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if your car is a repo etc ?


Bailiffchaser
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SEIZURE OF VEHICLES BY ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES

FLA (Finance & Leasing Association) is the major UK industry body for the asset finance, consumer finance and motor finance sectors. FLA members provided £18.6 billion of finance to the motor sector which represented at least 50% of all new car registrations in the UK in 2005.

ISSUE DESCRIPTION

Several pieces of legislation entitle various enforcement agencies to seize vehicles. For example, the police can seize vehicles driven by uninsured drivers. Finance companies want to ensure that, if a vehicle is subject to a hire purchase or lease agreement so is owned by the finance company, the enforcement agency informs the company of the seizure and gives the company the opportunity to take possession of the vehicle.

CURRENT STATUS

FLA is in discussion with the Home Office and other organisations, with a view to putting in place a protocol on the steps to be carried out by enforcement agencies when they seize vehicles.

FLA ISSUES

FLA strongly welcomes all crime reduction measures and is supportive of, for example, the Government’s efforts to tackle uninsured drivers. However, it should be noted that the registered keeper of a vehicle is not necessarily the legal owner. For example, in the case of hire purchase agreements, the finance company retains ownership of the vehicle until the customer has repaid the finance in full, notwithstanding the fact that the customer may be registered as the keeper of the vehicle.

If an enforcement agency seizes a vehicle eg because the person driving it is uninsured or does not have an appropriate driving licence, and the vehicle is subject to a hire purchase, contract purchase, conditional sale or lease agreement, the registered keeper of the vehicle will no longer have an immediate right of possession of the vehicle. In this situation, the finance company, as owner, will wish to enforce its rights of repossession.

FLA is in discussion with the Home Office and other organisations, with a view to putting in place a protocol on the steps to be carried out by enforcement agencies when they seize vehicles. The first step in the protocol is for the enforcement agency to carry out an asset registration agency check to establish whether the seized car is on finance. If so, the enforcement agency will inform the finance company of the seizure and give the company the opportunity to take possession of the vehicle.

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