Over the past decade, uninsured cars worth more than £670 million have been saved from the crusher after being confiscated.

That’s according to the HPI Crushwatch programme, which works to stop the scrapping of confiscated cars with outstanding finance, before returning them to the finance companies that legally own them. Launched in 2009, the scheme provides police forces with a database against which they can check any vehicles they have seized, allowing them to send cars back to their rightful owners.

In the past 10 years, HPI Crushwatch says it has saved cars worth around £672 million, with more than 7,000 vehicles worth a combined total of more than £65.5 million saved so far in 2019. Last year, meanwhile, the scheme kept £122 million worth of cars off the scrapheap - up from £94 million in 2017.

2017 Lamborghini Aventador

Included in that £122 million total figure were four Lamborghini Aventadors worth between £162,000 and £302,000 and one £173,000 Lamborghini Huracan. And it wasn’t just Lambos that were snatched from the jaws of the crusher. A Ferrari 458 worth £248,000, two Rolls-Royce Dawns (worth £212,000 and £178,000) and a Mercedes-AMG GT worth £153,000 were also recovered. However, HPI says more mainstream models, such as the Volkswagen Golf, Vauxhall Astra and Ford Focus, make up the bulk of vehicles saved from the scrapheap.

“It’s staggering to think that in the time that Crushwatch has been operational over £670m worth of vehicles have potentially been saved,” said Barry Shorto, the head of industry relations at HPI. “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.

Yellow excavator loads car in the scrap yard

"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.

“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. Although the problem isn’t going away 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.”

Stacked and crushed old cars in junkyard