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What will it cost me to get my impounded car back?
When the car is taken off to a pound there is normally a standard charge of £150 for it to be collected. However, if the car has been so damaged that it is difficult to handle it, or it has been left offroad, or in a position from which it is difficult to retrieve it, this charge may be increased.
On top of that there is a storage charge of £20 a day, or part of day, which usually begins from 12 noon on the day after the car was taken away by the police.
If the car has not been taxed a deposit will probably be required to cover the cost of a six months' road fund licence. This will vary according to the type and age of the car. This deposit is refundable once the car has been taxed, or it may be sent straight onto the DVLA.
How do I pay?
The vehicle will not be released until all charges have been paid. Payment usually has to be made in person; credit card payments over the telephone are not normally accepted.
Payment can be made by a UK credit or debit card, or cash. Foreign currency will not be accepted. Similarly, American Express cards or cheques cannot be used to pay these charges either.
What happens if I can't afford to pay?
After 14 days you would lose ownership of the car. It would then be sold by the police. You wouldn't then have to pay the collection or storage charges but you may have to pay a disposal fee which is £75 for a car or light van. This is usually waived however since disposing of impounded vehicles is quite profitable for the police authority.
You would still be liable for any fines for any infringements of the law which had led to the impoundment.
Can I voluntarily give up my right to the car?
You can sign a disclaimer and your ownership of the vehicle would end immediately, as would your liability to tax or insure it in the future.
If I give the car up, can I recover contents from it?
Whether or not you eventually recover the car you can take away any contents from it, provided that it is safe for you to do so and you can provide adequate proof of your ownership of the car and of your identity.