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Police Seized Taxed and apparently legal Vehicle:

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Today the police seized my friends van. The vehicle is fully insured, has a valid MOT, and was taxed on line this Thursday (three days ago).


The police officer stated that the vehicle was being seized for no tax. He refused to allow my friend to remove his property from the vehicle. - Is this (refusal to permit property removal) legal?


My friend told the officer he had taxed it on line, the officer said the computer says not. It is recorded as untaxed. My friend offered to get a mini statement from the cash point proving the payment to DVLA. The officer was thoroughly unreasonable and said to the effect you can show me all the paperwork you like, your vehicle is seized and it's going.


My friend had his twelve year old daughter with him and they were now bitterly cold so had to take a cab home. - He hopes to claim this and any other consequential cost or losses back from the police.


My friend is a self employed builder and has several thousand pounds worth of tools in the vehicle. Without the van and tools he cannot earn money. He has canceled work for Monday and notified client/s.


He has got a transaction number from the bank verifying the payment to DVLA, dated three days ago.


What should he do?, what if any compensation, monies might be due.


I suggested that he insist the police return the vehicle to his home at his convenience, not him go fetch it by cab.


Is this unlawful seizure?


Advice would be much appreciated thanks, Zombe

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I may be completely wrong, but I was of the opinion that there is only a power to seize a vehicle in relation to having no driving licence or having no insurance. A (quick) Google didn't show any different, this was typical:


P33 Seizure of unlicensed and uninsured vehicles | Kent Police

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An authorised person can seize a vehicle under the The Vehicle Excise Duty (Immobilisation, Removal and Disposal of Vehicles) Regulations 1997. The authorised person can be a police officer but I think it needs to be clamped initially.

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When did the previous tax expire?

This question is pertinent and needs answering.


If the car is taxed before the existing disk expires, there is supposed to be a 5 day grace period before any enforcement action (such as not displaying a valid disk.)


This does not constitute legal advice and is not represented as a substitute for legal advice from an appropriately qualified person or firm.



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As far as I know having no tax isn't normally a police matter, it's down to the DVLA who can clamp a vehicle, remove and ultimately crush a vehicle and can be supported by the police. The police however will seize a vehicle which is un-insured. Are you sure this wasn't a DVLA/police combined operation? Something is certainly not right here. As previously asked; when did the previous tax expire?



Please Note


The advice I offer will be based on the information given by the person needing it. All my advice is based on my experiences and knowledge gained in working in the motor and passenger transport industries in various capacities. Although my advice will always be sincere, it should be used as guidence only.


I would always urge to seek professional advice for clarification prior to taking any action.


Please click my scales at the bottom of my profile window on the left if you found my advice usefull.

Please Note


The advice I offer will be based on the information given by the person needing it. All my advice is based on my experiences and knowledge gained in working in the motor and passenger transport industries in various capacities. Although my advice will always be sincere, it should be used as guidence only.


I would always urge to seek face to face professional advice for clarification prior to taking any action.


Please click my reputation 'star' button at the bottom of my profile window on the left if you found my advice useful.

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Seized on 31st? not displaying tax? had bought it 3 days ago? So not taxed for most of Jan then. Chanced his luck got caught now regretting it. It is the responsibility of the driver to ensure that the tax is current valid and displayed and yes the vehilce can be removed if not displaying. (intresting argument had in past when car came back from body shop and was seized becasue the new screen had not had the tax disc reapplied. I paid for release bodyshop refunded as good will gesture)

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Thats a load of bold assumptions isn't it? You have no idea when the previous tax expired as the OP hasn't said when it was.


I was stopped by police two years ago for having no tax. The tax was at that point 4 months old and still had 8 months to run. It was clearly on display. They took the tax disc out, went back to there car, rang someone and then returned it to me with 'ok, on your way then'.


Mistakes DO happen.

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not a load of bold assumptions. If there was a valid tax disc on display then it wouldnt have been taken. If he was stopped due to a computer error but the disc was there it wouldnt have been taken. If he had taxed it online for the start of feb he should still have had a jan disc on the screen


If it is the end of the month and he isnt displaying a disc then either it had run out or he wasnt displaying it. Maybe the vehicle was previously sorned and he had retaxed it(from JAN or FEB) but still can not drive without displaying the disc.


As I said the owness is on the driver to ensure display of current and valid tax disc hence my comment. I do not beleive that the police removed a vehicle from the road for tax purposes if it was displaying a current valid tax disc. I suspect the op is not sharing all the facts and I was simply highlighting my suspision.


I have been stopped by the police through ANPR vans on numerous occasions for reasons ranging from Tax, unpaid fines, insurance, MOT and once because of a Drugs marker on the vehicle. On each occasion despite being entirely legal and above board I have shown the required documents laughed about it and driven on, because mistakes do happen

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