How to reclaim your impounded car in Dubai 

Dubai is widely known for its strict traffic laws and road safety policies. Like in other countries, if you violate any traffic rules in Dubai, you’ll have to face penalties, and sometimes the police might impound your car. For some people, vehicle impounding seems like a nightmare because they do not have enough information.

Hence, we’ve written a detailed guide on reclaiming an impounded car in the UAE in this article. The process is pretty simple; just read it until the end!

What is a car impoundment in Dubai?

Every driver or car owner must follow some traffic rules and regulations in Dubai. If you violate any of these rules while driving on the road, the Dubai traffic police will impose fines on your vehicle. 

However, if your violation is comparatively more significant, such as driving without a number plate or accidents resulting in death, the traffic authority can impound your vehicle. In other words, your car will be seized for a particular period of time.

Now let’s see what the reasons are for vehicle impoundment in the UAE.

Reasons for impoundment

The UAE government has made several traffic rules to ensure road safety in the country. However, violating only some specific rules can result in your car being impounded. Here are some reasons why cars are getting impounded in the UAE. Make sure you don’t commit any of these while driving. 

  • Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • Causing danger to others and your own life
  • Crossing the maximum speed limit of 60 km/h 
  • Driving a vehicle that makes sound pollution
  • Accidents resulting in death or serious injuries 
  • Damaging private or public properties
  • Driving without a number plate
  • Driving an unlicensed vehicle 
  • Driving in the wrong direction
  • Not stopping at the red signal
  • Not stopping after an accident
  • Illegal vehicle modification
  • Illegal transportation
  • Street racing
  • Dodging traffic police
  • Trying to escape traffic police

How to Reclaim Your Impounded Car in UAE

There is nothing to worry about while dealing with your impounded car in the UAE. Reclaiming your vehicle is a straightforward process. Just pay all the fines related to car impoundment and wait until the impounding period ends. However, the impounding period typically ranges from 7 days to a maximum of 90 days. 

Now let’s see the step-by-step process;

  1. Check your fines on Dubai Police’s online portal or Road and Transport Authority (RTA). 
  2. Verify how many days you’ll have to wait to get your car released. 
  3. Once you clear the fines, approach the concerned police station to know about the impounding charges and yard location.
  4. After paying the fines, you can visit the impound site to free the car.

Impounding Time Period 

Usually, the traffic authority or the police transport the impounded vehicle to the impound yard. Now, the impounding period depends on the nature of the violation you commit. Typically, the period ranges between 7 to 60 days. However, if the car has been impounded for not having a number plate, it can extend up to 90 days.

Charges Associated With Vehicle Impounding

Vehicle impoundment can cause you extra unexpected service charges. For example, the transportation of your vehicle to the impound yard costs up to AED 500. Although these additional charges might sound hectic, it’s necessary to let people realize the importance of following traffic rules.

Reclaiming Car During Impoundment Period

The UAE government allows individuals to get their cars back, even during the impoundment period. However, this applies only to those who rely on their vehicles for livelihood, such as taxi drivers and other professional drivers who own cars. 

First, you must clear all the fines and dues to get your car during the impoundment period. Moreover, the waiver will cost you an additional amount, depending on the regional police. 

Smart Impounding: Impound car at home

Due to high impounding rates, the impound yards are mostly crowded. Hence, a smart impounding method was introduced in Dubai, allowing owners to impound their vehicles at home with additional daily charges. This feature is also available in other UAE Emirates, including Abu Dhabi and Sharjah.

If you violate any traffic rules, leading your car to get impounded, you can request that the regional police impound it at your home. In this system, the police will install a tracker in your vehicle to access your car’s movement remotely. 

Please note that smart impounding in Dubai or anywhere in the UAE comes at additional expenses. For example, a smart tracker costs about ADE 15 daily in Abu Dhabi. 

New Regulations in Car Impounding

The UAE government actively develops traffic rules and regulations for better road safety and transportation. Recently, the Dubai government took a new initiative to clean dirty, polluted cars. 

The government wants to make Dubai a very clean and safe city. That’s why the authority will give warning stickers to unwashed and abandoned cars. If the owner doesn’t respond or clean the car, the authority will confiscate it. Once confiscated, the owner will still have 15 days to claim the vehicle and pay the fines. If the owner still fails to do so, the vehicle will be auctioned. 

Like Dubai, Abu Dhabi has a similar rule. Dust-covered cars are impounded here if owners don’t clean them for too long. In addition, if your vehicle has fines of ADE 7,000 or more, it will be confiscated. However, this new rule in Abu Dhabi has led to countless cases of unpaid fines. 


If you strictly follow the traffic rules, there’s nothing to worry about. However, if your car gets impounded by chance, be patient and cooperate with the regional police to reclaim it. We hope that this article has given you a proper idea of the car impounding in Dubai. 

We always suggest that new car owners learn traffic rules first before driving. Hence, taking classes at driving schools is necessary.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What happens if I fail to claim the impounded car?

If you fail to claim your impounded car, it will be considered abandoned. Later, the regional police will forward the vehicle from the impound yard for verification before selling it in the auction. 

Q. What should I do if my car gets impounded for expired registration in the UAE?

First, you must find out and clear all the fines associated with your vehicle. According to Dubai Police, you have a one-month grace period to avoid fines. If it’s been 3 months, your car might be impounded. To get it back, clear all fines associated with the expired registration. 

Q. What happens if a car is impounded in Dubai?

Car impounding in Dubai can be a stressful experience. There are two ways it can happen: authorities might ask you to take it to an impound lot, or they might impound it on the spot for a traffic violation.  No matter the scenario, expect a hefty fine and black points on your license. 

Remember, following traffic rules and avoiding serious violations is the best way to avoid impoundment. It’s not just inconvenient; it leaves you without your car!