purchase car inspection. They should look the car over from top to bottom to accurately determine its condition and find any parts in disrepair for a minor cost.

To do this, whoever is selling the car you’re interested in needs to loan you the vehicle for a day to have it inspected. Most official used car dealerships won’t have a problem with this and neither should a regular person selling from their home. In fact, if they do have a problem with you taking the car for an inspection that should be a red flag.

Looking At The Car

If you don’t have the money for a mechanic or don’t have one to use, there are several aspects of the car you can look at yourself while it remains on the lot.

  • Tires—Are they all the same size/brand? How is the tread? Are some tires more worn down than the others? Replacing tires can be costly, and an uneven tread can mean an improper tire balance and rough ride. If you see any warning signs in the tires, discuss them with the seller to have them replace, fix or compensate you for the damage.
  • Brake discs—If you can see into the inner wheel and inspect the brake discs, look for signs of scoring and damage. Also listen for sounds coming from the brakes when test driving the car. Ask the seller when the last time those brakes were checked or replaced, and if it seems like it’s been awhile since then be sure to get them checked yourself.
  • Electronics—While not essential to the engine running, if you spend thousands of dollars on a car you want everything to work! Try all the lights, windows and other electronics in the vehicle to make sure they run properly.
  • Engine Sounds—Have the seller turn on the engine and rev it while you listen to the engine with the hood up. Any unusual hisses, knocks or ticks should be inspected.

Don’t forget, these tips are also a great way to inspect your own cars for signs of damage, and they’re also excellent ways to inspect a car at a vehicle auction (such as the ones ASAP Towing hosts every month in Jacksovnille, FL and St. Augustine, FL).

If you’re looking for a quality used car, be sure to check out our inventory first. You won’t be disappointed.

ASAP Towing #1 used car sales at our auctionsL

ASAP Towing offers great deals and lots of variety in our used car inventory.

Email ASAP Towing Or call us at (904) 771-0790
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What Types of Vehicles Need Specialty Towing?

If you’re trying to move an unusual vehicle, a specialty tow might be just the thing you need. While 99% of jobs we have are normal move-car-from-place-to-place jobs, every once in a while we get a more unusual assignment.

Vehicles can require specialty tows for numerous reasons, but all of them mean that this job isn’t as simple as hooking the chains on and driving to the nearest mechanic.

Sometimes it’s because of an unusual shape, such as an elongated limousine or tall monster truck, or sometimes it’s a boat or small aircraft that needs towing.  Either way, a normal tow truck wouldn’t do the job.

If you’re reading this article, you’re most likely online trying to find out if you need a custom job like this for your needs. Let me save you some time—if you have to ask, you probably need it.

That being said, let’s explore some of the more common custom towing work we’ve done in the past.

Motorcycle Towing

Light weight, unusual body shape and prone to falling over—motorcycles often require a professional touch when being moved.

Through custom equipment, like special flatbed trailers build to compensate for motorcycle’s instability, we have the means to safely move your cargo wherever you need to go.

Boat Towing

While a marina that holds your boat will sometimes organize towing to a mechanic or other port for you, most require you arrange your own towing.

Unfortunately, a boat isn’t something you can just attach with a hitch to your truck. You’ll need a trailer, most of the time custom-fit to the boat’s hull, to properly move your boat. In addition to extra materials, boats quickly become an oversized-load, requiring further permits and towing procedures if you’re moving it down public roads. Moving a boat quickly adds up into a huge deal!

Since you don’t have to tow a boat often, it’s usually more cost-efficient to hire a professional service to move your boat inland.

Extra Safety

Sometimes you just don’t want to leave anything to chance when moving your valuable asset. We understand, and a specialty tow can provide the extra safety to set your mind at ease.

Here in Florida, there’s a huge antique car market, and those cars often require special care to move around the state from museum to museum or collector to collector. We keep preventative damage to a minimum by through proper hookups and ensuring the right clearance height for your vehicle.

Some cars that need to be moved can only be accessed from one angle, so an unusual approach might be needed. That’s where our experts come in.

If you think you qualify for a custom tow, give ASAP Towing a call at 904-771-0790 to discuss your needs and how we can help.

ASAP Towing is a Specialty Towing Expert

If you need your car towed by a reputable towing company, call ASAP Towing.

Email ASAP Towing Or call us at (904) 771-0790
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Finding a Credible Car Auction, Part 3

We’re continuing our series on finding credible car auctions and how to differentiate the good ones from scams. Auction cars can be a great way to save big on new and used cars, but knowing where to go for the deals is the first step.

