Slightly realistic, but a bit of a pain in the ass, nonetheless. I cannot confirm if this works for other characters with other garages, so information on that would be adequate. The only missions I've driven my personal cars too are ones that I can park at and take something else eg the tow truck missions. Also sometimes if you park your car in the garage outside your hideout it will sometimes disappear. It is less convenient, sure, but at least you will not lose a 100,000 dollar-pimped out car in the process. Nowhere to be found, not in the personal garage, not in the colored ones and nothing at the impound.
Went on mission that required car change. Say you're about to play golf. When this happens, reload the save. For example: -- If you mod a Carbonizzare, let us say, full body mods, lime green color. And from what I can tell, only the first two impounded vehicles are saved, the rest are just gone. Took it out on a mission that required a car change. I see alot of people are having these issue.
The impound only stores the last two cars you used and then abandoned. The helicopter is readily available after completing the mission. On the left you will see all the house. Since I've been testing with Michael and Franklin, both have house garages and to save a car, you just park it in there and then leave. So I would suggest fixing the main cars first with body mods and armor would be a reasonable investment.
If I am going to do a mission or anything else I steal a random car to get me there. Franklin's garage is near the Grove Street. But anyway, as somebody else said, this is apparently. Buying and customizing vehicles just seems too risky at this point to me. Drop Jimmy off at The Richmond Hotel and then drive the car into your garage.
All I know is, the game does a shit job explaining how the impound system works. Your garage-picked car seems to be coded in such a way that it is replaced, in the next mission, with your default car, deleting it from the game entirely. It spawned bone stock - all the upgrades were gone. It's nice for those who like to do this stuff but otherwise worthless for me, I just store nice cars I find in the garage though. You have to go to the impound lot locations use your map and pick it up and pay a small fee, like 200'ish dollars.
Save it in the garage then pick it up. When Trevors lands there after missions all plains, choppers etc. Click on buy or confirm and back out of your phone. But the other ones you have saved doesn't seem to disappear either, they just don't always show up. An hour later or so, you find a brand new white Carbonizzare parked by a douche on the handicap parking over at Del Perro Pier, you steal this care to feel a little bit better by yourself.
I picked this habit up in gta 4, so I don't even think about returning my car to the garage before I do a mission. Now you have a house and maybe a garage with it or just a garage. If I remember correctly when I played the x360 version. But the game also seem to randomly decide which cars are displayed at your place if you have more than 2 there. This needs to be stickied so that everyone who has this issue can post in the same place.
Houses Every character has a different amount of vehicles. However, I drove a golf cart around a golf course for a few minutes and then abandoned it in the street after stealing a real car. Ok actually I'm not sure about the conditions for having a car go to the impound. You can save your cars by purchasing a garage for the respective character. The tow place seems bugged however, as it only applies when the car is parked, not if you leave it in an undisclosed location, such as a park, or behind a building, or on the road.
Gonna make a post with these observations, maybe it will at least help those who are wondering why their cars are going missing. Story mode or single player: Keep progressing through the story and will see a garage icon on the map. Garage Have spots for 4 vehicles. No Memes or Macro Images of any kind. Saving cars at pads seems unreliable.
Took one of the other cars unmodded that was in the extra garage. Michael's garage in the rockford hills. It's not a bug, it's karma bitches! No discussion of how to exploit or mod the game online. That vehicle will be stored on the street outside their house next time you switch to them. This does not apply if you are the developer of a mod still in development. You only have 2 impound slots. Those have stayed customized as far as I can tell, and are a guaranteed respawn.