Here you'll find details on how the police deal with the lost or stolen vehicles we find.

If we find a vehicle that's been reported lost or stolen we move it to a police pound 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

How to collect your vehicle

We'll send a notice letter to the registered keeper and/or owner of the vehicle, giving instructions on how to arrange collection. For further information go to our impounded vehicles page, but please note that you don't have to pay any charges if your vehicle has been lost or stolen.

We strongly recommend that you call the pound (the phone number's on the notice letter) and make an appointment to collect your vehicle. This may prevent a wasted journey and reduce your waiting time.

We may take the opportunity while your vehicle's at the pound to carry out a forensic examination, but that won’t prevent you collecting it immediately.

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.

Insurance claims

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.

If you've already sent your V5C (registration document) to the insurance company, we'll need written confirmation from the insurer that you're authorised to collect the vehicle.

Keys

You may collect the vehicle immediately, but we can't release it until pound staff have checked the VIN (Vehicle Identification Number). They can't do that if the vehicle is locked.

If the vehicle is locked and you don't have a key, or if your key won't open it, we'll arrange for a locksmith to gain entry. We won’t release the vehicle to you until we've done this. It may take several days.