A notice letter will be sent to the registered keeper of the vehicle when it's ready for collection.
To reclaim your vehicle you must attend the recovery agent's garage to prove your ownership of the vehicle and pay the statutory charges (if applicable).
The documents you need to bring with you
You need to produce or provide original versions of the following:
Proof of identity – valid photographic ID
The registered keeper, owner or their agent must provide verifiable photographic identity document, such as:
- driving licence
- EU national identity card
- immigration document
We won't accept a student or employer’s ID.
Proof of ownership
The full log book (V5C) or a new keeper supplement (V5C/10) with a verifiable and ‘in date’ bill of sale
Unless your arranging for the vehicle to be removed from the recovery agent's garage on a recovery truck, it will need either a valid MOT (depending on the age of the vehicle) or evidence of a pre-booked MOT appointment (we'll check the appointment before authorising the release of your vehicle) before it can be driven on the road.
Unless the vehicle is covered by a valid insurance policy, you can't drive it on the road. It must be removed from the recovery agent's garage on a recovery truck. Remember that it's an offence to keep an uninsured vehicle, even if it's off the road, unless it's been registered as off the road (SORN).
If someone is reclaiming the vehicle on your behalf
As the registered keeper or owner of the vehicle you are legally responsible for it. You should attend the garage named in the notice letter in person, unless there's a valid reason why you can't.
If you nominate someone to collect the vehicle on your behalf, the nominated person must present the correct documents (listed above) plus the following:
- authority letter – a letter of authority authorising your nominated person to collect it on your behalf
- a copy of your passport or driving licence – so we can verify your signature on the letter of authority
If the person who's collecting your vehicle will be driving it, they'll need a valid certificate of insurance that allows them to drive the vehicle from the recovery agent's garage. The nominated driver should normally be named as an additional driver on the registered keeper’s policy. Contact your insurer if there's any doubt about insurance cover.
This also applies to all recovery operators recovering a vehicle on your behalf.
If payment is applicable, you'll pay the recovery agent when you collect your vehicle from the garage named on the notice letter. Contact them direct to find out if there is any payment and which payment methods they'll accept.
Other things to consider
Bring a set of keys, if necessary.
If there's any doubt about the vehicle's roadworthiness, consider having it recovered by a professional recovery operator.
We can't advise you if your vehicle is driveable or roadworthy.
We highly recommend taking your vehicle to a garage for a safety check if you’re getting it back after it’s been stolen.
If your vehicle doesn’t have correct number plates and you’re planning to drive it, you must attach valid replacement plates when you collect it.
Provisional licence holders
If you’re driving under a provisional licence you must bring someone who:
- is over 21, and
- has held a licence for more than three years
Make sure you have L plates on the vehicle.
Collecting property only (not the vehicle itself)
We'll only give property from the vehicle to the owner or registered keeper of the vehicle.
We need verifiable proof of ID (such as a passport or driving licence) in all cases.
If the registered keeper or owner is collecting property, we'll also need proof of ownership or a V5C.
If the registered keeper or owner can't go to the recovery agent's garage, the person collecting the property on their behalf must have a letter of authority from you and proof of your signature (see above).
Serious or fatal road traffic collisions
If your vehicle was involved in a serious or fatal road traffic collision and forms part of the investigation into what happened it may not be released until the investigation has been completed or until the case has been to court, including the coroner’s court, or until the senior investigating officer and/or lead investigator has authorised the vehicle to be released.
Property can only be collected once the senior investigating officer and/or lead investigator have authorised it. An officer or police representative may have to be at the recovery agent's garage when the property is collected. Your vehicle may be subject to case law, R V Beckford (1994), so that it's retained as near as possible in its post-collision condition. It may also be subject to a forensic vehicle examination.
Find out more at the College of Policing's page: Investigation of fatal and serious injury road collisions.
Disclaiming a vehicle
If you don't want to reclaim your vehicle from the recovery agent's garage you'll need to complete a vehicle disclaimer form (download it below) and send it to:
Vehicle Recovery Liaison Office
No 1 Waterwells Drive
Please note, you may still be responsible for recovery and storage fees.