If you’ve received a seizure notice or your vehicle was seized on suspicion of being driven without a driving licence or valid insurance, go to our seized vehicle page to find the right information.

Here, you'll find information on what to do if your vehicle was impounded by the police because it was:

  • stolen, and found by us
  • involved in a collision
  • parked illegally
  • involved in a crime
  • driven in an anti-social manner
  • causing an obstruction or danger
  • abandoned after an incident involving the police

How to reclaim your vehicle

If your vehicle has been impounded and is being kept at our recovery depot you’ll receive a notice letter when it’s ready for collection. 

You'll need to go to the recovery depot to prove your identity and your ownership of the vehicle and pay any statutory charges.

What you must bring with you

Proof of identity – valid photo ID

This means either:

  • passport
  • driving licence
  • EU national identity card
  • immigration document
  • Freedom Pass

We won't accept a student or employer’s ID.

Proof of ownership

This means either:

  • the full log book (V5C), or
  • a new keeper supplement (V5C/10) together with a verifiable and ‘in date’ bill of sale


Unless the vehicle is being removed from the recovery depot on a recovery truck it will need either:

  • a valid MOT (depending on the age of the vehicle), or
  • evidence of a pre-booked MOT appointment

Insurance certificate

If you don't have a valid insurance policy you can't drive the vehicle on the road. You'll have to remove it from the recovery depot on a recovery truck.

Payment of charges

You can find full details about the statutory charges in the Road Traffic Act (Retention and disposal of seized vehicles) Regulations 2005 – amended 2008.

These charges are set by government, not the police, and vary depending on the weight and condition of the vehicle.

Please note, the daily storage charges start from midday the day after the vehicle was seized.

If someone is reclaiming the vehicle on your behalf

If you can't go to the recovery depot in person then someone else can collect it on your behalf.  

That person must bring with them the documents listed above and also:

  • an authority letter – a letter signed by you giving the person the authority to collect on your behalf
  • a copy of your passport or driving licence – so we can verify the signature on the letter of authority
  • a valid certificate of insurance

Collecting property from an impounded vehicle

If you want to get property from the impounded vehicle, but not the vehicle itself, you need to bring proof that you're the vehicle's owner or registered keeper (a V5C or V5C/10).

Someone else can collect property on your behalf, but they need to bring:

  1. a letter of authority, signed by you, giving them permission to collect property from the vehicle
  2. a copy of your passport or driving licence so we can verify the letter is signed by you

Please note, if the vehicle is badly damaged it might not be possible to get into it to remove property.

If your vehicle has been issued with a PG9 prohibition notice, isn't roadworthy or won’t start

If your vehicle has been issued with a PG9 prohibition notice, isn’t roadworthy or won’t start, you need to arrange for a fully trained, equipped and insured vehicle recovery operator to collect it at your own expense.

We don’t allow vehicles to be repaired while they’re at the recovery depot (this includes changing tyres, repairing windscreens or jump starting).

Things to be aware of

Bring a set of keys, in case the driver didn't leave the keys in the vehicle.

If the vehicle was in a collision and you’re not sure it’s roadworthy, consider having it recovered by a professional recovery operator.

We highly recommend taking your vehicle to a garage for a safety check if you’re getting it back after it’s been stolen.

The police, including recovery depot staff, can't advise on whether your vehicle is roadworthy.

If your vehicle doesn’t have correct number plates and you’re planning on driving it, you must bring valid replacement plates when you collect it.

Provisional driving licence holders

If you’re driving under a provisional licence you must bring someone who:

  • is over 21 and
  • has held a licence for more than three years

Make sure you have L plates on the vehicle.

If you don’t want to reclaim your vehicle

If you don’t want to reclaim your vehicle, this is called 'disclaiming', you need to go to the recovery depot with proof of identity and proof of ownership.

Once you sign the vehicle disclaimer, it will be disposed of straight away, by scrapping or by sale at auction. You'll no longer be responsible for taxing and insuring the vehicle.