November 11, 2017 at 10:44 AM
UK law allows specially trained police officers patrolling our roads to seize vehicles for various reasons. Having your car impounded by the police could cause severe implications including financial penalties and storage fees that accrue on a daily basis that you will be required to pay. Also, you can have your driving licence endorsed which could make it hard for you to find insurance in the future. Here's 5 of the most common reasons why cars can be seized:
1.You are not adequately insured, or your licence does not allow you to drive the car
If the police suspect that you are not sufficiently insured, the law grants them the power to seize the vehicle. It is then transported to a secure police compound until you produce enough evidence that you are covered. Also, it can be taken if your driving licence is not valid or does not permit you to drive that vehicle category.
The police can quickly identify drivers that are not insured adequately by using the automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) systems. If the ANPR system flags your car and it becomes evident you are not covered, it can be seized.
However, if you do not have the insurance documents with you, you can provide the officers with your insurance company name and the date when you arranged the cover. They can use this information to check if you have an insurance policy secured.
2. Dangerous or careless driving
The police can seize your vehicle if they believe that you have been driving alarmingly. You will be provided with a fixed penalty notice or a court summons. Also, you will be presented with the vehicle impoundment information and the steps you will take to recover it. Carelessly driven cars are seized to help keep the roads safe for use by others.
3. Illegally or dangerously parked vehicle
The police have been granted power to seize cars that are parked illegally or dangerously or those that have been abandoned. If you leave your car in a place where it will cause obstruction, the police will remove it and take it to their compound. You will then be required to pay the compound storage and release fees to retrieve it.
4. Defaulting on used cars repayment
If you default your car repayment agreement, the creditor has the right to seize back the car until you have the financial ability to pay it back. However, the creditor should not resort to using physical violence. If they do, you have the right to ask for compensation for any grievances done against you in the court. They also have no power to seize the car if you have agreed to late repayment.
5. The motor vehicle was used in committing a crime
If the car was involved in committing crimes such as drug trafficking, loss of life and property and violating road rules, it could be impounded. The government also has the right to take the car's ownership. This is known as vehicle forfeiture. It can be auctioned off, and the sale proceeds used to compensate the parties that were affected by the crime.
What to do if your car is seized
They are ways you can use to get your car back legally. However, this may include lengthy court proceedings and lawyer fees. If your vehicle was used by another person to commit a crime that may lead to forfeiture, we recommend co-operating with authorities and ensure you provide any relevant documents.