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 pounds you'll receive a notice letter when it's ready for collection if you're registered as the current keeper on the DVLA's records.

What you must bring with you

Proof of identity – valid photo ID

This means either:

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

We won't accept a student or employer’s ID.

Proof of ownership

You should produce a valid full vehicle registration document (V5C) in your name together with proof of address. (You may be required to provide further evidence of purchase or ownership.)

If you have a V5C/2 new keeper supplement, you'll need to apply for a V5C before you can collect your vehicle. 

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 staff at the police station can send the relevant documents to DVLA on your behalf.

MOT

Unless the vehicle is being removed from the pound 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

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).

Recovery operators

If you're a recovery operator collecting a vehicle from the pound you must:

  • bring a letter of authority from the owner or keeper, as explained above, if they don't come to the pound with you

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 all pound 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.

Payment of charges

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

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

In most cases where the vehicle is not badly damaged or off the road, the charges will be:

  • two-wheeled vehicles: £150 removal charge and £10 per day storage
  • cars and light vans: £150 removal charge and £20 per day storage

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

Pounds are generally open from 9am to 4.30pm.

Acceptable payment methods vary but the following are normally accepted:

  • cash (British currency only)
  • Visa card
  • MasterCard
  • Maestro card
  • Solo card

If you don’t want to reclaim your vehicle

If you don’t want to reclaim your vehicle, this is called 'disclaiming', you should contact the pound and let them know. The pound will then send you a 'Torts' letter for you to sign and your vehicle will be disposed of straight away, by scrapping or by sale at auction.