Here, you can find out how to reclaim a vehicle that has been seized under Section 165A of the Road Traffic Act 1988. This means an officer had reasonable grounds to believe that the driver was uninsured or was not driving in accordance with their driving licence.

If your vehicle has been seized for this reason the driver should have received a seizure notice.

If your vehicle has been impounded for another reason, go to our impounded vehicles page.

How to reclaim your vehicle

If your vehicle is seized, you have seven working days to go to one of these police stations – during the times specified – with the correct documents (which are listed below). If you don't, your vehicle may be sold or scrapped.

Wrexham Police Station
Former Oriel Gallery
Rhosddu Road
Wrexham
LL11 1AU
(from Monday to Friday, 9am to 4pm)
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Rhyl Police Station
Wellington Road
Rhyl
Denbighshire
LL18 1DA
(from Monday to Friday, 9am to 4pm)
View on map

Bangor Police Station
Ffordd Gwynedd
Bangor
Gwynedd
LL57 1DT
(from Monday to Friday, 9am to 4pm)
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Mold Police Station
King Street
Mold
Flintshire
CH7 1EF
(from Monday to Friday, 9am to 1pm and 3pm to 4pm)
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Llandudno Police Station
Oxford Road
Llandudno
Conwy
LL30 1DN
(from Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, 9am to 1pm and 3pm to 4pm)
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Caernarfon Police Station
Maesincla Lane
Caernarfon
Gwynedd
LL55 1BU
(from Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 9am to 1pm and 3pm to 4pm)
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The correct documents you need to reclaim your vehicle

When you go to one of the designated police stations you must produce the following documents (originals, not copies) to get your vehicle released:

Seizure notice

V5C (log book in your name

Photo ID (passport or driving licence)

Driving licence

Your driving licence must be either:

  • a UK photo card driving licence; if you have the old paper licence you need to bring your passport or another verifiable form of photo ID (one from the list above)

  • a UK provisional licence – you must be accompanied at the station by a supervisor (someone who is over 21 and who has held a suitable full UK or EU licence for three years or more). The supervisor must also produce their driving licence. If necessary, you'll need to produce your CBT certificate too.

  • an EU/EEA photo card driving licence along with a passport or EU/EAA identity card in the same name as that on the licence

  • a non-EU/EEA driving licence, along with your international driving permit and an additional form of photo ID, such as a passport or a home country Identification Card in the same name as that on the licence. You must also produce proof of immigration status; this could include a stamp in your passport.

    With some exceptions, including some concessions for students on a fixed-term course, drivers may not drive in the UK on a licence issued by a non-EU or EEA country for more than 12 months after their first arrival in the UK. An International Driving Permit is only an international translation of the licence and offers no authority or entitlement to drive in its own right. It must be accompanied by the domestic driving licence to which it refers.

If you've been disqualified in another EU member state or EEA country that disqualification applies in the UK too.

Certificate of motor insurance

You'll need to produce a valid certificate of motor insurance that permits the release of a vehicle impounded by a government authority before your vehicle will be released, even if you don’t intend to drive it on a public road.

We’ll accept:

  • a paper certificate 
  • copies sent by email

Please make sure you've declared all the relevant facts to your insurer, including:

  • correct owner and registered keeper details
  • any motoring convictions in the last five years
  • any relevant disclosable convictions
  • any relevant medical conditions or disability
  • correct address
  • correct date of birth
  • correct occupation
  • any modifications to your vehicle from standard specification

If you took out the policy after the vehicle was seized, you must also declare relevant pending convictions, including those which may be pending in respect of the incident for which the vehicle is currently impounded.

You must also tell the insurer that the vehicle has been seized and is in a police pound.

It's a serious criminal offence to fail to declare the correct material facts or to give false information when getting insurance. This can render your insurance invalid and we will report all suspected fraud to the relevant company.

We may share information with your insurer or the Motor Insurers' Bureau if we suspect an offence.

Short-term insurance or temporary cover (for a period of up to 30 days) may not be valid to reclaim a seized vehicle. Please check the wording on the certificate or cover note. If in doubt, contact your insurer before you come to the station. 

If we're not satisfied that your insurance is valid for the release of an impounded vehicle, we may ask you to provide written confirmation from your insurer.

A motor trader can't release a seized vehicle on your behalf.

Motor traders/open or trade insurance

Only the policy holder can produce an open or trade insurance policy to release a seized vehicle. The policy must include the authority for it to be used to release a vehicle seized by the police. 

If you need to prove ownership of the vehicle

If you're not the owner or registered keeper of the vehicle, or don't have the full V5C (log book) in your name, please follow the appropriate guidance:

If you don't have a V5C log book

If you don't have the log book, you'll need you to bring the V5C/2 (Part 10 - green new keeper supplement of the log book) and you'll have to complete a V62 application for a new V5C while at the station. We'll send this to the DVLA on your behalf, along with the V5C, registering the vehicle in your name. 

