Last updated: 25/11/2021 | Estimated Reading Time: 2 minutes

A car can be impounded for any number of reasons, and you'll need certain documents in order to retrieve it. This guide will help you to work out what to do next if your car has been seized.

In This Guide:

Why has my car been impounded?

There are a variety of reasons your car may have been impounded, and many authorities including the police, the DVLA and local authorities have the right to seize your car under certain conditions.

The police may seize your car after pulling you over if they have good reason to believe that the car is being driven in a manner that is dangerous or causes alarm, harassment or distress – such as in the cases of dangerous or careless driving. They also have the right to seize the car if it's being driven by someone who doesn't have the correct licence or the minimum allowed insurance (third party)

Other reasons your car may be seized include illegal parking (such as on double yellow lines), an uninsured car, a car with expired road tax or one which is off road but hasn't been declared so. If your car is off the road and untaxed you must complete a statutory off road notice (SORN)

To learn more about road tax and why it's essential your car is either taxed or declared off-road, check out our guide to car tax.

How do I release my impounded car?

To retrieve an impounded vehicle you'll normally need to provide documentation to prove that you are the owner of the car as well as proof that the car is road legal. The exact proof required can vary depending on the compound so it's worth calling ahead to check.

Impounded car insurance

Some insurance policies cover impounded vehicles, while others do not, so first of all you need to check the wording of your policy to confirm if you can reclaim the vehicle. If your policy does not cover impounded vehicles you can take out a specialist impounded vehicle policy.

Be sure to shop around for policies as some will offer instant cover around the clock, meaning you'll be able to get the documentation you need straight away.

Check out our guide on the types of convicted driver insurance to learn more about specialist insurers for convicted drivers.

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