You may be able to apply for an early release of an impounded vehicle in a number of circumstances. The application for early release is made in writing to the Commissioner of Police, who then must make a decision within five business days of receiving it.

1. Where there is evidence of severe financial or physical hardship:

You may be granted an application where it can be shown that to refuse the application would cause severe financial hardship to you or your family, for example by depriving you of your means to earn a living.

2. The offence happened without the owner’s consent:

Your car may be released from impoundment if you can show that the offence occurred without your consent, for example if someone else used your car for purposes you did not consent to.

3. The owner has since rectified the Type 2 offence (unlicensed and unregistered) by licensing and registering their vehicle:

If your car was impounded because you were caught driving unlicensed and unregistered, and you have since licensed and registered the car, you may apply to the commissioner to release your car early.

4. The grounds for impoundment or immobilisation were unreasonable:

If there were no reasonable grounds for the police to impound your car you may apply to the commissioner for early release of your car.

The commissioner may or may not agree to release your vehicle. If he does, it may come with conditions, for example that you only use the vehicle for work purposes. If you disagree with the commissioner’s decision, you may appeal it in the Magistrates Court.

We at Robertson O’Gorman are able to assist you with legal advice if your car has been impounded, including the preparation of an application for early release from impoundment.