Having proper car insurance and a valid licence are pretty basic requirements when it comes to car ownership but thousands of UK motorists had their car taken away after failing to take care of these relatively straightforward needs.
More than 22,500 vehicles were seized in the first half of 2016 by police forces in England and Wales, all because the driver wasn’t insured or didn’t have a valid licence.
That roughly works out at 124 cars a day, and what’s most interesting is the number of high-end makes and premium models included in there.
Almost one in ten of the vehicles seized were BMW models (9.3 per cent), making it the most confiscated car brand of the year, a title it has held since 2013.
Meanwhile, more than one in 20 cars seized in the first six months of 2016 were Audis (6.8 per cent – 1,546 models).
Some 52 Porsches were also taken away, along with 11 Ferraris, six Bentleys, six Lamborghinis, four Maseratis, two Rolls-Royces including a £265k Dawn convertible (pictured), a TVR and an Aston Martin.
The next step
What happens next to these cars varies. Most of them are reclaimed by their owner, who have to cough up a £150 removal charge in addition to storage costs of £20 a day.
If ownership can’t be proved or if no-one comes forward to claim it after 14 days, then it goes to auction.
Some 2,866 cars were sold off to the highest bidder in the first half of 2016, raising over £1.4 million with London’s Met Police accounting for more than half of that (£788,022).
If they failed to sell, the next step isn’t very pretty; they get sent to the crusher. At least 6,583 seized cars have been crushed in 2016 so far, raising £279,253 in scrap value.
Some quick maths will tell you that works out at £42 per seized car. Now, we don’t have a list of the seized cars or what kind of state they were in, but crikey, you’d get more flogging it down the pub!
We don’t want to keep saying this but it’s worth underlining once again, all this could’ve been avoided if the drivers’ had secured the proper insurance or had a valid licence. Bonkers.
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