If you're the legal owner, but not the registered keeper

If you don't have the V5C log book or V5C/2 (Part 10 - green new keeper supplement of the log book), we'll need to see verifiable proof of ownership – this could be an official receipt from the garage where you bought the vehicle, or evidence of purchase, such as a bank transfer or bill of sale. It will need to include the details of the previous keeper so we can contact them to verify that you bought the vehicle from them.

You also have to complete a V62 application for a new V5C while at the station. We'll send this to the DVLA on your behalf, registering the vehicle in your name. You'll also need to bring a postal order made payable to 'DVLA SWANSEA' to cover the DVLA set fee of £25. We'll send this to the DVLA with the V62.

If you're a motor trader and the owner of the vehicle at the time of the seizure 

If you have the V5C log book or V5C/3 (yellow Motor Traders Supplement), we'll need to see verifiable evidence of trading in relation to the seized vehicle, such as a stock book or similar containing details of purchased vehicles. This must include the date and time of purchase for the seized vehicle (a single piece of paper with the vehicle details written on it will not be acceptable).

If you have the V5C, you'll also have to complete a V62 application form while at the station. We'll send this to the DVLA on your behalf, along with the V5C (minus the V5C/3 yellow Motor Traders Supplement), registering the vehicle in your name.

If you don't have the V5C you'll also need to bring a postal order made payable to 'DVLA SWANSEA' to cover the DVLA set fee of £25. We will send this to the DVLA with the V62 form and the vehicle will be registered in your name.

If the seized vehicle is not registered in the UK

If you're visiting the UK, you'll need to bring the following documents to the police station:

  • seizure notice
  • proof of ownership of the vehicle
  • driving licence
  • certificate of insurance
  • photo ID (passport or driving licence)

If you've imported or brought a vehicle into the UK and intend to stay for longer than six months, you must go through a process that includes registering and taxing the vehicle with DVLA. Find out the full process of  importing a vehicle into the UK.

If your vehicle is seized while you're going through this process, you need to attend one of the designated police stations within seven days of the date of seizure to tell us that. You'll need to produce all the documents listed above to get your vehicle released.

If someone is reclaiming the vehicle on your behalf

If you're unable to attend the police station or pound in person

As the registered keeper or owner of  a seized vehicle you are legally responsible for it and you must attend the pound in person to prove ownership and pay the charges.

This legal requirement will only be waived if you can provide evidence that:

  • you're out of the country (for example, a copy of flight tickets)
  • you're in custody
  • you're in hospital
  • you're immobile due to age, injury or disability
  • there are compelling medical or compassionate circumstances that stop you being able to attend the pound in person

If any of these circumstances apply to you, you'll need to arrange for another person (third party) to collect the vehicle on your behalf. This third party must attend the police station with the documents listed above, as well as:

  • evidence of the valid reason why you can't attend in person
  • a letter of authority – a letter signed by you authorising the third party to collect the vehicle on your behalf
  • a copy of your passport or driving licence as proof of your identity and signature

The nominated driver should normally be named as an additional driver on the registered keeper's own policy. Contact your insurer before coming to the station if you're in doubt.

If you can't drive the vehicle yourself

If you can attend the police station to establish your ownership but you can't drive the vehicle yourself, you may nominate someone to collect it on your behalf. Both you and the third party need to go to the police station together. 

You need bring photo ID (passport or driving licence).

The third party needs to bring their driving licence and photo ID (passport or driving licence).

Your insurance policy must cover the third party to drive the seized vehicle, this isn't covered by an 'allowed to drive other vehicles not owned by them' extension on the third party's insurance policy.

Payment of charges

Once your vehicle has been authorised to be released, you (or the third party collecting the vehicle on your behalf) will have to go to the vehicle recovery compound to collect it.

Before the recovery agent will give you your vehicle, you must pay them the recovery and daily storage charges. 

Find full details about the statutory charges you'll have to pay 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 on the next working day after the vehicle was seized. They are applied every day, including the weekends and public holidays.

Selling the vehicle after seizure

We'll allow an owner or keeper to sell a vehicle after it has been seized. The person who was the owner or registered keeper at the time of the seizure must attend the station, together with the new owner. The new owner will be treated as a third party, so will need to bring their driving licence and photo ID (passport or driving licence).

You must comply with the DVLA new keeper procedure. The new keeper will be required to register the vehicle in their own name, even if they are a motor trader. If the vehicle was sold to a genuine motor trader then the V5C/3 Motor Trader’s Supplement will have to be completed. We'll send all the documents to the DVLA for you so that all details on the database are correct.

MOT

If your vehicle doesn't have a valid MOT, you can only lawfully drive it to a pre-arranged MOT test centre. Alternatively, you can arrange for it to be removed on a trailer, recovery truck or similar, but the conditions for reclaiming it must be met first.

Tax

If the tax has expired, your vehicle may be seized again if you take it onto a road. Vehicles must be taxed before being driven on UK roads.

Things to be aware of

Bring a set of keys, in case the driver (if you weren't the driver) didn't leave the keys in the vehicle.

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