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DVLA 'Lifted' my car

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Back in August I got back from Norway to find my car had been stolen, naturally I first of all called trace to make sure it hadn't been towed by any one, though I thought this unlikely as it was parked on a private road however untaxed. Trace couldn't find it on the system and declared that my car had clearly been stolen and therefore issued me with a ref number to give to the police when reporting it stolen which I duly did. The police were very helpful though not optimistic especially when I explained that as the car was off the road it was not insured!


Three to four weeks later a policeman phones me to excitedly inform me that they had found my car good news. The not so good news was that the car had been taken by the dvla impounded for a very short period before being shipped to Wales to be sold at auction! They gave me a number to call at the dvla to track the car down and retreve it. Turns out I had neglected to sorn the vehicle and they apparently are within their rights to remove the vehicle from private road or driveway. Furthermore they were less than helpful in providing me with details of the auction house and who to speak to etc.


After numerous phone calls I eventually got a number and a contact for the auction house and was informed by them the cost of retrieving the car. Nearly £2000 delivered! Baring in mind the car was high mileage and without mot and tax I let it go as I also knew it needed servicing I calculated very quickly it wasn't economically viable.


It has niggled me ever since as to whether the dvla have acted lawfully as it appears very extreme and I question whether they are able to lift cars from private property. I would be keen to hear from anyone as to any action that I could take if any.




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Hi could you elaborate a bit more on what you describe as private property as if it was truly a private place ie at the driveway at the side of your house the uplift would be ileagle and you would have some recourse if however it was in front of a row of rented lock ups it would still be classed as the public highway




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It's a private road/forecourt at the back of our house where our garage is located. There is another car that is off the road which wasn't touched during the same period and is still there now slowly rotting away.

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Hi Sibax


Have pm'd you

As far as I am aware no one can remove items from private property without a court order that includes DVLA!

The only people who could move it without your permission is the emergency services attending a call out and that would only be for access

Irrespective of where you live in the uk DVLA will normally clamp the car and put a big yellow sticker on the window stating UNTAXED VEHICLE and leave it for a period of time prior to uplift to the pound.

I cannot be sure if its 14,21 or 28 days they leave them for prior to lifting nor if there is any legal requirement for them to do so in the first place.

I would get onto your local police and confirm that it is a private road if it is insist that the car be reported as stolen, take photographs of the local, supply google earth ariel,and os maps and write to DVLA requesting the return of your vehicle or the value ,if they refuse take them to the small claims.


regards tigger

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Afraid they can. Changes within the Finance Act last year provided them with the empowerment to collect from private property (but NOT a residential driveway). What works against you is you did not SORN the vehicle, which is a seperate offence, and you may find they'll be fining you for this in addition to taking the vehicle.

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