New figures have revealed that Police Scotland has reunited finance companies with around £512,000 worth of uninsured vehicles in February alone.
Data released by automotive data experts HPI as part of its Crushwatch initiative show that finance and leasing companies recovered over £10m worth of uninsured vehicles across the UK in February.
Nearly £122M of vehicles were confiscated from uninsured drivers and saved from potentially being crushed or sold at auction in 2018 including supercars such as Lamborghinis, Ferraris, Bentleys and Aston Martins.
High-value vehicles 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 over 13,000 belonged to finance and leasing companies.
Without Crushwatch the cars would either be sold on, often via auction or scrapped, without the finance company ever being aware.
It’s not just supercars recovered by Crushwatch with mainstream models making up the bulk of the most commonly recovered vehicles, with the Volkswagen Golf, Vauxhall Astra, Ford Focus, Ford Fiesta and BMW 1 Series making up the top five. They were closely followed by the Vauxhall Corsa, BMW 3 Series, Mercedes Benz C Class and A-Class and Audi’s A3.
West Yorkshire Police has reunited finance companies with over £768k worth of uninsured vehicles. Outside of London Metropolitan Police the amount is the highest of any regional Police Force in the UK. Metropolitan Police saved over £2.7m worth of vehicles in February. West Yorkshire’s figures are higher than other regional forces including Greater Manchester Police (£562k), Police Scotland (£512k) and Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Constabulary (£462k).
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.’