Archive Website of the UK government

Please note that this website has a UK government accesskeys system.

Public services all in one place

Main menu

Wednesday, 3 October 2023

Wheelclamping untaxed vehicles

Every vehicle registered in the United Kingdom (UK) must be taxed if used or kept on a public road. If the vehicle is kept off-road it must either be taxed or have a SORN (Statutory Off Road Notification) in force. If not it could be wheelclamped or removed.

You could lose your vehicle

The fees to release your vehicle are high. If you don't pay for your vehicle to be de-clamped within 24 hours, DVLA will impound your vehicle and if it's not claimed it could be disposed of after seven days.

Wheelclamping operators

DVLA works in partnership with VEAS (Vehicle Enforcement and Ancillary Services) who operate the wheelclamping scheme and a number of local authorities and police forces who operate local wheelclamping schemes in their areas.

How it works

Clamping vans patrolling the streets are equipped with automatic number plate reader (ANPR) technology. Roof-mounted cameras read the number plates of vehicles parked at the roadside. The number plates are checked against a list of untaxed vehicles and any identified are confirmed against the DVLA vehicle register. The untaxed vehicle is then clamped, towed away and impounded after 24 hours (or immediately in some cases).

Release within 24 hours

To get your vehicle released you'll need to:

  • pay a release fee of £100
  • produce a valid tax disc

If you don’t produce a tax disc you’ll need to pay a surety (deposit) instead. This is £160 for a car or motorcycle and up to £700 for other vehicles.

You’ll get the surety payment back when you tax your vehicle and produce a valid tax disc. If you fail to produce a tax disc within two weeks you’ll lose the surety payment and your vehicle could be clamped again and again.

Release after 24 hours

To release your vehicle, you’ll need to pay a £200 fee, and any storage charges of £21 per day, as well as producing a valid tax disc or surety payment.

Provided you’re registered as the vehicle keeper, DVLA will write to inform you that your vehicle has been impounded and will be disposed of unless all fees are paid.

You could also face prosecution with fines up to £1,000 as well as paying any arrears of vehicle tax owed and costs.

Unclaimed vehicles are crushed after seven days. Vehicles of economic value are disposed of after 14 days. Any vehicles of significant value are resold at auction.

Right of appeal

You have the right of appeal: find out more by following the link below.

Access keys

If you would like to take part in our website visitor survey, please visit the site and then come back and select this link to take part in the survey.