tow truck taking away an impounded car

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Ways to Get Your Car Out of Impound

Most vehicle owners dread impoundment. If you are unfamiliar with the term, vehicle impound is a legal process of seizing a car in a lot until you meet certain conditions; which may include fines and other statutory fees. Once you satisfy the specified requirements, you are allowed to reclaim your vehicle.

If you have had this experience before, you know very well the hassle it can be to get the vehicle released. There is a whole load of paperwork you have to sign and present at the compound plus you have to pay expensive fines and penalties so that you can have your car released. But what’s even more difficult is when you don’t have the right papers required to remove your vehicle from the pound. Ordinarily, you would have to present yourself with the following documents:

So what happens when you don’t have either one or more of these documents? Here are some alternative ways to get your car out of impound.

What If You Don’t Have Insurance?

No matter the reason why your car is impounded, to get it back, you need to have insurance. Getting insurance for impounded vehicles is extremely difficult. Most insurers avoid that cover since it’s deemed as high risk. But, on the off chance that you get a standard annual cover, it will be highly inflated due to your situation and time urgency. Therefore, your alternative is to apply for temporary impounded vehicle insurance which usually covers you for thirty days. This is NOT the same as short term, 1-28 day cover; this does not cover impounded vehicles and it will not be accepted by the authorities.

The 30 days temporary impounded car insurance will only give you the opportunity to beat the 14-day window to get your car back. Once you get this insurance, present the certificate or cover note to the police station along with other required documents (Full driver’s licence, Proof of ownership and MOT). Your car should then be released right away.

What If You Can't Get The Car Out Yourself?

The law says you must claim the car yourself unless there are very unusual circumstances. These include being in custody, hospitalised, too ill, or abroad with no way of getting back in time. Evidence has to be produced to back up any of these reasons.

IN THEORY you can still get it back by using a third-party driver to actually drive it out of the pound. Your family member, friend or someone else can reclaim the vehicle or personal things from the car on your behalf under these conditions;

Should the third party wish to drive the vehicle from the pound, then they must also provide a valid driving licence and certificate of insurance. Do bear in mind though that most insurance policies that cover cars not belonging to the policyholder SPECIFICALLY DO NOT COVER impounded cars under this clause, and specialist short-term policies that do cover them can rarely, if ever, be taken out by anyone other than a registered keeper. Some very specialised policies may include it but these are very rare.

Also, note that the same conditions apply to tow services or lift vehicle services that you pay to collect the car on your behalf. They must also produce evidence that they are trained to carry out this kind of work, that they have the correct equipment and are properly insured; there are many other formalities that they must comply with too. This is expensive and generally a last resort, to recover a valuable vehicle. You should check with the staff at the pound to see if they know of any suitable companies that can do this, or if you find someone yourself you must check that they have already done this sort of work, before hiring them.

Could I Sell The Car Instead?

yes but it would have to be a real sale. You couldn't just pretend to sell it to someone who could then insure it and drive it out.

The new owner would have to produce the tear-off 'new owner' slip from the logbook as well as a bill of sale from you. You could download a suitable template from the Web. The pound staff would send the necessary documentation to the DVLA so that the change of ownership could be registered.

Any outstanding HP would have to be settled before the sale and the new owner should tell the insurer that the car was currently impounded, and although this shouldn't affect the premium (the new owner would presumably not have been responsible for the car being seized) they should be informed.

Payment of Charges

Whichever alternative way you use to get your car out of impound, you must also pay in full all fines and legal fees before you are allowed to reclaim your vehicle. Charges may vary depending on the condition and overall weight of the car as well as the duration the car has been stored in the pound. Regardless, the primary charges are:

Once you have satisfied these conditions, you will be able to remove your vehicle and return to your regular duties. The important this that you should always ensure that whenever your car gets impounded you need to take action within 14 days of the date that your car was impounded to avoid it from being auctioned or destroyed.

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0161 388 2552

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