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Vehicle impounding is when a vehicle is towed to a compound lot, usually by the police, where it’s then ‘held’ until the owner is allowed to claim it – if impounded cars aren’t retrieved they are eventually scrapped for parts… 

Unfortunately, our research has shown that vehicles being impounded are on the rise across the country – increasing by nearly 7,000 a year. 

Why do police impound cars? Section 59 of the Police Reform Act 2002 states that if a police constable in uniform has grounds to believe a vehicle is being driven or used in an antisocial manner, they have the power to stop, seize, and remove the vehicle. Vehicles will also be sent to a compound for illegal activity and of course, not being properly insured…

Reasons Your Car Can Be Impounded

The police can seize your vehicle for a number of reasons. Having to get your car out of an impound can be very frustrating (less so when you use our compound release insurance of course), so take note of these impound causes so you can drive safely and without having your car seized.

Parking Violations

There’s a lot more at stake when you park badly than just being named and shamed. Whether you need to run into the shop for five minutes or think you might be able to get away with it, parking somewhere clearly marked with a ‘no parking’ sign could result in your car being seized. That’s right, parking in a place or a way that is deemed hazardous won’t just get you a ticket, you could see your vehicle towed away. Always park safely in designated parking areas, without causing any obstructions, the last thing you want is to have to track your car down and pay to have it released from a compound for your bad parking. 

In addition, the ‘release’ fee for a clamped or impounded vehicle isn’t cheap – costing £160 for cars or motorcycles, and up to £700 for other vehicles, meaning parking sensibly is always in your best interest. 

Driving Without Insurance or Tax

Not only is driving without insurance in the UK illegal, but you’ll also be fined £300, receive six penalty points on your licence, and your vehicle could be impounded. 

However, you don’t have to be driving the vehicle for problems regarding a lack of insurance to arise – if you’ve failed to declare an uninsured vehicle as ‘off the road’, you could also get into trouble, as an uninsured car cannot be parked on a public road.

To park on a public road, you need a minimum of third-party insurance. This also applies to cars that are being held on private property, meaning that in reality, you should not be without insurance at any point unless your car is SORN.

You might also be wondering if the police can seize a car with no tax, the answer is yes. This means you should never risk driving without insurance OR tax, as modern automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) cameras do much more than measure traffic flow – they can also detect anyone travelling without insurance or tax, meaning you will get caught, and your car could get impounded. 

You can check the MID to confirm your insurance is present, so you can have peace of mind before setting off on a journey. With rising scams like ghost broking, leaving drivers uninsured without their knowledge, it’s no wonder we are seeing car impounding on the rise. 

In addition to the issues that arise from driving without insurance, the police are also likely to impound a vehicle if they believe or suspect it has been stolen, involved in a collision that has not been reported, or involved in any crime as a piece of evidence. 

Ultimately, the best way to prevent your vehicle from being impounded is to drive safely, obey traffic laws, and ensure your car is always properly insured and taxed. Our temporary insurance is a great option for when you need to borrow a car, as you can be certain you are fully insured to drive it. 

If you are unlucky enough to have your car locked in a compound then our impound release insurance is there for you to help release your vehicle in a timely manner. 

Police seize and impound cars for a whole range of reasons, from traffic violations through to a lack of proper insurance and tax. As such, if you want to save yourself the hassle, avoid the points on your licence, and save money from significant fines, you must always make sure your car is properly insured, even if you are just driving 5 minutes up the road.

Our short-term impound insurance is a great help if you do ever find your car impounded – you can get a policy in under two minutes, helping you avoid building fines from the impound lot. 

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