Press release

DVLA reveals some of the oddest items found in untaxed cars

A quad bike, full set of drums, jockey helmets and half a corner sofa were among the weird and wonderful items among nearly 600 sets of personal belongings discovered in untaxed cars in the last year.

Clamped car overflowing with items

DVLA has revealed a list of some of the items found in untaxed cars that were clamped and impounded in the last 12 months. As well as everyday items, some unusual artefacts came to light.

The list includes:

  • 3 jockey helmets
  • off-road quad bike
  • an acoustic guitar complete with accessories, stand and carry-case
  • half a corner sofa
  • bathroom toilet with seat
  • fishing rods complete with tackle
  • ‘Beavis & Butthead’ trading cards
  • full drum kit complete with Cort ‘Groove Engine GE15B’ amplifier set
  • a quantity of men’s torso mannequins
  • a highly collectible Louis Wain book of illustrated cats from the 1920s
  • full set of golf clubs

Any personal belongings found in impounded vehicles are catalogued and stored for a period of time in case they are claimed, before being made available for sale. DVLA’s Head of Enforcement Tim Burton said:

Having your car clamped is expensive and inconvenient - and as this list of items shows, you could end up losing more than just the car!

DVLA operates a range of measures to make vehicle tax easy to pay and hard to avoid. While the vast majority of motorists do the right thing and tax their cars correctly, it is right that we take action against those that break the law and fail to tax their car. It’s never been easier to tax your car - it’s just a few clicks to do it online and you can do it 24 hours a day. You can also spread payments across the year by Direct Debit, so there really is no excuse.

The law is clear and so are the consequences - tax it or lose it.

Motorists can check when the tax on a vehicle is due using DVLA’s online service - all they need is the vehicle’s registration number.

Notes to editors

A full inventory of the items ‘bagged and tagged’ includes the items detailed on the list.

All of the items detailed in the inventory can be traced back to a specific site where the vehicle was impounded. The items detailed in the list may be logged in the inventory as ‘assorted items’ or ‘misc’ but we can confirm that all were found in untaxed vehicles that were clamped and impounded. DVLA writes to the keepers of all vehicles to remind them when their tax is due. That’s why it’s so important for motorists to let DVLA know if they’ve changed address.

Wheelclamping is one of a range of enforcement measures used by DVLA against untaxed vehicles. Where an untaxed vehicle is clamped the motorist will have to pay a release fee of £100 and - if they cannot show that the vehicle has been taxed - a surety fee of £160. The surety fee is refunded if the motorist is able to show that the vehicle has been taxed within 15 days of the vehicle’s release. If the release fee has not been paid within 24 hours then DVLA will impound the vehicle. The release fee will then rise to £200 and there will be a storage charge of £21 per day. Again, a surety fee of £160 must be paid if the motorist cannot show that the vehicle has been taxed.

If a vehicle is declared off the road (SORN) it must be kept off the road, on private land.

Any personal belongings found in impounded vehicles are stored for a period of time in case they are claimed, before being made available for sale.

Further information on taxing a vehicle, including how to do this online, can be found on GOV.UK at:

Press office

DVLA Press Office
Longview Road


Bagged and tagged items found in clamped vehicles (CSV, 20.3KB)

Published 6 September 2018