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AllyG

Advice please - Car impounded

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Today I was out shopping and was driving my car home when i was pulled over by the police. I was informed that according to their database i had no valid insurance on my car. To say i was shocked was an understatement. I had a very serious car accident about 8 years ago and have always been fastidious in making sure my car is adequatly insured since then.

 

I have been insured by the same company since 2006 when i purchased the car and have always kept up my payments, (I pay monthly) the last payment having left my bank on 3rd August 2010. I produced the certificate of insurance, v5 and my driver license on the spot to the police who kept insisting that my insurance had been cancelled earlier this year.

 

The officers (one male one female) insisted that my documents were wrong and that according to the national database my car was not insured. So i asked them what could be done to resolve the situation and was told that they were impounding the car and that I would be cautioned for having no insurance and then sent on my way. The female officer didn't really seem to know what she was doing and kept having to ask the male officer what she should do.

 

At this point i asked if my father could come and collect the car as he is insured on his insurance policy to drive my car and was flat out told no i could not, but he was more than welcome to come and pick me up.

 

The officers continued to chat away between themselves and then asked me to leave my car and take any posessions i had in it so that they could arrange for it to be collected.

My father turned up at this point and again asked if it was not possible for him to drive my car home so I could sort out whatever mess the insurance company had made and was told in no uncertain terms that he could not be permitted to drive my car.

 

At this point i was read a caution, at no point was i told i was being formally charged with any offence. I was handed a slip of paper with an incident number on and the 2 names of the officers and told to go home and sort it out and once i had a valid insurance certificate to produce it at a police station and only then would they tell me how and where to get my car back. I was informed that it would cost me approx £100 to get my car back, this was the only information i was given. They also said it would be up to the senior officer at their station to decide if it was going to be sent to the procurator fiscal or not but as i had a totally clean record i might "get off with a warning or i might not i might end up being charged".

 

I got home and immediatly phoned my insurance company who claim to have cancelled the policy in March 2010, I have received NO communication from them whatsoever and the premiums have continued to be taken from my bank account. When i informed them of this I was told not to be so stupid, they had no bank account details for me so couldn't take payment, so I asked them then where is my money going every month, i have bank statements to prove they have kept taking payment, the "manager" i spoke to hung up the phone and refused to answer my calls after this.

 

So I called another company and arranged new insurance through them so that I can at least collect my car and try to sort out this whole sorry mess.

 

incidentally i had to telephone DVLA on 29th July as I had not received the reminder for my car tax and I wanted to make sure i could still tax it without this reminder. The gentleman I spoke to at DVLA was most helpful, he pulled up the records for my car and said yes your insurance is ok, your mot is ok just take the V5 along to the post office with your insurance and MOT and they will tax it for you.

My car was taxed on saturday 31st July!!!

 

I had a friend take me to the police station (after I collected my insurance docs from the local office in my town) and proceeded to try and sort the whole mess out.

 

The first officer i spoke to informed me that I should have been given a ticket of some kind to say they were impounding my car and that i "may" be charged with having no insurance. (This did not happen) to be sure he went to speak to a senior officer and came back and told me it seems procedure has not been followed correctly, let me go and try and sort things out.

He came back a few minutes later and informed me he had been called to an emergency and that another officer would be dealing with me. The 2nd officer would not answer any questions I had saying simply that he could not as there was something not right and he didn't want to be quoted as a "police spokesman" (My friend was witness to this whole situation)

The 2nd officer at the police station filled in a vehicle release form as I had satisfied him that I have valid insurance with my new policy and I am supposed to go and collect my car in the morning, the only drawback is it will cost me £150. (not the original £100 i was told previously) which I can't afford as due to my health problems I cannot work.

 

At this point in time i have some serious health problems and rely on my car to get me about on the days that I am well enough to leave the house. This incident has totally stressed me out and has made my health worse, so much so that I am now back on the strong painkillers i had recently been able to stop taking.

 

My question is this however, is there ANYTHING i can do to resolve the situation as I am concerned that I am being unfairly treated as at no point was I informed that I was being formally charged. (I live in Scotland if that helps) My insurance company has continued to take premiums from my bank account and refuses now to talk to me when I call them to try and resolve the situation.

 

The only thing I can think of that may have caused this whole situation is that I moved house in December 2009 but i informed my insurance company of this, My 18 yo daughter remembers me doing this because I complained to her that it had put my insurance premiums up slightly because of the new area we had moved to.


26/07/06 S.A.R Request sent to Halifax for single and joint account

 

charges so far

single account £695

joint account £1473

 

Request for charges back joint account sent 18/09/06

no action taken on single account yet!!

 

LBA on joint Acc Sent 9/10/06

partial acceptance for £376 included with LBA - Refused By Bank!!!

 

2nd Jan 2007 SETTLED IN FULL

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First thing, why does the insurance company state the policy was cancelled in March?

 

Which insurer is this? They must talk to you - they'll be a call centre full of drones so you can't be talking to the same person twice. Can you get your father to call them and find out? I assume they HAVE sent documents to your old address.

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hya

the insurance company state that they cancelled the policy for non payment, I have been through all my bank statements with a fine toothcomb and they took the amended payment for my change of address in January this year and continued to take monthly payments after this, the last one being on 3rd august. When I called them, I spoke to someone who claimed to be a manager, he told me that i had never told them a change of address and that I must not be telling them the truth. I have all the documents from my previous address and they emailed me the new documents, unfortunatly the pc that has that email on isn't working properly, but i am about to try and get into it and see if i can find that email.

