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Vehicle Recovery

The police have a power to seize immediately, vehicles which are detected being driven by uninsured drivers or drivers who do not have a valid licence, and for the vehicle to be removed, released or disposed of in accordance with regulations made by the Secretary of State.

What happens next?

You are legally required to go to the pound within seven working days of the date of the seizure notice or notice letter to reclaim your vehicle.

When your vehicle was seized you will have been given a vehicle seizure form.

You will only be able to produce the relevant documents required for your vehicle to be released at the police station specified on the seizure form.

Once your documents have been validated, your seizure form will be stamped, authorising the release of your vehicle.

You can then attend the vehicle recovery operator/pound to collect your vehicle during their stated opening hours.

You will need to pay the seizure fees and show the recovery operator your documentation before the vehicle is released.

We do not allow vehicles to be removed from a pound without insurance on a trailer of any kind.

What documents will I need to bring?

When you attend the police station to reclaim your vehicle you must bring with you:

The vehicle seizure form

If lost a temporary one will be issued by the police.

Proof of identity with valid photo ID

For example:

  • passport
  • driving licence
  • EU national identity card
  • immigration document

Valid driving licence

Your driving licence must be either:

  • a UK photo card driving licence - if you have the old paper licence you need to bring your passport or another verifiable form of photo ID (from the examples above)
  • an EU/EEAA photo card driving licence, along with a passport or EU/EAA identity card
  • a non-EU/EEA driving licence, together with an International Driving Permit or an official translation, plus a passport or other evidence or immigration status and date of arrival in the UK
If you have been disqualified in another EU member state or EEA country, that disqualification applies in the UK too.
Valid certificate of motor insurance
You will need to produce a valid certificate of motor insurance that permits the release of a vehicle impounded by a government authority before your vehicle will be released, even if you don't intend to drive it on a public road.
We will accept:
  • electronic copies of the certificate on your mobile device
  • copies sent by email, if they have come directly from your insurer
Short-term insurance or temporary cover (for a period of up to 30 days) may not be valid to reclaim a seized insurance. Check the certificate before you come to the pound.
A motor trader cannot release a seized vehicle on your behalf. A motor trade policy will only permit the release of a vehicle that was:
  • the property of the motor trader
  • in their custody and control at the time of seizure
Proof of ownership
  • the full vehicle registration document (V5C) in your name, together with proof or address to match the registered address, or
  • an unaltered and in-date new keeper supplement (V5C/2), together with a verifiable bill of sale and proof of name and address to match the new keeper supplement

If a vehicle 'in trade' has been driven on the road without a valid trade licence displayed, it must be registered to the owner immediately. The pound staff will send the relevant documents to DVLA on your behalf.

MOT

If your vehicle is over three years old and does not have a current MOT test pass certificate, you must:

  • bring evidence from a garage of a pre-booked MOT appointment, or
  • arrange recovery at your own expense

Vehicle tax

The current registered keeper is responsible for taxing a vehicle. The road tax is not transferred when the vehicle is sold to a new keeper.

If the vehicle's tax has expired, the vehicle may be seized again by DVLA if it is driven or parked on a public road.

What if I hold a provisional driving licence?

If you are driving under a provisional licence, you must bring someone who:

  • is over 21, and
  • has held a licence for more than three years

Make sure you have L plates on the vehicle.

What if someone is reclaiming the vehicle on my behalf?

If you are unable to attend the pound in person

As the registered keeper or owner of a seized vehicle, you are legally responsible for it and you must attend the pound in person to prove ownership and pay the charges.

This legal requirement will only be waived if you can provide evidence that:

  • you are out of the country (for example, a copy of flight tickets)
  • you are in custody
  • you are in hospital
  • you are immobile, due to age injury or disability
  • there are compelling medical or compassionate circumstances that stop you being able to attend the pound in person

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

  • the evidence of the valid reason you cannot attend in person
  • a letter of authority - a letter signed by you authorising the third party to collect the vehicle on your behalf
  • a copy of your passport or driving licence as proof of your identity and signature

If you cannot drive the vehicle yourself

If you can attend the pound in person to establish your ownership but you cannot drive the vehicle yourself, you may nominate someone to collect it on your behalf.

