Ten million pounds worth of cars, including luxury models such as Bentleys have been saved from being sold off or sent to the crusher in the last month after being seized by police.
Models ranging from a Bentley Bentayga to a BMW 1 Series were among cars returned to finance companies after their drivers were caught without insurance in February.
The cars were identified as part of data firm HPI’s Crushwatch initiative, which aims to help finance companies recover cars that have been seized by police.
From Aston Martins to Astras
More than £2.7m of vehicles were identified in London alone, with cars worth £768,000 – including a Bentley Bentayga – reclaimed in West Yorkshire and more than £500,000 worth in Greater Manchester and Scotland.
Under Section 165A of the Road Traffic Act (1988) police can seize cars from uninsured drivers and dispose of them either through sale or by having them crushed.
In 2018, the initiative identified almost £122m of cars, including Lamborghinis, Ferraris and Aston Martins and saved them from sale or destruction.
The luxury and sports cars were among more than 109,000 cars that were seized by police across the UK after their drivers were found not to have valid insurance, of which more than 13,000 belonged to finance and leasing companies.
Although some of those were high-value vehicles, the majority of cars reclaimed under the scheme were mainstream models. The Volkswagen Golf was the most commonly returned vehicle, with the Vauxhall Astra, Ford Focus, Ford Fiesta and BMW 1 Series making up the top five.
Barry Shorto, head of industry relations at HPI, said: “Crushwatch is proving what a valuable role it plays in the process of clamping down on uninsured drivers. In just one month, the total value of the cars recovered locally by West Yorkshire Police was over three-quarters of a million pounds and by police forces nationally it was over £10 million. This indicates that the problem is becoming more widespread and increasing year on year.
“Through ongoing collaboration with police forces throughout the UK, we can continue to minimise finance company losses whilst also clamping down on the problem of drivers thinking it’s okay to drive without the necessary insurance.”