Can my car be immobilised by an Enforcement Agent if it is on finance?

Can my car be immobilised by an Enforcement Agent if it is on finance?

Possibly, yes. There is a common misunderstanding that a car on finance cannot be immobilised under any circumstances. Enforcement agents (incorrectly but commonly referred to as a bailiff) are often accused of acting illegally by immobilising vehicles that are on finance. However, an enforcement agent can clamp a vehicle and then make checks on its status.

A car on finance belongs to the finance company until the purchase price is paid. In most cases, a car on finance has sufficient residual value for the motor finance company. However, in some instances, the finance company agrees with the enforcement firm that it can be seized and sold for auction.

The regulations state that an enforcement agent can immobilise a vehicle at the debtor’s premises or on a highway. The vehicle must be secured by an immobilisation device unless the debtor voluntarily surrenders the keys to the vehicle to the enforcement agent.

The enforcement agent must provide a written warning affixed to the vehicle, which states that it has been immobilised because a debt has not been paid.

The vehicle must remain immobilised for a period of not less than 2 hours from the time of immobilisation unless the sum outstanding is paid or an agreement is reached to release the vehicle, for example on part payment.

On expiry of this time, if payment is not made, the vehicle can be removed to storage.

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