tow truck taking away an impounded car

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How Do I Get Insurance For An Impounded Car?

0161 388 2552

I Need Insurance For an Impounded Car!

When a car is impounded in the United Kingdom, it typically means that the vehicle has been seized by the police or another authority owing to infractions such as lacking insurance, being involved in illegal activities, or other motoring offences. Owners of impounded cars often find themselves in a catch-22 situation, needing insurance to retrieve their vehicles but facing problems in securing it. It is certainly not impossible though!

Requirement for Insurance to Retrieve an Impounded Car

In the UK, one of the prerequisites to recover an impounded car is to produce a valid insurance certificate. This is essential if the vehicle is to be be legally driven on the road once it is released. Sometimes, a standard insurance policy may suffice; but since the vast majority of standard car insurance policies specifically exclude them from being used for driving a car out of a pound, so, more often, a specialised impounded car insurance policy is needed, which can be more costly.

What sort of cover is necessary?

Third party cover is the minimum level necessary for driving on anywhere that is open to the public, which not only covers roads but also areas like car parks or other public spaces. By law the policy must be issued for a period of not less that 30 days, which means that standard short term policies, which last for a maximum of 28 days, are not acceptable.

For these reasons, the most popular policies for releasing a vehicle are 30 day, third party only ones. Once the car is out of the pound you would be free to apply for a standard yearly policy, but bear in mind that it would almost certainly cost more because of whatever the circumstance were that caused the car to be impounded in the first place.

Are there Specialised Impounded Car Insurance Providers?

Many mainstream insurance providers are reluctant to insure impounded cars. However, there are specialised insurers in the UK who offer policies for such vehicles, albeit at higher premiums. Although we are all used to comparing quotes from many different providers for normal car insurance impounded car insurance is only provided by a handful of specialists, so shopping round for quotes online can prove difficult.

However: some insurers do offer temporary (30 day) impounded car insurance, which can provide cover for a short duration, allowing the owner to legally retrieve the vehicle from the impound lot.

Review Policy Terms:

It is important to meticulously review the terms and conditions of any policy before purchasing, ensuring understanding and agreement with all provisions, including the duration of cover, limitations, and exclusions.

Ensure Legal Compliance:

Apart from insurance, ensure that all other legal requirements such as road tax and MOT (Ministry of Transport) tests are current and valid, as these are also prerequisites for releasing impounded cars.

Cost Implications:

Insurance for impounded cars typically comes with higher premiums, owing to the perceived increased risk associated with such vehicles and their owners.

Limited Options:

Fewer insurance providers are willing to offer cover for impounded cars, limiting options and potentially impacting the competitiveness of rates available.

Risk of Further Impoundment:

Once your car is recovered, ensuring continuous compliance with all legal and insurance requirements is imperative to avoid the risk of the vehicle being impounded again; a surprisingly large number of cars end up being impounded more than once because the owners thought they might still get away with breaking the rules! Remember that nowadays we all drive past multiple cameras which can record our number plates and check them against an insurance database, so the odds against getting away with driving without insurance are massive.

Why is impounded car insurance expensive?

Risk Profiling:

Individuals who have had their vehicles impounded are often seen as high-risk by insurance companies. The infractions leading to impoundment, such as driving without insurance or involvement in illegal activities, suggest a likelihood of future claims.

Prior Offences:

Those with a history of traffic violations or criminal activities are typically subjected to higher premiums owing to the increased probability of them making a claim, based on past behaviour.

Specialised Insurance Products:

Few insurance companies offer policies for impounded cars, leading to limited options and less competitive rates.

Customised Policies:

Insurance policies for impounded cars are often tailored to meet specific legal requirements and cover elevated risks, contributing to higher premiums.

Extra Risk Of Claims:

For a car to hve been impounded the driver would probably have committed a fairly serious motoring offence; this by itself would have a red flag at any insurance company. The operational risks associated with insuring high-risk drivers and impounded vehicles are higher, necessitating increased premiums to offset potential losses.


Administrative and Operational Costs:

The process of insuring impounded cars involves more administrative work and validation because of the legal implications, increasing operational costs for insurers, which are then passed on to the policyholder.

Supply and Demand:

With fewer providers willing to insure impounded cars, the demand often exceeds the supply, allowing insurers to charge higher premiums; which are perhaps justifiable anyway, considering the higher risks that they face.


Insuring an impounded car in the UK is somewhat more complicated because of the intertwined factors of legal compliance, risk assessment, and market limitations. The perceived high risk of insuring such vehicles and the individuals owning them, combined with the administrative challenges and limited availability of specialised policies, invariably lead to higher insurance premiums. However; the only alternative can mean the complete loss of a car which may be quite valuable, and which may still be subject to finance payments even if it's been sold or sent to the crusher by the police.

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