Car impounded? No insurance?

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What if you can't collect the car yourself?

Under normal circumstances, only the registered keeper can collect a car from a pound. There are limited exceptions, and for someone else to collect it for you you would need to show that you are either: -

  • Too ill or infirm
  • confined to a hospital
  • in police custody
  • or abroad, and unable to return in time to collect it yourself.

You cannot just make these claims; the staff at the pound will require evidence and since this will vary depending upon your reason for non-attendance, and from one pound to another, you would have to make contact with them in order to find out just what proof you would need to provide. You should be able to get the necessary phone number by ringing 101.

Documents the collecting person will need to show

The person who collects the car would need to show the registration document, proof of identity (a passport or photo driving licence would be best) and proof of address. The photo driving licence may suffice for this but best take along one or two recent utility bills as well.

A letter of authority from you will also be required as well as a clear copy of your driving licence or passport which shows your signature. The signature on this must match the one on the letter of authority.

A current driving licence and insurance which covers getting your car out of the pound will also be necessary, and this will probably be the most difficult part. Many people have insurance which covers them for driving a vehicle which doesn't belong to them but this almost invariably specifically excludes recovering an impounded car.

Also, 30 day impounded car insurance can only be provided to registered keepers. It may be necessary for a specialist recovery operator to help to at least get it out of the pound. The staff at the pound wouldn't be able to recommend a suitable company but they may give you some options, or an online search may produce a suitable one.

Once the car was actually out of the pound someone with a car insurance policy which covered any car not belonging to that person would probably be insured to drive it (check the policy carefully!) provided that you gave permission for this.

All accumulated charges (see our page about what it costs to get a car released) would have to be settled.

This may seem a little over the top, but the authorities have to follow legal requirements.

Could you sell the car instead?

If all else failed you could sell the car (provided that it wasn't subject to a hire purchase agreement) but you'd have to be quick. At least you'd get something for it. See our page on how to sell an impounded car.


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Please note that this is general information only. The exact process may vary from one police authority to another.

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