The authorities (including DVSA, HMRC and the Police) can take action to seize and impound goods vehicles and public service vehicles (PSV) if they believe that they are being used unlawfully. Vehicles are usually impounded because of alleged use without an operator licence.
The impounding of any vehicle is likely to have extremely serious effects on an operator’s business both in the immediate and long term. Impounding can lead to the vehicle being sold or scrapped which clearly has significant consequences to the business.
If your vehicle has been impounded you have 21 days to make an application to the Traffic Commissioner for its release.
The only grounds for an appeal are:
- At the time the vehicle was impounded, the person using it had an operator’s licence
- At the time the vehicle was impounded, its use was exempt from operator licencing
- The vehicle was being used illegally without the owner’s knowledge
- That, although the owner of the vehicle was aware it had been used without an operator’s licence the owner had:
- Taken steps with a view to preventing that use and
- Taken steps with a view to preventing further such use
These four grounds are open to interpretation and if you have had a vehicle impounded it is important that you act extremely quickly to get expert legal advice from specialist transport solicitors.
Hewitts Solicitors can assist you in applications to return impounded vehicles and advise you throughout the process.
To find out more about how we can help you, please click here or contact us for free initial no obligation advice. We are available 24/7, Freephone 0800 304 7740.