Police seize Porches, Rolls Royces, Maseratis and Bentleys because they aren't insured

30th September 2016

  • More than 22,594 vehicles seized in 2016 by police forces in England and Wales because the driver was not insured or did not have a valid licence
  • 52 Porsches, 11 Ferraris, six Bentleys and four Maseratis seized by police in 2016
  • BMW is the most-seized luxury car brand by police forces in England and Wales with 2,117 confiscated
  • Over £1.4 million raised by the sale of uninsured cars at auction in 2016, with a further £279,253 raised in scrap value

New analysis1 by Churchill Car Insurance reveals that luxury car models, including Porsches, Ferraris, Bentleys and Maseratis are being seized by the police. In excess of 22,594 vehicles have been seized in 2016 by police forces in England and Wales because the drivers were not insured or did not have a valid licence.

The analysis reveals that BMWs are the most confiscated luxury car brand by police forces in England and Wales, with 2,117 seized in 2016. Every year since 2013 BMWs have remained the most seized luxury car brand closely followed by Audi. What is perhaps more shocking is that the police are seizing vehicles such as Rolls Royces, with the 2016 Dawn 2d Auto model2 commanding a list price of £265,175.

Table one: Number of luxury cars seized by Police Forces in England and Wales in 2016

Luxury car brand Number of cars seized by Police Forces in England and Wales in 2016
BMW 2,117
Audi 1,546
Porsche 52
Ferrari 11
Bentley 6
Lamborghini 6
Maserati 4
Rolls Royce 2
Aston Martin 1

Source: Churchill Car Insurance’s analysis of data from Police Forces in England and Wales, 2016

The largest amount raised by the resale of a single seized car at auction in 2016 to date was £22,100, secured by the Met Police3. For the money the purchaser spent at auction they could have bought a brand new Ford Focus4 1.5 TDCi (120bhp) Style 5d Powershift (£20,295), or a 1.5 Mini Cooper5 6d Auto (£21,600). Police forces in England and Wales have auctioned at least 2,866 cars to date in 2016. Significant monies are being generated by the sale of seized cars at auction, with over £1.4 million raised already in 2016. The Met Police alone have so far generated £788,022 by selling seized vehicles at auction this year.

Across England and Wales at least 6,583 seized cars have been crushed in 2016, with the scrap value of these vehicles generating revenues of £279,253. Vehicles seized by the Met Police generated the highest revenues with £108,779 raised from their scrap value in 2016.

The Met Police remains the constabulary seizing more uninsured cars than any other in England and Wales, confiscating 6,827 already in 20166. The police force reporting the second most confiscations because the vehicle was not insured was Greater Manchester with 3,488 vehicle seizures. By contrast, Devon & Cornwall Police seized 277 cars in the same period.

Table two: Uninsured driving by region

Regions Estimated Uninsured Vehicles Total number of vehicles Percentage of cars that are uninsured Chance of vehicle involved in an accident being uninsured
Greater London 215,970 3,932,057 5.5% 1 in 18
North West 175,625 4,083,301 4.3% 1 in 23
West Midlands 110,337 3,349,283 3.3% 1 in 30
Yorkshire & Humberside 69,572 2,496,204 2.8% 1 in 36
North East 58,138 1,645,789 3.5% 1 in 28
South East 56,334 3,381,834 1.7% 1 in 60
East of England 52,329 2,720,730 1.9% 1 in 52
South West 52,098 3,798,438 1.4% 1 in 73
East Midlands 50,303 2,120,780 2.4% 1 in 42
East England 46,169 3,055,754 1.5% 1 in 66
Wales 43,665 1,858,267 2.3% 1 in 43
Scotland 38,956 2,764,042 1.4% 1 in 71
Northern Ireland 30,504 1,038,109 2.9% 1 in 34

Source: Churchill Car Insurance analysis of MIB data

Steve Barrett, head of Car Insurance at Churchill Insurance, said: "Everyday, law-abiding motorists are paying out for their car insurance but the harsh truth is that they also have to pay for the million drivers on our roads who choose to drive without insurance. To know that a contingent of these uninsured motorists are driving around in luxury cars worth hundreds of thousands of pounds, believing that their bank balance elevates them above the law, is maddeningly unjust and selfish beyond measure.

Barrett continues: "We need an urgent examination of the penalties for uninsured motoring, introducing sentences that are a real deterrent and that will keep these irresponsible motorists off the road. The penalties should be far higher and money generated from increased fines should be pumped back in to enabling the police to catch more uninsured drivers."

Churchill’s uninsured drivers promise

With over one million uninsured drivers on the road, getting hit by one of them can send your stress levels into overdrive, but at Churchill we don’t see why you should be penalised. If the collision isn’t your fault, our comprehensive car insurance protects your claim free years, we’ll repair your car and we’ll even cover your excess too.

Notes to Editor

  • 1 Churchill Car Insurance’s analysis of data supplied in response to a Freedom of Information Act request issued to the UK’s police forces on 16th June 2016.
    Data based on responses received from the proportion of police forces in England and Wales that responded to the request by supplying data. The data therefore will under represent the scale of uninsured cars in the UK. The figures quoted for the number of cars seized and revenues generated by their sale or scrap should be regarded as minimum values. In some cases police forces combined the number of cars seized because they weren’t insured with the number of cars seized because the driver did not have a licence.
  • 2 http://www.parkers.co.uk/cars/prices/new/rolls-royce/
  • 3 Please note monies generated when cars are sold at auction, or scrapped, is not always returned in full to Police Forces. Police Forces highlighted in their FOI responses that monies would often be retained by recovery operators
  • 4 http://www.parkers.co.uk/cars/prices/new/ford/focus/hatchback-2011/
  • 5 http://www.parkers.co.uk/cars/prices/new/mini/clubman/estate-2015/
  • 6 Churchill car insurance analysis of Motor Insurers' Bureau data on the estimated number of uninsured vehicles in the UK. Total vehicle population figures by outcode provided by Experian. Please note all data is based on specific UK outcodes: East London correlates to the ‘E’ outcode area, Birmingham ‘B’ etc. Estimated number of uninsured vehicles in Greater London = 215,970, versus South West = 52,098.

For further information, please contact:

Kia McLean
Citigate Dewe Rogerson
Tel: 020 7282 1092
Email: kia.mclean@citigatedr.co.uk

Claire Foster
Deputy head of news
Direct Line Group
Tel: 01651 831672
Email: claire.foster@directlinegroup.co.uk


Founded in 1989, Churchill is now one of the UK’s leading providers of general insurance, offering car, home, travel and pet insurance cover over the phone or on-line.

Churchill general insurance policies are underwritten by U K Insurance Limited, Registered office: The Wharf, Neville Street, Leeds LS1 4AZ. Registered in England and Wales No 1179980. U K Insurance Limited is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority.

Churchill and U K Insurance Limited are both part of Direct Line Insurance Group plc.

Customers can find out more about Churchill products or get a quote by calling 0300 200300 or visiting www.churchill.com