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Impounded car insurance

Get impounded car insurance for 30 days

  • The cover you need to release your impounded car

  • Get instant cover if you need the policy to start immediately

  • Cover for 30 days

What is impound insurance?

Impound insurance is a temporary car insurance policy for cars that have been impounded.

Impound insurance is a short-term insurance policy that lasts for 30 days, allowing you to get your car released if your standard car insurance policy won't cover an impounded car.

To get temporary insurance for your impounded car, select 'impound insurance' as the reason for your cover when comparing temporary car insurance through.

While policies vary, they generally offer a comprehensive level of car insurance cover. This means you should be covered for damage to your own vehicle as well as those of other drivers.

Why do I need impound car insurance?

Before you can claim an impounded car, you need to prove that it has a valid insurance policy.

Impounded cars are seen as high risk by insurers as they might have been involved in an accident or a crime.

Finding an insurer who will cover an impounded car can be difficult and expensive. But impound insurance provides the short-term cover you need to get your car back.

If your car already has an existing insurance policy, get in touch with your insurer to check if they cover for claiming impounded cars.

Why are cars impounded?

Your car could be impounded for several reasons, including:

  • Theft and recovery
  • Driving without insurance
  • Involvement in a crime
  • Illegal parking
  • Having no valid car tax

Theft and recovery is a common reason for police to impound cars. If the police find your car after it's been reported stolen, it's taken to the impound to await collection.

Driving without insurance can result in your car being seized by the police. This is in addition to a fine and points on your licence.

Involvement in a crime means that the car is a potential evidence, and so the police are within their rights to seize it.

Illegal parking leaves the car at risk of causing an obstruction, potentially endangering others.

Having no valid car tax could mean that the police or council considers the car to be abandoned. If so, it will be impounded to remove it from the road.

Get a quote for impounded car insurance

What happens if I’m not the registered keeper?

It’s the responsibility of the registered keeper to provide the required documents and pay the charges for an impounded car. Only then can the nominated driver collect the vehicle on your behalf.

There are only be a handful of circumstances where the registered keeper might be excused from appearing in person. This might be because the registered keeper is:

  • Not in the UK
  • In hospital or prison
  • Not able to attend due to age, injury or disability

If the keeper is not in the UK you might need a power of attorney letter to claim the car.

If the keeper is in hospital or prison you might need letters from the institution as proof.

If the keeper can't attend due to age, injury or disability you might need a letter from a health care professional as proof.

In all cases, it's best to check with the police on the details of when and how you can collect your car. If it hasn’t been collected after 14 days it may be disposed of.

What documents do I need to reclaim my vehicle?

The first thing you'll need is either the seizure notice issued at the roadside or a penalty ticket if one was given to you.

You'll also need to provide:

  • A valid photo ID
  • 2 items of proof of address
  • A valid driving licence
  • Proof of ownership
  • A valid MOT for vehicles over 3 years old
  • Proof of valid insurance

If your car doesn't have a valid MOT it needs to be recovered on a trailer or taken directly to a pre-booked test appointment.

Accepted photo ID documents include:

  • Your passport
  • An EU national identity card
  • Immigration documents

Valid proof of ownership includes:

  • The logbook (V5C)
  • A new keeper supplement (V5C/10) and a verifiable bill of sale

How much will it cost to release my vehicle?

How much you pay to get your car back depends on the weight and condition of the vehicle. These fees are set by the government – not the police.

In most cases where the vehicle isn’t badly damaged or off the road, the charges are:

Motorbike and other 2-wheeled vehicles
Cars and light vans

A full list of fees are available on GOV.UK.

What our car insurance expert says

Most standard policies won’t cover releasing a vehicle from the impound and the longer your vehicle is there, the more expensive it'll be to release. As well as sorting your insurance, check which documents you need to supply before you visit the impound. You don't want to waste time turning up without the right documents to release your car.

Louise Thomas - Car insurance, personal Finance, mortgage and life insurance expert signature

Louise Thomas

Car insurance expert

Need more help?

Can I collect property from an impounded car?

Yes. You should be able to collect property within the vehicle, without collecting the car itself.

The term ‘property’ doesn't include any item fixed to the vehicle such as alloy wheels or the audio system.

And property is only returned when the vehicle is no longer required for examination – and only to:

  • The registered owner/keeper
  • The driver at the time of seizure
  • Anyone who can prove ownership of the items being collected

My car has been seized for having no insurance, how do I get it back?

If your car was seized because you weren’t insured then you might find it tricky to arrange cover. This is because some insurance companies don’t cover impounded vehicles.

So it’s worth shopping around to find the cheapest impound insurance. You can compare impounded car insurance policies through us, by selecting 'impound insurance' as your reason for needing temporary car insurance.

The police seized my car, how do I get it back?

If your vehicle has been impounded, you should get a notice letter when it’s ready for collection.

The first step is finding out where your car has been taken. If you’re not sure, ring 101 and ask for your local police station to establish where it’s been taken.

Clarify with the police exactly what’s required and what you need to do in order to reclaim your vehicle.

What are the legal requirements if my car has been seized?

You're legally required to attend the recovery operator’s pound within 7 working days of your vehicle being seized.

You must always call the recovery operator before attending the pound to ensure the vehicle’s ready to collect and isn’t being held for further investigation.

The vehicle must be collected by the registered keeper – with the correct documents brought at the time – within 14 days.

If these requirements haven’t been met after this deadline, then the police could dispose of your vehicle.

What do I do if my car is clamped?

The first step is to tax your car.

If you don’t tax the vehicle before you get it released, you need to pay a deposit that’s known as a surety fee.

Then you need to pay the release fee. For this you need the car's registration and the 8 digit enforcement notice number. This is on the INF32 leaflet left on your vehicle.

My car has been seized for having no insurance, how do I get it back?

Having valid car tax is a legal requirement. If you don't, you run the risk of your car either being wheel clamped or impounded by NSL Services Ltd. This is the organisation that carries out enforcement on behalf of the DVLA.

Removing a clamp or releasing a car from being impounded both come with fees which can increase daily.

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