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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71146
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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My car was wrongly impounded while I was on holiday. I

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Hi. My car was wrongly impounded while I was on holiday. I received a letter saying it had been impounded because it had no road tax/SORN. The DVLA has admitted it made a mistake and the car was properly taxed and they are returning my car today.
However, they have mentioned nothing about compensation. Is there any action I can take?
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
What compensation are you seeking?
For what loss?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Well I'm not sure of the condition of the car yet but realistically, compensation for not having the use of the vehicle; for distress and inconvenience. And perhaps the refund of public transport costs.

I'm really sorry but I can only tell you the truth and I'm afraid you are wasting your time upon this.
The DVLA will never pay compensation unless they are forced kicking and screaming anyway but, in addition to that, you are just describing pure economic loss which is not a head of compensation in the UK upon the tort of negligence.
You don't have a contract with the DVLA and so cannot claim consequential losses. The only claim could be in negligence. They may well have been negligent but you can only claim losses that flow from that act. Yours amount to pure economic and inconvenience is not a head of compensation at all. Also, I do realise that this is an incredibly frustrating experience but it doesn't really amount to a distressing one if that is given it's traditional dictionary definition.
I'm very sorry but that is your position I'm afraid.
Can I clarify anything for you?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

That's what I suspected unfortunately. It's astonishing that such a thing can happen.

Ah well.

Thanks anyway.

Yes, I do agree.
Government departments are a law unto themselves.
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