I did try calling the insurance company back several times to try and resolve the situation and each time I was told i must speak with the manager i spoke to previously and when I asked if I could talk to someone else who would actually listen to my complaint i was told no you have to speak to this person as he has put a "flag" on your account that you are not allowed to speak to anyone else about it!! I also asked to be put through to their customer service complaints dept and was told i would have to wait a minimum of 48 hours and they would then call me back.

Obviously I want to get this resolved asap.

The company involved is kwik fit.

They have also said they would not talk to anyone else due to the data protection act.

 

My main concern at the moment is getting my car back, however I spoke to a friend who's brother is a policeman and was told that if I do go and pay to get my car back i will probably be stopped again and have the car impounded again because my new insurance details won't show up on the database yet. He also told me to seek legal help so I am waiting for a lawyer to call me back at the moment.

 

I am stressed out to hell and back with this, I haven't slept at all last night and my health seems to be taking a kicking due to all the stress and am sitting here in absolute agony scared to take painkillers in case I do have to go and collect my car. :(

I have important hospital appointments in the next few days and am worried about how I am going to get there.


26/07/06 S.A.R Request sent to Halifax for single and joint account

 

charges so far

single account £695

joint account £1473

 

Request for charges back joint account sent 18/09/06

no action taken on single account yet!!

 

LBA on joint Acc Sent 9/10/06

partial acceptance for £376 included with LBA - Refused By Bank!!!

 

2nd Jan 2007 SETTLED IN FULL

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ok quick update, i have spoken briefly with a lawyer and also with the police and have been given the all clear to collect my car.

 

It seems proper procedure has not been followed and the lawyer is busy in court today so is going to ring me back if he has time when he is finished in court, if not he will ring me in the morning.

 

I have a civil case against my insurance company as I can prove the payments have been leaving my bank account and going to their company so I am taking further advice on how to proceed with that through the CAB.

 

Feeling a little less stressed now as I know the situation IS going to be resolved. According to the lawyer i spoke with, i should never have been able to tax my car at the weekend if my insurance wasn't valid and I should also have been issued with either a fixed penalty ticket at the side of the road OR taken to a police station and charged, neither of which happened. So I will update this further when I have more information.

AllyG


26/07/06 S.A.R Request sent to Halifax for single and joint account

 

charges so far

single account £695

joint account £1473

 

Request for charges back joint account sent 18/09/06

no action taken on single account yet!!

 

LBA on joint Acc Sent 9/10/06

partial acceptance for £376 included with LBA - Refused By Bank!!!

 

2nd Jan 2007 SETTLED IN FULL

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hya

the insurance company state that they cancelled the policy for non payment, I have been through all my bank statements with a fine toothcomb and they took the amended payment for my change of address in January this year and continued to take monthly payments after this, the last one being on 3rd august. When I called them, I spoke to someone who claimed to be a manager, he told me that i had never told them a change of address and that I must not be telling them the truth. I have all the documents from my previous address and they emailed me the new documents, unfortunatly the pc that has that email on isn't working properly, but i am about to try and get into it and see if i can find that email.

I did try calling the insurance company back several times to try and resolve the situation and each time I was told i must speak with the manager i spoke to previously and when I asked if I could talk to someone else who would actually listen to my complaint i was told no you have to speak to this person as he has put a "flag" on your account that you are not allowed to speak to anyone else about it!! I also asked to be put through to their customer service complaints dept and was told i would have to wait a minimum of 48 hours and they would then call me back.

Obviously I want to get this resolved asap.

The company involved is kwik fit.

They have also said they would not talk to anyone else due to the data protection act.

 

My main concern at the moment is getting my car back, however I spoke to a friend who's brother is a policeman and was told that if I do go and pay to get my car back i will probably be stopped again and have the car impounded again because my new insurance details won't show up on the database yet. He also told me to seek legal help so I am waiting for a lawyer to call me back at the moment.

 

I am stressed out to hell and back with this, I haven't slept at all last night and my health seems to be taking a kicking due to all the stress and am sitting here in absolute agony scared to take painkillers in case I do have to go and collect my car. :(

I have important hospital appointments in the next few days and am worried about how I am going to get there.

I suggest that you put down your all points in a letter rather than ringing them and dispute it with them formally. Because of your situation I would also authorise a nominated party (e.g. your father) to negotiate and act for you.

 

Make sure you include copies of all your paperwork. Use a highlighter to make the relevant bits stand-out. You could also get the bank to confirm who the payments were made to and what account numbers and sort codes were used.

 

Put the onis of proof on them and ask them to supply details of any correspondence cancelling the policy.

 

I would also state very clearly what actions you want from them. In this case restitution of your costs (i.e. £150). I would also suggest that you ask for payment to cover the stress. If you have encountered any other costs while your vehicle is impounded then they become legitimate items as well.

 

Send your letter recorded delivery and inform them that you are prepared to take this to the insurance ombudsman and the courts if necessary. Give them a time limit (7-14 days) to respond.

 

It might also pay you to post a link to this thread in the insurance forum as there are some experts who may be able to offer some advice.


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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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This link will provide you with addresses to write to:

 

Important Information - Kwik Fit Insurance


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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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