It is illegal to buy and sell cars that have been impounded. WashingtonLawHelp.org claims that the owner of the towed vehicle must pay the necessary fees to have it released or choose to appeal the matter in court.
An impound is an order in written form, giving the towing company permission to tow a vehicle. Towing results from illegally parking a vehicle on private property, driving without a valid driver's license or driving a car whose registration has been expired for 45 days yet is parked on a public street, among other reasons. The owner of the impounded car must first have the car released before putting it up for sale. If the vehicle is not claimed, it will be sold at a public auction in order to recover outstanding storage, towing and lien fees, claims Preferred Towing.