Speak to an Expert - 35

Recover your vehicle from bailiffs



1. If you are in the London area, call TRACE on 0845 206 8602 and find out which local authority has your car.

2. Report the car stolen to the police. It doesn't matter if the police say "its a civil matter". Get an Incident reference number proving you have reported it. It doesn't matter if the police don't accept it is stolen. They should tell you where you can find your car.

3. You must report to the DVLA, your car has been 'taken without permission'. Otherwise you may get an automated fine for failure to notify a change of registered keeper. Tell the DVLA there are legal proceedings in progress. That stops anyone getting a V5 and they will not be able to drive it on public roads or get keys for it. The DVLA will record your vehicle a "SORN" until you give further notice the court proceedings have been concluded.

4. If your vehicle has a logbook loan, or other secured loan, then you must tell the lender. When someone applies for a V5 with the DVLA, the lender will go round to the new keepers address and recover the vehicle. They will leave a copy of the bill of sale, or notice of finance document.



You have several options:


Make an Third party claim (You need a solicitor for this). If your vehicle has been removed in connection with a debt that is not yours, OR, the vehicle is exempt goods because its used for your work, employment or used by a disabled person, then you can make what is called a claim to exempt goods. If you are NOT the debtor, then you can bring a claim for damages and losses brought under the Torts (Interference with Goods) Act 1977. If you are the debtor then you bring an action under paragraph 66 of Schedule 12 of the Tribunals Courts and Enforcement Act 2007.

Deploy Pay and Reclaim. This is the only immediate route to get your vehicle back. This is conceding to the demand and recovering the vehicle. You then make a claim in the court afterwards (or do a chargeback) against the creditor or council the bailiff company is acting for. Provided your claim amount is under £10,000, the bailiff company will have to pay the creditor's solicitors fees defending the claim regardless whether or not you win your claim.



Bailiff companies take a very high risk when they remove a vehicle. If the removal is later found to be not compliant with the Schedule 12 enforcement procedure, the legal fees defending your claim will cost the bailiff company many times more than what they make on enforcing your debt.

In other words, your case becomes "toxic" for the bailiff company. They are stuck holding a vehicle that will probably cost them more than its material worth.



Your car is taken (or clamped) illegally if any of the following is true:

See this checklist:

If the checklist reveals the bailiff did not comply with the Schedule 12 enforcement procedure, you can apply to the court for remedy, and the bailiff company is responsible for returning the vehicle to you in the condition they found it plus all your costs and solicitors fees.

The law is Paragraph 66(5)(a) of Schedule 12 of the Tribunals Courts and Enforcement Act 2007. which states;


(5)In the proceedings the court may—

(a)order goods to be returned to the debtor;


Bailiffs companies often say they will "release" your vehicle for collection from their premises, but they often don't know they are liable for the cost of returning it from where it was taken.

If your grounds fits into any of the above, Our Mercedes 11.5t flatbed covers the Home Counties at short notice. It is also suitable for low sports cars, automatics and trade vehicles up to 3.5 tonnes. We can transport vehicles nationwide provided the journey starts or ends anywhere in the home counties. If you have asked for solicitor representation, then this service does not cost you anything because we recover it as part of your damages.



How to recover a vehicle from a bailiff compound



Bailiff companies use your vehicle as a collateral to make you sign a disclaimer.

NEVER EVER sign a document given to you by a bailiff as a condition of receiving your car. It will prevent you from bringing a claim for damages.

If the bailiff refuses to release the vehicle, then contact me, and we can apply for an injunction. The bailiff company will be liable for your solicitors fees because they are not entitled to use your vehicle to coerce you to sign a disclaimer when they breached a provision in the Schedule 12 enforcement procedure.



If forced to sign a document:

Then quietly "sign" it with a scribble of the word declined! in place of your usual signature.

That stops the bailiff company gagging you from bringing legal action.



Take this checklist with you. Common bailiff damage to vehicles.

1. Knocks, dents and dings in the body work. (Photograph close up all of them), Check for fluid leaks underneath the vehicle.

2. Underside of the bodywork - from the use of a forklift on the vehicle broadside

3. Steering damage from the use of vehicle lifting equipment (Power steering will be stiff, hydraulic pump ruptured)

4. Tyre damage to rear tyres from dragging the vehicle with the handbrake on

5. Tamper with door locks or alarm (check inside the vehicle, if found)

6. Damage to alloy wheels from the use of lifting brackets

7. Evidence of jamming its vehicle tracking system, (under bonnet)

8. Damage to front brake hoses (inside front wheels) - from use of a wheel clamp

9. Damage to top of the front wheel arches - by use of a wheel clamp or vehicle lifting device

10. Steering lock broken - (steering wheel found in hard-over position)


Make a continuous video of the vehicle inside and outside showing any damage.

DO NOT sign any document handed to you on condition of releasing the vehicle. This may waive your right to bring a claim for damages. If the compound refuses to allow you to take your vehicle after refusing to sign a document declaring you are satisfied with its condition, then contact me, you can apply for an injunction to recover the vehicle.



Make a list and obtain quotations for repairs. Add to your claim.


The above list of damages will probably negate the entire sum being recovered, and any fees the bailiff company made from taking your vehicle.

It becomes "toxic" for the bailiff company. Regardless of the outcome of your claim, they will have to pay their solicitors fees defending it, or they have to settle.



Typical bailiff's vehicle compound