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Impounding vehicles

Important note – COVID-19
Due to current health concerns in relation to COVID-19, impounded vehicle owners will not be able to collect any personal effects until the vehicle is released.

Your vehicle can be impounded or clamped if you have been charged, arrested or reported for an offence including:

  • dangerous driving
  • drink and drug driving
  • driving an unregistered vehicle
  • driving an uninsured vehicle
  • driving to escape police pursuit
  • driving without a licence
  • failing to obey police direction
  • graffiti
  • leaving the scene of an accident
  • misuse of a motor vehicle
  • property damage
  • speeding.

Procedures for cars impounded before 1 July 2021

Vehicles can be impounded or clamped for 28 days.

Releasing impounded vehicles

Make an appointment by phone to collect your vehicle at the police station or impound where it is stored.

Appointments can be made between 9.00 am and 4.30 pm on weekdays (except public holidays) for Metropolitan Impounds only.

To arrange collection of your vehicle from a regional site, please contact the impound yard directly.

If you are the registered owner you need to bring your current driver's licence showing your photograph.

If you are collecting a vehicle for someone else you will need to bring:

  • a signed letter of authority from the registered owner
  • your current driver's licence showing your photograph.

Applicable fees for clamped vehicles

Administration fee for clamping:  $41.25
Attaching clamp: $97.50
Clamp removal: $97.50
Travel to and from vehicle to attach or remove clamps: $1.20 per km

Procedures and applicable fees for cars impounded from 1 July 2021

As of 1 July 2021, cars impounded will have applicable fees which will be required to be paid in full to SAPOL for release of vehicles from impoundment or clamps. This is in accordance with the Criminal Law (Clamping, Impounding and Forfeiture of Vehicles) Act 2007.

  • Payment must be made in full for any applicable impounding or clamping fees before a vehicle can be released
  • Payment of fees by credit card can be made at metropolitan impound yards and police stations
  • Payment by cash can only be made at a police station

For a 28-day impound of a vehicle, fees total $1135.50 (this fee will increase if the car is impounded for longer). This includes:

  • Administration Fee $97.50.
  • Fee for transportation of vehicle to storage facility $310.00.
  • Vehicle storage fee $26.00 per day during which the vehicle is impounded or remains uncollected (total $728 for 28-day impound).

Releasing clamped vehicles

A police officer will go to where your car is located and remove the clamp on the day it is due to be removed.

Applying for early release of a motor vehicle

You can apply to the Commissioner of Police for the vehicle to be released earlier if:

  • the vehicle was stolen or unlawfully in the possession of the person who committed the offence causing the vehicle to be impounded
  • the offence occurred without your knowledge or consent
  • continued impounding or clamping will cause severe financial or physical hardship to another person other than the person who committed the offence
  • there are other grounds that warrant releasing the vehicle.
  • applicable fees still apply.

Apply online for early release or download the early release application form.

Voluntary destruction of an impounded motor vehicle

Upon application, there are no impounding fees payable in respect of an impounded motor vehicle pursuant to section 9(7) of the Criminal Law (Clamping, Impounding and Forfeiture of Vehicles) Act 2007 if the Commissioner causes the vehicle to be destroyed.

An application under section 9(7) must:

  • Be made within 7 business days of the impounding of the motor vehicle; and
  • Be in a manner and form determined by the Commissioner; and
  • Be accompanied by the Prescribed Fee ($320.00)

Application Form -  Voluntary Destruction of Impounded Vehicle (PD724)

Frequently asked questions about the 1 July changes

How can I get my car?

If police impound your vehicle they will issue you documentation advising where your car is impounded. Unless early release is approved, following the 28 days you must make payment before you collect your car from the stated impound yard.

What are the new fees?

Fees payable to Commissioner in relation to impounding of a motor vehicle as at July 2021

1

Administration fee (to be charged once only in relation to the impounding of a particular motor vehicle in relation to a particular offence)

$97.50

2

Fee for transportation of vehicle to storage facility

$310.00

3

Vehicle storage fee

$26.00 per day (or part thereof) during which the vehicle is impounded or remains uncollected*

The total fee for a vehicle impounded for 28 days is $1,135.50.

Do I have to pay upfront or can I make payments in instalments?

Payments cannot be paid in instalments, they must be made upfront.

What if I cannot afford to get my car out?

A person will need to pay the impounding fees before a vehicle is released.

Can I ask to get my car destroyed instead of paying?

You can request to have your car destroyed instead of paying the impounding fee – there is a $320 fee associated with this request.

Where do I make the payment?

You can make payments at any police station or metropolitan impound yard, noting impound yards do not accept cash.

Can I pay cash?

You can pay in cash at any police station.  Payment is available by card only at metropolitan impound yards. No payment option is available at country storage locations - please make payment at nearest police station.

What if I am found not guilty in court? Do I get a refund?

A refund will be paid if a matter is discontinued, withdrawn or a person is found not guilty by the court.

What if I own the car impounded, but I did not do the offending to get the car impounded?

A vehicle owner can apply for early release of a vehicle on the following grounds:

  • The vehicle was stolen or being used unlawfully.
  • Grounds did not exist to clamp or impound a vehicle.
  • The offence occurred without the knowledge or consent of the owner at the time of the offence.
  • Continued clamping or impounding of the vehicle would cause financial or physical hardship to a person other than the alleged offender.
  • Other grounds exist to bring the clamping or impounding period to an end.

An application for early release of the vehicle can be made.

How long do I have to pick up my car after the 28-day impound?

Following the 28 days you can collect your car. If the vehicle is not collected within 10 days, following the 28-day period, the Commissioner may dispose of the vehicle.  A letter will then be sent to the registered owner and any person registered under the Personal Property Securities Act 2009, who has a security interest in the vehicle.

If I had my car impounded before July 1 do I have to pay?

No these new laws came into effect on July 1, so if your car was impounded before that you do not have to pay.

Can someone else collect my car for me?

Someone can collect your car for you, but if they are collecting your vehicle, they will need to bring:

  • a signed letter of authority from you, the registered owner
  • their driver's licence showing proof of identify.
What if the registered owner is in custody and cannot go and collect the vehicle?

Someone can collect your car for you, but if they are collecting your vehicle, they will need to bring:

  • a signed letter of authority from you, the registered owner
  • their driver's licence showing proof of identify.

Storage locations

Northern metropolitan impound
1506 Main North Road, Salisbury, SA 5108
Enter via Nylex Avenue
Phone 8250 9153

Southern metropolitan impound
5 Talisman Avenue, Edwardstown, SA 5039
Phone 8291 6150

Berri Police Station
Phone 8595 2020

Ceduna Police Station
Phone 8626 2020

Mt Gambier Police Station
Phone 8735 1020

Murray Bridge Police Station
Phone 8535 6020

Port Augusta Police Station
Phone 8648 5020

Port Lincoln Police Station
Phone 8688 3020

Port Pirie Police Station
Phone 8638 4000

Victor Harbor Police Station
Phone 8552 2088

Whyalla Police Station
Phone 8648 8020

It is an offence to interfere with a clamp or vehicle that has been impounded.

The maximum penalty is $2500 or six months' imprisonment.