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Impounded car insurance

Cover for releasing your impounded car

If your car’s been impounded, your current policy might not cover its retrieval – in which case you’ll need specialist cover

By Mehdi Punjwani

Published: 24 July 2020

Impounded car being towed

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Why do I need insurance for an impounded vehicle?

You might need insurance for an impounded vehicle if your existing policy doesn’t already offer cover for releasing or retrieving an impounded car. If your car has been seized, you’ll need to show proof of impounded car cover to get your car back – so if you aren’t already insured you’ll need to either add this cover to your policy or take out a temporary policy for impounded cars.

Some providers might offer instant cover around the clock, with proof-of-insurance documents sent to you straight away so you can get your vehicle back.

Will a standard temporary car insurance policy not cover me?

Standard short-term or temporary cover generally won’t be enough, as these policies don’t usually offer cover for releasing impounded vehicles.

Why are cars impounded?

There are a number of reasons your car may have been impounded or seized, including:

  • Being parked illegally
  • Being uninsured
  • Not paying road tax
  • Using your car in a dangerous way
  • Driving or being driven by someone without a licence

How can I get my car back from the impound lot?

If you don’t know where your car is impounded, you’ll need to call either 101 and ask for the local police, or the NSL if it’s related to car tax payments. You’ll then need to pay a fine to release the car, which is likely to be between £100 and £200 if you can pay within 24 hours – if not you may need to pay an extra rate – usually around £20 a day – for storage.

You’ll need your driving licence, proof of ownership and an MOT certificate as well as proof of insurance, but you should check with the impound lot before you go to see if there are any other documents you may require.

If you don’t go to get your car, it may eventually be destroyed or sold on.

What if I haven’t paid car tax?

If your car has been impounded as a result of you not paying car tax, you will be able to pay it before releasing your car. You could also declare it SORN – in which case you’ll need to pay what’s known as a surety fee, which is around £160.

However, if you are able to pay your car tax within 15 days, you can apply to have the fee refunded.

What if my car is clamped?

If your car is clamped you’ll need to call the number left on your vehicle on the INF32 leaflet. You’ll have to pay a fee for release or, if it’s the case, pay your road tax.

Find cover for impounded vehicles

MoneySuperMarket doesn’t offer a comparison service for impounded vehicle cover, so you may have to look for a specialist provider. However, you can compare car insurance policies with us for as soon as your car is released.