The so called "hoon laws" allow the police to impound a vehicle that a driver has been driving while they perform the offence. This can include reckless driving including driving as speeds over 155km/hr., driving 45km/hr. over the posted speed limit and/or causing unnecessary smoke and noise with the car. Unfortunately, the hoon laws allow the police to confiscate the car that was being driven, even if the driver doesn't own it, causing great distress and inconvenience for people who have lent out their car.

Here are your options if your car is impounded.

Wait out the impounding (for first offences)

The initial period for impounding is 28 days, so if this is a first offence you can choose to wait the time and have some serious conversations with your friend or relative who was driving the car. If this is a subsequent offence then the impounding period can be up to 3 months, and there is generally less flexibility with subsequent offences. After enough offences, the car can be permanently seized.

Discuss the matter with the senior police officer in charge of the impounding

If the car is not surrendered on the spot, you will receive a notice requiring you to surrender the vehicle. This will include the name of a senior officer that you can contact to discuss the impounding. If the impounding is unfair, or will cause undue hardships, they can choose not to impound the car. For example, if the impounded car has been modified for driving a person with a disability, it may prove an undue hardship to find a new car transport that person. 

Get advice from a traffic lawyer

If getting your car impounded would be a financial hardship, or otherwise inconvenience you, you can get advice from an experienced traffic lawyer. They can help you craft a defense around the fact that you were not driving and the hardship it would put on you financially and/or with caring for family. You can also give the court assurances over the fact that you will no longer lend this car to this person and will put restrictions in place to make sure they don't have access to your car going forward.

Having your car impounded can be a huge inconvenience, and can be especially frustrating if you were not the person driving the car when the offenses where committed. Getting advice from experienced traffic lawyers can help to minimise the chance of your car being impounded.