If you’ve received a seizure notice/letter or your vehicle was seized on suspicion of being driven without a driving licence or valid insurance, go to our seized vehicle 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
involved in a crime
driven in an anti-social manner
causing an obstruction or danger
abandoned after an incident involving the police
DVLA records show the vehicle isn't taxed or the vehicle has been declared SORN (there is a Statutary Off-Road Notice)
How to reclaim your vehicle
If your vehicle has been impounded and is being kept with one of our recovery garages you’ll receive a notice letter when it’s ready for collection. You will not receive any communication in respect of a vehicle seized under DVLA regulations from the police, only from the DVLA.
You'll need to go to the recovery garage to prove your identity and your ownership of the vehicle and pay any statutory charges. You must do this within the timeframe stated in the letter.
What you must bring with you
Proof of identity – valid photo ID
This means either:
EU national identity card
Student or employer’s IDs won't be accepted.
Proof of ownership
This means either:
the full log book (V5C), or
a new keeper supplement (V5C/10) together with a verifiable and ‘in date’ bill of sale
Unless the vehicle is being removed from the recovery garage on a recovery truck it will need either:
a valid MOT (depending on the age of the vehicle), or
evidence of a pre-booked MOT appointment
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 recovery garage on a recovery truck.
If we have impounded a vehicle that has been driven while untaxed on behalf of the DVLA you will need to comply with its release procedure. This requires:
the owner to produce documentation as above. If the V5C registration document is not in the new keeper's name, they must complete a V62 new keeper notification and pay a £25 charge for that part of the process
evidence that there is now tax in place. Alternatively, you can pay a surety fee. The fee is £160 for motorcycles, light passenger vehicles and light goods vehicles. Higher surety fees apply to larger vehicles. This can be reclaimed if you then tax the vehicle and take proof to the garage it is stored at within 15 days (for a UK registered vehicle), or 56 days for a foreign-registered vehicle
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 someone is reclaiming the vehicle on your behalf
If you can't go to the recovery garage in person then someone else can collect it on your behalf.
That person 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 property on your behalf, but they need to bring:
a letter of authority, signed by you, giving them permission to collect property from the vehicle
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.
We'll hold your property for 30 days before we dispose of it.
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 recovery garage (this includes changing tyres, repairing windscreens or jump starting).
Things to be aware of
Bring a set of keys, in case the driver didn't leave the keys in the vehicle.
If the vehicle was in a collision and you’re not sure it’s 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’re getting it back after it’s been stolen.
The police, including recovery garage 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.
Provisional driving licence holders
If you’re 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.
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 recovery garage with proof of identity and proof of ownership.
Once you sign the vehicle disclaimer, it will be disposed of straight away, by scrapping or by sale at auction. You'll no longer be responsible for taxing and insuring the vehicle.