Lost or stolen vehicles
If we find a vehicle that's been reported lost or stolen a recovery agent will move it to a garage for safekeeping.
We treat all lost or stolen vehicles we find as abandoned vehicles and remove them to:
- protect the vehicle from damage or arson
- prevent the vehicle from being stolen again
- prevent the vehicle from being used in a crime or anti-social behaviour
- make sure it isn’t an obstruction or danger to other road users
If your vehicle was stolen we strongly recommend that you take it to a garage for an inspection before you drive it yourself. It may have been damaged while it was being driven by the thief.
The owner, or their agent, is liable for the statutory removal and storage charges, however, we won't charge for storage for any time that the vehicle is left with us for forensic examination.
We won't release the vehicle until the charges have been paid.
We'll dispose of the vehicle after fourteen days, if it hasn't been collected.
The legal basis for imposing these charges is explained in a House of Commons briefing paper here.
The statutory charges are set by the Home Office in The Removal, Storage and Disposal of Vehicles (Prescribed Sums and Charges) Regulations 2008External Link.
The charges vary according to the type, size, position and condition of the vehicle. Storage charges start at midday on the day after the vehicle was removed.
The purpose of the charges is to cover our costs when we have the vehicle moved to a place of safety.
In most cases the vehicle insurer will pay the charge, depending on the level of cover and the specific circumstances. We can't give you any advice on this.
How to collect your vehicle
We'll contact the registered keeper and/or owner of the vehicle, giving instructions on how to arrange collection. For further information go to this page.
We strongly recommend that you call the recovery operator (the phone number's on the notice letter) and make an appointment to collect the vehicle. This may prevent a wasted journey and reduce your waiting time.
If you've made an insurance claim for a stolen vehicle, you must speak to your insurer before arranging collection. The insurance company may have a claim to the vehicle and want to pay the charges and collect it themselves.