Special scheme saves uninsured cars from the crusher.
Exotic cars worth more than £540 million have been saved from potentially being crushed in the past decade, according to new figures.
The data, which was provided by vehicle history checking firm HPI, showed that supercars such as Lamborghinis, Ferraris and Bentleys were retrieved after being confiscated due to a lack of valid insurance.
Historically, vehicles purchased on finance but subsequently confiscated by the police would either be sold on or scrapped without their legal owners, the finance companies, being made aware.
HPI’s CrushWatch scheme gives finance companies the opportunity to reclaim their valuable assets after the vehicles have been confiscated. The scheme, which was devised in collaboration with the Finance and Leasing Association and the National Police Chiefs Council, to help lenders both reduce their losses and contribute to road safety, has been running since 2008.
In 2017 alone, CrushWatch returned six Lamborghini Huracans valued at between £147,000 and £186,000 to their rightful owners, as well as one Lamborghini Aventador worth more than £300,000. A Ferrari 458, Bentley Continental GT and Aston Martin Vanquish (worth £134,000, £111,000 and £104,000 respectively) were also saved from the crusher.
Overall, CrushWatch returned £94 million worth of financed, uninsured vehicles to the finance companies that technically owned them.
That number represented an increase of £7 million on 2016’s figure, but 2018 looks set to exceed even last year’s total, with £58.5 million worth of cars returned to the finance companies in the first six months alone.
Barry Shorto, head of industry relations at HPI, said: “It’s staggering to think that in the ten years that CrushWatch has been operational over £500m worth of vehicles have been saved and secured.
“The success of the initiative illustrates the need to crack down on driving without insurance, drivers who are causing a risk to other road users and pedestrians. Sadly our data reveals that drivers of supercars and premium vehicles are not exempt from this practice. Preventing this from happening is not just a safety issue but also about enabling finance companies across the UK to reclaim their vehicles which otherwise may have ended up at auction or on the scrap heap.
“In the 10 years since CrushWatch started, the total value of the cars recovered highlights the important role that it plays in the process of clamping down on drivers who think they are above the law. As the past decade clearly demonstrates, this is a problem that isn’t going away but, through an ongoing collaborative approach with police forces throughout the UK, we can help the leasing and finance companies to minimise losses and increasingly get to grips with the problem.”