Can I use three day car insurance to get a car out of a police pound?
No. The absolute mimimum period you need to get a car insured for, to get impound release, is 30 days. Also it has to be a specialist impounded car insurance policy (which you can apply for here by ringing the above number) since just about every other type of vehicle insurance policy specifically excludes this.
How does a car get impounded?
Typically: you are driving down the road when a police officer steps out and flags you down. You are asked to produce your insurance certificate (which of course you can't!), and you are charged with driving without insurance. The police officer gives you the choice of accepting the charge, and paying a £300 fine plus six penalty points on your driving licence, or defending the case in court (where the fine could be up to £5,000). A few minutes later a truck arrives and your car is towed off to a police pound; you are given a form no. 3708 which lays out ways in which you can get your car back.
How did the police know that I wasn't insured?
There exists what is called the Motor Insurers' Database which carries details of every motor insurance policy which is issued in Britain. The police have access to this 24 hours a day.
Roadside cameras are everywhere and many police cars are provided with one as well. It is possible for some of these to scan car number plates, check them against the database and if there is no match an alert goes out for the vehicle to be stopped and checked. This is a really efficient way of catching uninsured motorists which has already resulted in over two million cars being impounded in Britain.
What happens after a car gets impounded?
It is towed off to a pound where it accumulates a daily storage charge until you get it out - if you ever do! It is usually only kept there for 14 days, after which it is disposed of by selling it at auction or crushing it if it isn't very valuable. You have to claim it within the first seven days if you want to see it again.
How do I get my car back out of a police pound?
You need to produce proof that you own the vehicle; your driving licence, proof of your identity, and a valid insurance certificate. This last item is usually the most difficult.
Just about every vehicle insurance policy carries a warning that it CANNOT be used for releasing an impounded car, so you have to get a specialist policy; you can apply for one by ringing 0161 388 2552.
You also need to pay the fees involved; for a car these are now, typically, £192 to cover the cost of the tow-in, plus £26 a day storage charges.
What happens if I cannot afford to get my car out of impound?
Then you face losing it completely, without any compensation. If you still owed money on it to a finance company you would still be liable for that, of course, even though you would no longer own the car.
If you don't want to, or can't, get it back you disclaim it and you would no longer be liable for impound or storage charges; but you be likely to face a £75 disposal fee.
Is there any help I can get with this?
You could look at this website, which is full of information: or you could ring Alternative Propositions Limited on 0161 388 2552. They are friendly folk who specialise in finding affordable impounded car insurance and they could help you with advice. Naturally they are Authorised and Regulated by the UK Financial Conduct Authority for your protection.
Alternatively you could click on the quote button and perhaps buy a 30 day short term policy (thirty days is the absolute minimum period that the police will accept so please don't buy a policy that doesn't last this long - you'll just be wasting your money!).