What Happens if Your Car is Impounded by the Police?

At Release My Vehicle, you can find out how to retrieve a vehicle if your car is impounded by the police under the Road Traffic Law. It means the police officer has valid reasons to believe that the driver was not insured or was not driving according to the Road Traffic Rules. If your vehicle has been impounded, for this reason, the driver should have received an impound notice.

How to Reclaim Your Impounded Car?

You must legally go to the police pound within 7 working days of the impound date on the impound notice to reclaim your car. To reclaim your vehicle, you should go to the proper police pound and bring the correct documents.

The Right Documents You Need to Reclaim Your Car

Proof of identity, valid photo ID such as:

  • Driver’s passport
  • Driving license
  • National identity card
  • Immigration document

Note: (Student’s or employer’s ID will not be considered.)

Valid Driving License

Your driver’s license includes:
Driving License

  • If you have an old paper license, you are required to bring your passport or another valid photo ID.
  • Photo card driving license along with a passport or identity card (EU)
  • Driving license together with an international driving ticket or an actual translation, in addition to a passport or other proof of immigration status and date of arrival in the UK

If you have already given your driver’s license to use, we will require proof of this together with another type of valid photo ID. If you have yet to be qualified in another EU member state or country, disqualification applies all over the UK, too.
A Valid Certificate of Insurance
You will be required to generate a valid certificate of insurance that allows the release of the impounded vehicle by a government authority before your car will be released, even if you don’t want to drive it on a public road.
We Will Accept

  • Electronic copies of the insurance certificate on your mobile
  • Certificate sent by email if they have come directly from your insurance broker

Please ensure you have declared all the relevant facts to your insurance provider, including:

  • Correct registered owner details
  • Any driving convictions in the previous five years
  • Any relevant medical disability or various situations
  • Valid address
  • The correct date of birth
  • Right occupation

You should also declare relevant pending convictions if you removed the insurance policy before the vehicle was impounded.
It is a severe criminal offense to fail to show the correct facts or to give incorrect information when getting insurance. It can cause your impounded car insurance to be invalid. If we guess an offense, we may share information with your insurance provider or the insurance provider Bureau. Short-term insurance may not be valid to reclaim an impounded vehicle. Kindly check the wording on the cover note or certificate.
If you are in doubt, call your insurance provider before you attend the police pound. If we are not satisfied that your insurance is suitable for releasing an impounded car, we may ask you to confirm with your insurance broker.
A motor trader cannot release an impounded car on your behalf. A motor trade policy will only allow the release of a vehicle that was:

  • The property of the motor trader
  • In their custody at the time of impound

Proof of Ownership

The total car registration document in your name, together with evidence of a valid address to match the registered address. If a car is ‘in trade’ and has been driven on the road without a proper trade license, it should be noted to the owner quickly. The pound staff will send the relevant documents to authorities on your behalf.
A Valid MOT Certificate
If your car is over three years old and does not have an existing MOT test pass certificate, you should:
Bring proof from a garage of a pre-hired MOT appointment, or arrange cover at your own cost.
If Someone is Retrieving the Car on Your Behalf
If you are not able to attend the pound in person:

  • As the registered owner of an impounded vehicle, you are legally responsible and should follow the police pound in person to prove ownership and pay fees.

You will only abandon this legal requirement if you can provide proof that:

  • If  You are currently not in the UK
  • You are in a hospital or prison
  • You cannot attend the police pound due to injury or disability
  • There are clear, understandable conditions that stop you from being able to participate in the police pound in person.

If any of the above conditions apply to you, the third party collecting the vehicle on your behalf should attend the police pound with:

  • Proof of a valid reason why you cannot attend in person.
  • An authority letter signed by you authorizing the third party to collect the car on your behalf.
  • A copy of your driving license or passport as evidence of your identity and signature.

If You Are Not Able to Drive the Vehicle Yourself

If you can attend the police pound in person to establish your ownership, you cannot drive the car yourself; you may nominate someone else to collect the vehicle on your behalf.
If you do not want to retrieve your car, you don’t need to take any action. The police will throw them away or auction them.

Provisional Driving License Holders

If you are driving under a provisional license, you should bring someone who:

  • Is over 21 and has held a car license for more than three years

Contact us immediately to get impounded car insurance and release your vehicle from the police pound.

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