If you’ve received a seizure notice because your vehicle was seized on the belief that it was being driven without a driving licence or valid insurance, go to our seized vehicles page to find the right information.

Here, you'll find information on what to do if your vehicle was impounded by the police because it was:

  • stolen, and found by us
  • involved in a collision
  • being driven while untaxed
  • involved in a crime
  • driven in an anti-social manner
  • causing an obstruction or danger
  • abandoned after an incident involving the police

How to reclaim your vehicle

If your vehicle has been recovered and is being kept at one of our recovery operator depots you'll receive a notice letter if you're registered as the current keeper on the DVLA's records.

This letter will contain detailed instructions on what documents to produce and where your vehicle is being kept.

MOT 

If a vehicle is being driven away you'll need to make sure it has a valid MOT (depending on the age of the vehicle) otherwise you'll need to remove the vehicle on a recovery truck.

Insurance Certificate

If you don't have a valid insurance policy you can't drive the vehicle on a road. You'll have to remove it on a recovery truck.

Tax

The current registered keeper is responsible for taxing a vehicle. If the vehicle is kept off-road it must either be taxed or registered as off the road (SORN)

If your vehicle's been impounded because it isn't taxed, you need to follow the release procedure, pay the charges and go to the garage named on the letter the police have given you to reclaim your vehicle.

Unclaimed vehicles could be disposed of or sold after seven days, or 14 days for more valuable vehicles.

Collecting property from a recovered vehicle

If you want to collect property from a recovered vehicle, but not the vehicle itself, we need:

  1. photographic ID in your name (see above list of what will be accepted)
  2. V5C in your name or proof of ownership (see above list of what will be accepted)


Someone else can collect property on your behalf if you can't attend yourself, they'll need to bring:

  1. photographic ID in your name (see above list of what will be accepted)
  2. V5C in your name or proof of ownership (see above list of what will be accepted)
  3. A letter of authorisation, dated and signed by you, giving them permission to collect property from the vehicle, it must include the name and full postal address of the person you are authorising to collect the vehicle and the VRM of the vehicle
  4. A copy of your passport or driving licence so we can verify the letter is signed by you

Please note, if the vehicle is badly damaged it might not be possible to get into it to remove property or if there are no keys with the vehicle.

All property will have been removed from the vehicle if unlocked or the vehicle was recovered with keys and recorded on the Police system and stored in a clear plastic bag in the property store at the recovery operators premises.

When collecting property, if all the correct documents have been authorised you'll be asked to check all property items against a list before leaving the recovery operators premises and you will be asked to sign to confirm receipt of all the property and confirm it is all there.

Disclaiming a vehicle

If you don’t want to reclaim your vehicle you will be required to pay a disposal fee at the recovery operators depot (unless seized under a S165) as well as the outstanding statutory removal and storage fees accrued to date (unless it is a found stolen motor vehicle). We'll dispose of it after 14 days. If the vehicle is subsequently disposed of by the police, the DVLA will be updated.

If your vehicle has been issued with a PG9 prohibition notice, isn't roadworthy or won’t start

If your vehicle has been issued with a PG9 prohibition notice, isn’t roadworthy or won’t start, you need to arrange for a fully trained, equipped and insured vehicle recovery operator to collect it at your own expense.
We don’t allow vehicles to be repaired by owners or third parties while they’re at the Recovery Operators premises (this includes changing tyres or repairing windscreens).

Things to be aware of

Bring a set of keys, in case there are no keys with the vehicle.

If the vehicle was in a collision and you are not sure if it is roadworthy, consider having it recovered by a professional recovery operator.

We highly recommend taking your vehicle to a garage for a safety check if you are getting it back after it’s been stolen.

The police, including all recovery operator staff, can't advise on whether your vehicle is roadworthy.

If your vehicle doesn’t have correct number plates and you’re planning on driving it, you must bring valid replacement plates when you collect it.

You won't be permitted to enter a storage compound to see your vehicle before collection, this includes third parties such as insurance companies. This is because of health and safety issues and police assets/investigations.

Provisional driving licence holders

If you’re driving under a provisional licence you must bring someone who:

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

Make sure you have L plates on the vehicle, if not you will need to bring some with you.

Insurance certificate

If you don't have a valid insurance policy you can't drive the vehicle on the road. You'll have to remove it from the pound on a recovery truck.

If someone is reclaiming the vehicle on your behalf

If the legal owner of the vehicle can't go to the pound in person then someone else can collect on their behalf.  

The person collecting the vehicle on your behalf must bring with them the documents listed above and also:

  • an authority letter – a letter signed by you giving the person the authority to collect on your behalf
  • a copy of your passport or driving licence – so we can verify the signature on the letter of authority
  • a valid certificate of insurance

Collecting property from an impounded vehicle

If you want to get property from the impounded vehicle, but not the vehicle itself, you need to bring proof that you're the vehicle's owner or registered keeper (a V5C or V5C/10).

Someone else can collect on your behalf. They need to bring:

  1. a letter of authority, signed by you, giving them permission to collect property from the vehicle
  2. a copy of your passport or driving licence so we can verify the letter is signed by you

Please note, if the vehicle is badly damaged it might not be possible to get into it to remove property.

If your vehicle has been issued with a PG9 prohibition notice, isn't roadworthy or won’t start

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

We don’t allow vehicles to be repaired while they’re at the pound (this includes changing tyres, repairing windscreens or jump starting).

Payment of charges

Statutory charges apply to most vehicles removed to a pound, depending upon the reason for removal.

Find full details about charges in the Road Traffic Act (Retention and disposal of seized vehicles) Regulations 2005 – amended 2008.

These charges are set by government, not the police, and vary depending on the weight and condition of the vehicle.

Please note, the daily storage charges start from midday the day after the vehicle was seized.

If you don’t want to reclaim your vehicle

If you don’t want to reclaim your vehicle, this is called 'disclaiming', you need to go to the pound with proof of identity and proof of ownership.

You'll have to pay the disposal charge (where applicable), but you won't be asked to pay for the outstanding removal and storage charges.