UK police seize more than 214,000 vehicles in 2023

UK police seize more than 214,000 vehicles in 2023
According to a new Freedom of Information (FOI) request to UK police forces across the UK, 214,051 vehicles were seized last year.

Police had taken the vehicles for a variety of reasons, including failing to for road tax or car insurance, driving without a valid licence, or if the vehicle had been stolen or involved in a crime.

The statistics also include vehicles that had been stolen and then crashed by the offender – and then it being removed from the scene of the crime.

Figures from the FOI were requested by National Scrap Car and showed that 23 of the 45 police forces provided data on sized vehicles.

Out of all the vehicles that were involved in a police seizure, 59% were returned to their rightful owners.

This is despite changes in the rules in April last year, where the cost to get your own vehicle back from the police can cost £192.

A daily storage change can also add £26 a day for a car that is held by the police.

However, around 17% of the vehicles that were confiscated were later destroyed by police – and 6%  (12,939) were sold at auction.

The region that had the largest number of vehicles sized by police was Dundee in Scotland – where 23,344 were taken in total. This was an increase of 21, 574 in 2022.

This was followed by the West Midlands with 23,203; Greater Manchester with 22,317; and West Yorkshire with 20,124.

The people of Dundee also had the highest number of vehicles returned to them (19,380).

When it comes to the regions with the fewest seized vehicles, the lowest number was Warwickshire with 1,680 – which was by far the lowest of all the 25 forces that provided data.

They were followed by Suffolk (3,112), Wiltshire (3,333), Surrey (3,376, North Wales (3,493), and Durham (4,068). Out of these, only North Wales and Suffolk saw a drop in 2022.

Looking at the regions with the highest number of seized vehicles that are later destroyed, the top three were West Midlands (7,012), West Yorkshire (4,138), and Lancashire (2,394).

Further analysis of the data shows that the parts of the UK where there were the highest number of auctioned vehicles after police seizure was Beds, Hers and Cambs (2,062), Dundee (1,982), and West Yorkshire (1,344).

RAC Breakdown Cover

RAC Breakdown Cover

With our cover, the difference is in your pocket.

*£7 a month for new, single vehicle Basic. ^For 1 vehicle with new Extra or Complete. Excludes Basic. Ends 28/05/24, 7am.

RAC Breakdown Cover