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Hankey89

Car impounded by Police. did have ins - but was actually a police database error

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I was driving my partners car today when I was pulled over by the police.

He escorted me to his car and told me I have no insurance.

I stated I did have insurance, he then pointed to a computer screen just showing my partners name, and not mine.

 

He then proceeded to ask for my keys, advised the car would be impounded and I would get a letter with a 300 pound fine and 6 points, and sent me on my 3 mile walk home.

 

I eventually got home, got in my own car and drove to my partners work to take her to the police station with all her documents so she could find out where her cars being held. On arrival the police stated that I was infact insured on her car.

 

They did state that an old insurance company of my partners still seemed to have a policy in place...

we rang them up and they confirmed there must have been a glitch on the system,

in effect my partner had two policy running at once.

 

However in my mind,

and the insurance companies

this doesn't negate me being insured on her car,

and it isn't illegal to have two policies.

 

The police over the phone are suggesting its the insurers fault,

and that they won't pay the impound cost.

 

I am picking up the car tomorrow morning and looking at a charge of 200 pounds.

 

Any thoughts on who is liable?

 

just to clarify,

the police officer has presumably looked at the old policy with just my partners name on it,

when in fact their is an active policy with both hers and mine name on it.

 

The police at the station found this one first.

seems a fault with the system police use to check insurance.

Edited by Hankey89

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retitled and moved to motoring offences


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Have you paid in full or by monthly payments for two insurance policy's on your wife's car. Not your car, your wife's?

If yes you're insured

If no, you're not.

Its an admin error.

 

However check your policy for your car as you may have 3rd party insurance To drive any car loaned to you not including hire cars or for Reward as long as there is insurance on the vehicle.

 

Its a common clause.

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I am insured on my partners car.

She paid upfront in April 2018 for a years insurance for both of us. T

his was confirmed by the police station, and by admiral over the phone.

 

The second policy is a glitch on direct lines system from when my partner was insured with them 3 years ago...

they kept a policy running purely in her name, she hasn't paid this in the last 3 years.

 

So for some reason on the police system, he has only been able to see the old direct line policy, and not the current active insurance with Admiral.

 

I agree its an Admin error.

i am just not sure who is liable.

 

Obviously there has been a glitch on direct lines system.

But having two policies in place doesn't void the correct one, and surely the police should be able to see an active one on their car system.

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Ahh I see.

The current policy is you and your wife. The old one was your wife alone.

But it was the wife alone policy on records.

 

Its not your fault. Your car was impounded on wrong data. It wasn't an illegal seizure or anything like that, as they have to act on the info available.

Get chief constable involved if they charge you. You'll prob have to pay and claim it back.

 

I take it that you have not been or the charges of no insurance have been dropped

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Sgt, partner does not mean wife.

Why did she change fro Direct Line to Admiral?

I would send the CC a Demand for amy incurred costs (Penalty, storage charges + 47p/ml for incurred mileage, + a notional amount for the hike home+ time expended)

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To save money I guess.

We have both been insured on the car with admiral for the last 15 months, renewed in April.

 

I just don't understand how the police officer has found an old policy, but not the current one.

Edited by dx100uk
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As the police eventually found the correct insurance record by themselves, I would think that the officer on the roadside should have double checked by calling the insurance company.

They usually do this.

Police fault imo

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I don't know the answer as to who, if anyone, will compensate you, but the real fault surely lies with Direct Line?

 

When your partner's policy with them expired they should have marked it as no longer current but it seems they didn't. The Motor Insurance Database [MID] isn't maintained or updated by the police, it isn't a police database. They just have right to access it.

 

So you can't hold the police accountable if it isn't up to date.

They will probably argue that they are entitled to act on the information available to them on the MID and they aren't obliged to compensate you if the MID information is wrong.

 

 

 

Insurance companies are responsible for keeping the MID up to date and the MID is operated by an insurance industry body (the Motor Insurers'' Bureau [MIB]) on behalf of the motor insurance industry. If you get nowhere with the police you could try pursuing recovery against the MIB and/or Direct Line. I don't know how successful you would be.

 

 

https://www.mib.org.uk/managing-insurance-data/the-motor-insurance-database-mid/

Edited by dx100uk
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I'm still slightly confused by all this and what happened at the roadside.

