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If your car’s been seized, standard car insurance might not cover it. Here’s how specialist impounded car insurance can help you get back on the road.

What is impounded car insurance?

Impounded car insurance is a specialist policy that can help you retrieve your car if it’s been seized. You can buy policies that last for 30 days up to a year.

They should also cover you immediately so you can secure your car as soon as possible.


Why do I need impounded car insurance?

If your car’s been impounded, you must have at least 30 days of appropriate car insurance to secure its release. Unfortunately, most standard car insurance won’t provide cover if your car’s been impounded, so impounded car insurance exists to fill that gap.

Your policy should clearly set out whether or not it provides impounded car insurance so it’s worth double checking if you find your car’s been seized.


Can your car be impounded for no insurance?

Yes, if your car isn’t insured, it can be seized and impounded. Other reasons include:

  • Your car was parked illegally or was causing an obstruction
  • Unpaid road tax (vehicle excise duty) without a SORN
  • If you’ve been caught driving dangerously (this can lead to 3 to 11 points on your license)
  • If someone without a licence was driving your car
  • Your car was abandoned (for example, after a breakdown)

Search for cheap impounded car insurance in the UK

At, you can search for car insurance from a range of leading UK insurers.

Simply fill in our online form to compare quotes or, if you prefer to pick up the phone and have a chat, you can speak to an expert on 0330 022 8814.

Call us on 0330 022 5970 for a quote over the phone

Impounded Car Insurance FAQs

Is short-term car cover the same as impounded car insurance?

No, even though you can buy impounded car cover for just 30 days, it’s not the same as short-term or temporary car insurance. Like standard car cover, short-term or temporary policies are unlikely to provide appropriate insurance for impounded cars.

Can I buy impounded car insurance if I’m not the registered keeper?

This depends on the insurer. Generally speaking, insurers will only provide you with impounded car insurance cover if you’re the registered keeper of the car.

It’s a similar situation when it comes to retrieving your car and by law, vehicles can only be released to the registered owner.

If you’re the registered keeper and you can’t collect the car in person, your representative will need proof of their identity and a letter confirming they have your permission to collect it. They’ll also need evidence that you (as the registered keeper) cannot collect your vehicle because you’re:

  • Not in the country
  • Physically unable to collect your car (for example, if you’re in hospital or immobile)
  • Unable to collect your car for other extenuating circumstances (for example, compassionate grounds)

If you’re not the registered keeper, a few providers do offer cover, but your choice will be limited.

Does getting your car impounded affect your car insurance?

There isn’t a straightforward answer to this and it’s likely to come down to insurer discretion. Bear in mind that the outcome will also depend on the reason why your car was seized in the first place.

For instance, if you were driving dangerously and your car was seized, it’s highly likely that future premiums will rise to cover the risk of a potential future accident. Similarly, there’s a good chance insurers will take a dim view if you’ve been caught and charged for driving without insurance.

How much does it cost to get an impounded car released?

Release fees can vary depending on how long your car’s been impounded for.

First, you’ll need to find out where your car’s been impounded. You can do this by calling your local police force on 101 or by contacting the NSL who are contracted by the DVLA to seize untaxed cars. The police or NSL will tell you how to retrieve your car and how much it will cost.

To release your car, you can expect to pay up to £200. On top of that, you’ll be charged for every day it’s been impounded (currently £21 per day). If your car isn’t taxed, you’ll also need to pay what’s called a surety fee before it’s given back to you – this can cost around £160 (more for larger vehicles).

After your car’s released you can get a refund on the surety fee so long as you tax it and claim the refund within 15 days.

What should I do if my car’s clamped?

If your car’s been clamped, an information leaflet should have been left on your windscreen (known as an INF32). You should call the number supplied and follow the instructions about how to release it, as well as the cost. Car Insurance Reviews

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