Car impounded?

Here's how to get it back.

Getting a car released from a police pound.

You either took a chance of driving without insurance or you made a genuine error and thought you was insured, but you wasn't. Either way the first thing to do is calm down, take a deep breath and accept the situation. You then need to decide whether or not you want to get your car out of impound; it will cost money and you may already have had to pay a substantial fine. About 40% of impounded cars end up in the crusher, or are sold at auction by the police, and this is likely to be the fate of your car if you don't act soon.

How do you claim your impounded car?

Even if you are not yet in a position to get the car out of the pound you need to claim it within a week of it being seized. When it was taken from you you should have been given a form, number 3708, which would tell you where to go to claim the car but if you haven't had this you should phone your local police station and they should be able to tell you. You should then go down to the police station or pound and show proof of your identity as well as proof that you own the car. To do this you will need the registration documents for the vehicle, some photo ID such as a driving licence or passport and proof of your address in the form of utility bills.

Once you have claimed your car you then have a total of two weeks from the date on which it was seized to get it back.

How do you get your car out of the pound?

Once you claim the car there is another document you will need; an insurance certificate. If someone else was driving your car when it was impounded this should not be a problem since presumably you were insured for the car in the first place. However if it was you who was driving, and you had no insurance, getting a policy could prove difficult. Apart from the fact that you would probably be facing prosecution for driving without insurance, or had already accepted a fine for this, as well as penalty points, from the police, insurance is likely to be far more expensive for you even if you could find an insurer willing to give you a policy under the circumstances. However unless you do get insurance cover you will not be able to drive your car out of the pound so getting hold of a policy is your next priority.

If you need more information about getting your car released there is a lot of information about impounded cars, and imponded car insurance, at

What is the cheapest insurance for an impounded car?

Many motorists opt for a short-term policy which is specifically designed for cars which have been seized by the police. These are underwritten by insurers that are comfortable with the fact that the insured person has already, most likely, driven without insurance. These policies last for just 30 days, which is the absolute minimum that the police will accept, and they are third party only to keep the costs down as much as possible. Once you have your insurance in place you can get your car back, and then either SORN it until your finances improve, or sell it. You can get more information about the cheapest impounded car insurance from

What happens if I don't claim an impounded car?

If the car is not claimed within seven days of seizure, or taken out of the pound within 14 days of that date, it will probably be confiscated and either crushed for scrap or sold at auction if it is valuable enough. You would not get anything at all from the proceeds of sale; all the money raised would go to police funds.

What does it cost to get an impounded car out of a police pound?

There would be a charge first of all for removing your car; this is currently £150. In addition there is a storage charge of £20 a day for the time that the car spends in the pound, so to cut your cost to the minimum you really need to get it out as quickly as possible.

What if the car is damaged and not driveable?

You will need to get a properly licensed pick up company to collect it for you. The staff at the pound may be able to suggest suitable companies. The car would then have to be taken to a location off the public highway.

Is it worth collecting my car or should I leave it at the pound?

If you decide to abandon your car you are perfectly at liberty to do so. In this event it will be scrapped as soon as possible by the authorities. The advantage to you would be that you would not have to pay the charges; so you would need to weigh up the total cost of getting your car back, against what the car is worth. If it was worth little you could be better off just giving up your rights to it.

What if an impounded car still has outstanding finance charges?

Staff at pounds usually try to find out if any other person or company has a financial interest in the car and if you have outstanding hire purchase payments to make on it it is quite possible that the finance company will be informed directly. They may even get the car out of impound themselves. If this happens you need to get legal advice since it is highly likely that you have breached the terms of your finance agreement and the finance company may terminate the agreement forthwith and demand immediate payment of any outstanding balance, plus their costs which will include the towing and storage charges that they will have to have paid the police.

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