 

I get that you were stopped while driving your partners car, and (for whatever reason (incorrectly as it turns out)) only her name was showing up on the insurance. But as you have your own vehicle, even without your name on the policy (for the vehicle you were actually driving) there's a very good chance indeed that you'd be covered under the 'driving other vehicles' clause of your own policy.

 

Did you mention your own policy to the officer that stopped you?

Was that checked?

If so, what was the result of that check?

 

Your scenario (above) is exactly why Section 165.A (3) of the RTA is very carefully worded. "the constable has reasonable grounds for believing that". So, whilst a constable may suspect that there is no policy of insurance in force that covers you to drive, suspicion alone is not enough to warrant seizure of the vehicle. There must be a reasonable belief.

 

So I'm troubled by what could have gone on at the roadside to make the officer believe (rather than suspect) that you had no insurance.


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My insurance doesn't cover me to drive other cars, that was checked at roadside.

 

As I was in reception retrieving the impounded car, the police rang the receptionist and advised there would be no charge.

 

I have subsequently received a call advising that due to the glitch on direct lines system this has led to the confusion, and got an apology from the police.

 

I get the impression the police officer in question could have done a bit more at roadside to confirm whether I was telling the truth, rather than just looking at his computer.

 

Anyway its all sorted now. I will carry a hard copy of insurance policy around with me in future.

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Ahh well, at least it was all sorted out in the end. Although I think Direct Line might have some questions to answer for the inconvenience to you if nothing else.

 

 

I wasn't there so can't really comment on what was and/or wasn't done in the way of checks, but I'm assuming that you told the officer the name of the insurance co. That could easily have been checked with MIB even if the insurance co themselves were closed.


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This could have been about road tax, since the scrapping of the disc what immediate evidence does the motorist have that they have paid it?

 

Are we all expected to carry round computer screen shots to show to people because their database is having a day off at the seaside?

Edited by dx100uk
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I dont think the police sieze vehicles for no road tax.

The dvla go round and clamp and then possibly remove vehicles for no tax but I've never heard of the police doing this

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I dont think the police sieze vehicles for no road tax.

The dvla go round and clamp and then possibly remove vehicles for no tax but I've never heard of the police doing this

 

It does happen if the force in question has devolved powers from the DVLA. I'll dig out the legislation a bit later :thumb:


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The power for police to seize untaxed vehicles are devolved from The Vehicle Excise Duty (Immobilisation, Removal and Disposal of Vehicles) Regulations 1997 (and amendments) under a MOU from the DVLA.

 

I've found the Nottinghamshire Police policy document just for reference. Click Here to download and I think that pretty much all of the Home office forces in England & Wales have these powers now.

 

 

But regardless of the above, this was definitely about insurance and not VEL, the fine and points mentioned in the OP do not relate to a VEL offence which is the recovery/release fee, any storage fees and either a valid VEL or £160 surety. Whereas £300 and 6 is the penalty for no ins.


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Make sure when collecting the vehicle that you check it very careful for any damage that was not present beforehand and if there is make sure you appraise them of that before you leave the premises.


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Certainly traffic police in many constablaries have the powers to do so, inc Met.

An old friend of mine who now lives in the US got his HGV so he could drive lorries away when seized or whatever.

 

As he was a beat bobby he didnt have any powers to seize but could be called upon to remove. He also held a helicopter pilots licence but they never let him fly Hotel 99, they used to employ pilots just as that rather than train up coppers or allow plod to choose to do so.

 

It does happen if the force in question has devolved powers from the DVLA. I'll dig out the legislation a bit later :thumb:

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OK, we're off on a tangent, but here's an interesting factoid for you.

 

Force policy aside, legally speaking a police officer (in the course of their duty) does not need an HGV licence to drive an HGV. Whether or not they would be able to drive it would be a different question, but they are legally allowed :thumb:


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I stand corrected.

However that link goes to page not found.

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This is a direct link to the PDF mentioned above.

(Please Note if you click the Link it is an Automatic PDF Download):

https://www.nottinghamshire.police.uk/sites/default/files/documents/files/PS132_DVLA_Devolved_Powers_Policy.pdf


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