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Impound car insurance

Get temporary insurance to release your impounded car

  • Specialised policy to provide the impound with proof of insurance

  • 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?

If you find yourself in a situation where your car has been seized, then you'll need to arrange impound insurance before you can claim an impounded car. In 2021, over 221,000* vehicles were seized across the UK for various reasons. The most common reason people have their vehicles taken by police is for driving without insurance.

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'll 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, contact your insurer to check if they cover for claiming impounded cars.

*Based on Freedom of Information data collected by Confused.com from 44 police forces in the UK.

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 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.

Our impound report for cars provides more information behind the reasons why cars are imported and how you can reclaim your vehicle if it happens to you.

How do I get a quote for impound insurance?

To get insurance for your impounded car, select 'get a quote' to get started. Then select 'impound insurance' as the reason for your cover when comparing temporary car insurance.

Before we give you a quote, we'll ask you for some details:

  • Registration of your vehicle - or the make and model
  • Reason for cover - impound insurance
  • Value of your vehicle - we provide an estimated value, but you also have the option to add the value yourself
  • When you need the cover to start - immediate cover is available, or you can select the required date
  • Driver details - name, address, licence number and date of birth.

All insurers will have different eligibility criteria, but most require the following for you to get a quote:

  • You must be 21-80 years old
  • You're the current legal owner of the vehicle
  • You have no more than 3 points on your licence in the past 3 years if you're aged between 21-25, and no more than 6 points in the past 3 years if you're aged between 26-75.
  • You must have no non-motoring criminal convictions

Get a quote for impound car insurance

What's included in the policy?


What’s covered

  • Releasing your vehicle from the impound
  • Insurance for 30 days for social and domestic driving
  • Damage to any third-party vehicles
  • Social, domestic & pleasure driving for the period of 30 days

What’s not covered

  • Commuting, business use, or hire or reward driving
  • Damage caused by negligence
  • Car modifications
  • Additional drivers – cover is only for the driver named on the policy, who must also be the owner of the car

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

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

You must always call the recovery operator before going to 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. You'll need proof that the car has insurance. If you get impound insurance through us, Tempcover will send valid proof of insurance to your email address after you buy the policy.

If you've not met these requirements after 7 working days, the police could dispose of your vehicle.

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

Accepted photo ID documents include

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

Valid proof of ownership includes the logbook (V5C) and a new keeper supplement (V5C/2) 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 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 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.

Who is Tempcover?

Our trusted partner Tempcover is a leading provider of impound insurance. They offer the specific cover you need to release your car from the impound and have been helping customers find short-term insurance since 2006. Their customers rate them as Excellent on Trustpilot.

Tempcover brand logo

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."

Marc Pell, Managing Director at Tempcover
Managing Director | Tempcover Tempcover logo

Types of car insurance

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

Why is impound insurance so expensive?

Impound insurance tends to be expensive because it's considered to be a higher risk due to it being seized by police.

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.

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Car insurance articles

Page last reviewed: 31 May 2023

Reviewed by: Marc Pell

Confused.com's temporary cover solution is provided by Tempcover LTD. Tempcover LTD are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority under firm reference number 746985. Tempcover LTD is registered in England No. 9923259 at office: 2nd floor, Admiral House, Harington Way, Fleet, Hampshire, GU51 4BB. Confused.com is an intermediary and receives a percentage of commission received by Tempcover LTD.