Police Seize More than 200,000 Vehicles in 2023

More than 200,000 vehicles were seized by UK police forces last year, according to a new Freedom of Information request

Police, Flashing Lights, Crime Scene, Police Motorcycle, Siren

A Freedom of Information (FOI) request has revealed that more than 200,000 vehicles were seized by police in the UK last year.

In total, 214,051 vehicles were seized during 2023, according to the FOI request submitted to the 45 UK police forces by National Scrap Car. Of those 45 forces, 23 responded to the request.

The responses from those 23 forces revealed that 59 per cent (126,290) of the vehicles seized last year were returned to their rightful owners, despite a change to rules regarding how a person can retrieve their vehicle after it was seized by police. The change came on 6 April 2023 and means that it can cost up to £192 to have the police release the seized vehicle.

The FOI request also revealed that 17 per cent (36,388) of the seized vehicles were destroyed by police, with the most of these happening in the West Midlands (7,012), which also had the second highest number of seizures (23,203, or 10.8 per cent of the UK total). Additionally, six per cent (12,843) of the vehicles seized last year went on to be auctioned.

The most seizures occurred in Dundee, Scotland, where 23,344 (10.9 per cent of the UK total) were seized, but the same place also had the highest number of vehicles returned (19,380).

At the other end of the scale, Warwickshire had the lowest number of seized vehicles last year with 1,680 (0.8 per cent of the UK total). Warwickshire was the only region with less than 2,000 seizures, but Suffolk (3,112), Wiltshire (3,333), Surrey (3,376), and North Wales (3,493) were all below 4,000.

The most common reason for a vehicle being seized was for it being uninsured or for its owner having no licence (56,707), Other reasons included benign involved in a road traffic collision (49,278), the vehicle being stolen (28,448), and the vehicle being abandoned (8,190).

Find all the latest motorcycle news on Visordown.