My car has been impounded. What will it cost me to get it back?

If the car is being seized by the police and impounded because they had good reason to believe that you or the driver was uninsured there will be payments you will have to make before you can recover it. Apart from buying impounded car insurance (click here for details) there  are two types of charges; removal and storage charges.

Do bear in mind that it is vital that you contact the pound to claim your vehicle within seven days. If you fail to do so it will probably be scrapped or sold on the 15th day after impoundment. Normally you will be able to collect it straight away from the pound, but this depends on just how busy they are on that particular day. There could be a delay of anything up to 8 hours.

How much are removal charges?

This depends on the size and condition as well as the location, of the vehicle that has been seized. If it is a normal motorbike it will cost £150.

If it is a car or light van, but was undamaged and taken from a public road, it would also cost £150. A badly damaged one would cost £250.

If it was off road and undamaged the penalty would be to £200; but if it was substantially damaged, or lying on its side, this could increase to £300.

How much are storage charges?

They vehicle with just two wheels would cost £10 per day; a car or light van £20 a day. This is chargeable every 24 hours from noon on the day that the vehicle was impounded, or the following day it it was taken away after noon.

How can I pay impounded charges?

Pounds will not accept either cheques, or payment by American Express cards. The following however will usually be acceptable:

Visa, MasterCard, Maestro or Solo cards

Cash. UK currency only will be accepted, all other currencies, including Euros, will be rejected.

It is imperative that the cardholder attends in person to pay removal and storage charges. Payment over the telephone will not be accepted.

What happens if I cannot afford to pay these charges?

Unfortunately, if you do not pay these within 14 days and remove your vehicle from the pound it is likely to be either sold or scrapped. In this event you wouldn't have to pay for either removal or storage.

What if the car is damaged or won't start?

This is where things can get very expensive. Repairs at the pound are not allowed so you would probably have to get a specialist vehicle recovery company to collect it on your behalf. There are stringent regulations that cover these companies so it is not a terribly cheap option.

What if I am a learner driver?

You will need to bring along L plates if they are not already fitted; and be accompanied by a driver who is aged over 21, and who has held a licence for more than three years.