Common Questions

Right so your van has been seized and impounded. You may be wondering what to do next…check out our FAQ’s below and find the answer!

Why are vans seized in the first place?

Due to Section 165 of the Road Traffic Act 1998, vans can be seized if there isn’t valid insurance in place. Police can now seize vans at roadside due technology that can check the vehicle registration and see if insurance is in place. If the police is satisfied no insurance is in place, your van will be transported to a police impound and won’t be release until you satisfy the release checks.

How does the police know insurance isn’t in place?

The last few years have since an improvement in detection technology. The Motor Insurance Database (MID), run and operated¬† by the Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB), allows the police to check all of the insurance policies in place across the country. The MID has vehicle details, the insurer in place and the customer details…so a few clicks of buttons will allow the police to find out if insurance is in place. In addition to the MID, vehicle registration recognition software has enabled long distance cameras to randomly read registration plaates and detect those drivers who aren’t insured.

How does the police transport the seized van to the compound?

The police will subcontract a leasing company to first clamp and then move the seized van to an impound. The van will build up daily storage changes at the impound until the documents are provided ensuring its release.

What documents do I need to supply?

When a van is seized, the police will give the registered owner and keeper a ‘seizure notice’. This legal document explains why the van is in police custody and what’s needed to get in back. It will list all of the documents that need to be produced to the police. Normally this includes proof of ownership (i.e. DVLA ownership documents), your driving licence and covernote proving seized van insurance is in place. These documents will have to be taken to the police station on your notice before you can have it stamped and retrieve your van from the police pound.

What is seized van insurance?

Seized van insurance is insurance specifically designed to release a seized vehicle. Very few insurers can cover a seized van since they consider it to be too high of an insurance risk. Particularly considering the van seizure usually involves the driver receiving a serious motor conviction as well such as an IN10 (uninsured driving) or DR10 (drink driving).

Where do I find seized van insurance?

Well you certainly won’t find it by visiting comparison sites or high street insurance companies. Luckily here at, we specialise in seized van insurance. We’ll put you in touch with leading insurers and brokers who we’ve arranged special discounted rates with. It doesn’t matter how or why your van has been impounded, our insurers will help you release it as soon as possible.

Can I get short term impounded van insurance?

Yes. You can opt for either short term policy for 30 days that you can cancel at anytime, or alternatively annual policies. Short term policies are ideal if you plan on selling the van and don’t require it for a long period of time. This means your capital expenditure is limited and you’re only paying for one month at a time.

What’s the difference in cover between short term and annual?

Monthly impounded van insurance is typically only third party cover, meaning you don’t have cover for yourself or your car if you’re in an accident and it’s your fault. Many people would consider this an unreasonable risk since the level of risk you bear if you have an accident. You also don’t get any cover extensions such as legal fees, courtesy car, EU cover or personal effects.

If you are prepared to pay for it, seized van insurance is definitely the most sensible option since you can get it as a fully comprehensive policy. In addition to other cover extensions, you have the opportunity to build up no claims bonus (NCB) that will get your future insurance renewals cheaper. Only one year’s NCB will reduce your premium by up to 25%!

How long do I have to provide my documents to the police station?

Time is extremely limited. The police only has to give you a minimum of seven days to produce the documents before your van can be disposed of. This usually means selling it at auction or scrapping it. After this has happended, you won’t get any proceeds that was made from the sale of the van. Even if you do provide the documents within seven days, you only have a further seven days to collect it from the police impound…so make sure you act fast before it’s too late!

Do I need to pay to release my impounded van?

Yes, police pound’s charge daily storage fees, so the longer you leave it the more expensive it becomes. What’s more is the compound’s management will not release your van until you’ve paid off the charges. It’s really not worth the fuss of arguing since the pound knows its rights and arguing about it may only make matter worse.

Finding more information on seized vans

If your question hasn’t been answered above, feel free to contact us on Facebook, Twitter, by email or phone…we’ll be glad to help! You may also want to check out our guide: How to Release a Seized Van. In addition, we update our blog on a daily basis with all the latest general insurance news including issues affects seized vans.

Can you also help with impounded car insurance?

We can also help you find impounded car insurance, otherwise known as seized car insurance, by putting you in touch with an expert insurer. Just like seized van insurance we have arranged special rates to make sure you’re getting the cheapest insurance out there. Just like for a seized van, the insurance comes in two forms either short term or annual. The process for releasing an impounded car is also very similar.