The third party must pay the charges and have:

  • a letter of authority – a letter signed by you authorising the third party to collect the vehicle on your behalf
  • a copy of your passport or driving licence as proof of your identity and signature

Collection by a third party

If your vehicle is being collected by another person on your behalf, that person must hold a valid driving licence and a valid certificate of motor insurance that allows them to reclaim the seized vehicle from a police pound.

The nominated driver should normally be named as an additional driver on the registered keeper's own motor insurance policy. Contact your insurer before coming to the pound if you are in any doubt. 

The legal requirement for the impounded vehicle to have valid motor insurance before it leaves the pound applies, even if a recovery operator is collecting the vehicle from the pound on your behalf.

How can I collect property from the vehicle?

You will need to attend a police station in order to get authorisation for any property to be removed/collected from a seized vehicle.

We will only give property from the vehicle to the owner or registered keeper of the vehicle, or to the driver at the time of seizure.

We require proof of ID in all cases.

If the registered keeper or owner is collecting property, we will require proof of ownership or a V5C. The driver’s details can normally be confirmed from the seizure notice.

If the registered keeper or owner cannot come to the pound in person to collect the property, we will require a letter of authority and proof of signature.

How can I disclaim a vehicle?

If you do not want to reclaim your vehicle you don not need to take any action. We will dispose of it after 14 days.

If you need written confirmation that you are no longer responsible for the vehicle, go to the pound with proof of identity and ownership and sign a disclaimer form. You will receive a copy.

There are no charges to pay if the vehicle is left at the pound for disposal.

What if my vehicle has been issued with a PG9 prohibition notice, is not roadworthy or will not start?

If your vehicle has been issued with a PG9 prohibition notice, is not roadworthy or will not start, you need to arrange for a fully trained, equipped and insured vehicle recovery operator to collect it at your own expense.

We do not allow vehicles to be repaired while they are at the pound (this includes changing tyres or repairing windscreens).

Where possible, the pound staff will try to help you with jump starting. You will have to sign a jump-starting indemnification form.

How much will it cost?
  1. Vehicle equal to or less than 3.5 tonnes MAM
    (All two wheeled vehicles are charged at £150 irrespective of location or condition)*

  2. Vehicles exceeding 3.5 tonnes MAM but equal to or less than 7.5 tonnes MAM*

  3. Vehicles exceeding 7.5 tonnes MAM but equal to or less than 18 tonnes MAM*

  4. Vehicles exceeding 18 tonnes MAM*
Vehicle Position and Condition

1*

2*

3*

4*
Vehicle on road, upright and not substantially damaged. Any two wheeled vehicle whatever its condition or position on or off the road £150 £200 £350 £350
Vehicle, excluding a two wheeled vehicle, on road but either not upright or substantially damaged or both £250 £650 Unladen
£2000
Unladen
£3000
Laden
£3000
Laden
£4500
Vehicle, excluding a two wheeled vehicle, off road, upright and not substantially damaged £200 £400 Unladen
£1000
Unladen
£1500
Laden
£1500
Laden
£2000
Vehicle, excluding a two wheeled vehicle, off road, upright and not substantially  damaged or both £300 £850 Unladen
£3000

Unladen
£4500

Laden
£4500
Laden
£6000
Daily storage charge £20
(£10 for two wheeled vehicles)
£25

£30

£35
What else should I be aware of?
  • Bring a set of keys with you in case the driver did not leave the keys in the vehicle
  • If the vehicle was in a collision and you are not sure it is roadworthy, consider having it recovered by a professional recovery operator
  • We highly recommend you take your vehicle to a garage for a safety check if you are getting it back after it has been stolen
  • We cannot advise on whether your vehicle is roadworthy
  • If your vehicle does not have correct number plates and you are planning on driving it, you must attach valid replacement plates when you collect it
What happens if I don’t believe my vehicle should have been seized?

You will still need to follow the above procedure and pay the recovery charges.

You will then need to fill out the Make a Complaint form

The case will be reviewed to find out if you are eligible for a refund.