Written by Graham Cutbill-White
Having your vehicle impounded can be a scary experience, not only do you risk losing your vehicle, but many of us don’t even know what we’re supposed to do when it happens as it’s unlikely you’ve ever had any experience with impounded vehicles.
At what is a confusing time, the best way to get things cleared up quickly and easily is to know what you need and what you have to do.
To help make things as clear as possible, here are some answers to frequently asked questions about impounded vehicles and impounded car insurance.
There are many reasons your vehicle may have been impounded either by the police, local council or other authority. These can range from unpaid parking fines to having no car tax or not properly declaring your vehicle as off the road.
One of the most common reasons people find their car impounded is because they don’t have the right car insurance.
All drivers are required by law to be insured to use the vehicle they’re driving and if you’re caught without the correct insurance you could not only have your vehicle impounded but you could face between 6 and 8 penalty points, a driving ban and an unlimited fine.
Uninsured drivers cost motorists around £400million a year in payouts for accidents* and to crack down on them, the police are putting more and more effort into finding and punishing drivers without insurance. Targeted operations take place regularly and police also use automatic number plate recognition connected to the MID (Motor Insurance Database) to catch uninsured drivers.
If your car has been seized, you can get it back by the police for not having the right insurance, you will need to get things together pretty quickly or you could lose your vehicle for good.
You’ll have just 14 days to recover your car otherwise it will be destroyed. Not only do you have to act quickly in order to recover your vehicle but you’ll be paying storage fees while it’s impounded (around £15-20 per day) so there really is no time to lose.
In order to recover your vehicle, you first and foremost need valid car insurance. If you don’t have car insurance or like many drivers find that an annual insurance company won’t offer insurance for impounded vehicles, you’ll need temporary impounded car insurance which you can get from Tempcover.
The certificate of insurance that you receive with temporary impounded car insurance isn’t the only thing you’ll need to get your car back though. You’ll also need to prove you own the vehicle by showing the full log book (V5C) or a new keeper supplement (V5C/10) with a verifiable and ‘in date’ bill of sale.
Along with these two documents, you’ll need your full driver’s license including the counterpart and a valid MOT certificate or evidence of a pre-booked MOT appointment.
You may find you need other documents when you pick up your vehicle but these will be in a notice letter which is sent when the vehicle is ready for collection.
You might be forgiven for thinking that because it only takes a day to recover your vehicle that you’ll only need a one day insurance policy.
Unfortunately, you’ll be unable to reclaim your vehicle if you only have a one day policy because not only do most one day policies forbid it being used on impounded vehicles but National Police Protocol requires you to have a minimum of 30 days of insurance.
You can, of course, get an insurance policy that lasts longer than this but you’ll find it’s extremely expensive. For most drivers, the best option is a 30-day short term impounded policy while you arrange a new annual policy for when your car is released.
A temporary policy from Tempcover is available to drivers who meet the following requirements:
We are confident that we can offer cover to a wide range of drivers but we cannot guarantee all drivers will be able to get a quote.