alert-icon@2xalert-icon@2xion-close-round - Ionicons- white@2x Skip to content
Report online For non emergencies
Call 999 For emergency calls only
Call 999 For emergency calls only
Call 101 For all non emergencies
Call 101 For All non emergencies

Top tips to keep your car safe

  • Never leave keys in the ignition or in your car, even for a short time
  • Park with care, if possible in a busy, well lit area
  • If you have a garage use it. If you park on a driveway, close & lock any gates
  • Close windows, sunroof, lock doors & activate security alarms when leaving your car
  • Take valuables with you when you leave your car, eg: cash, credit cards, mobile phones, satellite navigation systems etc
  • If you have no choice make sure valuables are locked in the boot, taking care no-one is watching you
  • Keep your driving and vehicle documents safe & not in your car
  • Postcode your valuables with a UV pen
  • Make sure your keys are secure at home & work
  • On cold mornings, don’t leave your car unattended with the engine running while it warms up
  • Check your vehicle regularyregularly if parked for any length of time
  • Be vigilant - report suspicious activity

Seized vehicle fee information

Recovery and Seizure
Storage Charges (per 24 hour period or part thereof)
Disposal Charges

Frequently asked questions

Who collects vehicles on behalf of the police?
Durham Constabulary operates an 'in-house' vehicle recovery scheme.

Under the terms of this, a number of professional recovery firms are contracted to the police.

The scheme is managed from police headquarters in Durham by a small team. If you have an issue or question regarding a recovered vehicle, you should write to:

The CVRS Manager
Durham Constabulary
Police HQ
Aykley Heads

Telephone 0191 3752081 or call 101 and ask for vehicle recovery.
Office hours are 8am to 4pm, Monday to Friday.

You should provide as much information as possible, including the make, model and registration number of the vehicle in question.

In what circumstances do the police collect vehicles?
Vehicles of the following types are collected by the police:

  • Broken down and causing an obstruction or hazard
  • Involved in accidents and causing an obstruction or hazard
  • Stolen vehicles
  • Burnt out vehicles
  • Uninsured vehicles
  • Vehicles driven by unlicensed drivers
  • Vehicles used anti-socially
  • Suspect vehicles that are 'of interest' to police
  • Abandoned vehicles that are causing an obstruction (see note below)
  • Untaxed vehicles on behalf of DVLA

Note: Vehicles that have reached the end of their useful life and have been abandoned by their owners are the responsibility of the local authorities. If you have an issue regarding such a vehicle, please contact the environmental services dept for the local authority in which the vehicle is situated.

My car has been stolen. What should I do?
Telephone the police on 101. The police operator will then check the Police National Computer to see if it has been found. If it hasn't, a record of the theft will be made.

If the vehicle is later recovered by police, statutory fees will apply.

My vehicle has been recovered by the police. Will I be charged for the recovery?
In most cases as of 1st October 2008 statutory fees (ie fees set by Parliament) will apply.

Do the police monitor the charges levied?
Charges are monitored on a regular basis to ensure compliance with contract and regulations.

My vehicle has been recovered by police. How do I get it back?
The contracted recovery operator will contact you by telephone or recorded delivery letter when the vehicle is ready for collection.

If you know where your vehicle is stored, you may also contact them yourself to arrange collection.

(For vehicles driven without insurance or licence, or for vehicles used anti-socially, please see charge information.)

My vehicle was stolen. Why should I have to pay for its recovery and storage?
It is the owner's responsibility to take out proper insurance for their vehicle. If you have 'fully-comprehensive' or 'third party, fire and theft' insurance, you should be able to claim these fees back from your insurer.

But I only have third party insurance, or a large excess!

When each of us takes out insurance, we estimate the likely risk of theft or damage, and we try to assess whether we are likely to face that risk. We then calculate the effect on our premiums and insure accordingly.

It's a bit of a gamble really. If we get it right, we save money. If we don't, it can cost us money. Unfortunately, the gamble hasn't paid off on this occasion.

Why don't the police pay?
If the police had to pay for such recoveries, the cost would have to be passed on to the general public by way of increased community charges.

My vehicle was seized because I didn't have proper insurance or licence. How do I get it back?
At the time it was seized, the driver would have been issued with a green form.

  • You will first need to take out proper insurance for the vehicle
  • You should then take the insurance certificate, your drivers licence and the green form to the police office nominated on the form
  • If everything is in order, the police will stamp the green form and hand it back to you
  • You may then attend the authorised recovery operator's premises, pay the seizure and storage fees, and you will be given your vehicle back
  • If you fail to collect the vehicle within seven working days, it may be sold or scrapped

I have been given a warning because I have used my vehicle in an antisocial manner. What does this mean?
If you offend again in the next 12 months, the vehicle you are using will be seized. It does not have to be the same vehicle you were riding/driving at the time you were given the first warning. If you don't offend again within 12 months, the original warning will become 'spent'.

My vehicle has been seized because I used it in an antisocial manner. How do I get it back?
To get it back, you will have to go to the recovery operator's premises, pay the removal and storage fees, and you will be given it back. The recovery operator's details are included on the form given to the driver at the time of seizure.

You must do this within seven working days, or the vehicle may be sold or scrapped.