In the first few parts of our series, we discussed how money and the cars up for sale can help validate a car auction company. It’s recommended you go back and read those articles, but here’s a quick synopsis:

  1. All-cash dealers shouldn’t be an immediate red flag, but it could mean that car auction company is doing deals “under the table.” Do your research while looking at a company for other ways to pay and make sure you get a good vibe from the company.
  1. Any reputable car auction should have their inventory online with VIN numbers posted so you can research the cars ahead of time. If they’re trying to hide the VIN numbers, it could mean those cars are stolen or complete junkers. (If you want to inspect our inventory, click here.)

Now it’s time to look at the company itself.

The Car Auction Company

So far what we’ve looked at to avoid car scams has been parts of the auction process, but now we need to take a look at the car company itself.

Like any other store or business, look into ratings and reviews. Google has its reviews on business location pages, Yelp ranks businesses on customer comments, and businesses themselves most often have testimonials from previous customers on their website. All of these point to a legitimate business that people have worked with in the past.

Side note, companies aren’t against using reviews to fight their competitor. If you see a negative review for a company that otherwise looks good to you, see if another product or car dealer is being promoted in the review. If you see something like that, it’s probably another business attacking an otherwise good company.

You can also look at company accreditation. Things like Better Business Bureau (BBB) licenses and other state or county permits means that business is honest with its customers and trying to comply with local laws (if applicable).

Stay away from auction businesses that make you pay for a membership to their information. In addition to costing you a monthly fee, this plays into the fact that reputable car auction businesses should show you their inventory ahead of time. Putting their inventory behind a pay barrier could mean they have a lousy inventory.

Doing business with anyone is always a “leap of faith,” but you can do your research ahead of time to make sure you’re only working with the best. And if you’re looking for the best car auction dealership in Jacksonville or Saint Augustine, Florida, look no further than ASAP Towing where we hold 72 car auctions a year.

Give us a call at 904-771-0790 today or go online here to find out more.

ASAP Towing – Top Rated Car Auction Company

We have loads of inventory in our car auctions all over Northeast Florida

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Finding A Credible Car Auction, Part 2

We’re taking a look at finding credible car auctions in a series of articles. To catch up, go back and read part 1.

As we discussed earlier, car auctions are a great way to buy your next used (and sometimes new!) car cheaper than you would get from a dealership. Despite this, car auctions are underused by people, so we’re helping you find a reputable car auction.

If you’re in Jacksonville or St. Augustine, Florida, save some time and check out the auctions we host each month!

We’re assuming you’ve gone online and found a list of different auctions in your area, probably searching “car auctions in (city).” Now it’s time to determine which ones are credible, quality auctions with a little due diligence.

In part one, we took a look at how the company handles money for their cars can help determine their validity. A simple phone call to the company ahead of time should tell you what kind of payments they accept, their payment policy and whether or not you should be worried.

Now let’s take a look at the cars themselves and what they can tell you about an auction.

The Cars

Where a car auction company gets it cars from can tell you a lot about the business hosting the event. For example, ASAP Towing’s car auction inventory ranges from abandoned and wrecked cars, repossessed vehicles for sale and police and private property impounds.

That might sound like a lot of different sources, but that’s really the beauty of the car auction. With a variety from so many different sources, car auctions have something for everyone.

If a car auction has police or government vehicles for sale, you can trust them to be a credible car dealer. Those types of vehicles are well maintained and only sold through reputable car auctioneers and dealers.

Abandoned and wrecked cars, at the other end of the spectrum, are not enough evidence to determine a car auction’s quality. That’s not to say an auction selling those cars is bad, it’s just not a definite sign of quality since anyone can sell those used cars.

Cars for sale at an auction should have their information available through the company before the auction so you can research VIN numbers and find the car history so you know exactly what you’re getting and where it came from. Hiding the VIN number of a car should be a red flag anywhere you try to buy a car as that could mean it was stolen.

For our car auctions, you can view a list of our inventory and find the vehicles’ VIN numbers online here.

If you have any other questions about our vehicle inventory or auctions, feel free to also give us a call at 904-771-0790.

ASAP Towing is a reputable Car Auction Service

We have many locations in North Florida for car auctions. Look on those pages to find out more info.

Email ASAP Towing Or call us at (904) 771-0790
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