In a recent disclosure through Freedom of Information (FOI) requests to police forces across the United Kingdom, it has been revealed that a staggering 214,051 vehicles were seized last year alone. The impoundment of vehicles was attributed to various infractions, including failure to pay road tax or acquire car insurance, driving without a valid licence, or involvement in criminal activities such as theft.

The data, obtained by National Scrap Car, underscores the significant role of law enforcement in maintaining road safety and combating crime. Of the 45 police forces approached for information, 23 provided detailed statistics on seized vehicles.

Despite efforts to streamline procedures, reclaiming impounded vehicles has become increasingly costly. Since April last year, individuals seeking to retrieve their vehicles from police custody faced a fee of £192, in addition to a daily storage charge of £26 per day. Despite the financial burden, a considerable 59 per cent of seized vehicles were successfully returned to their rightful owners. However, a notable portion, approximately 17 per cent, met a different fate, being destroyed by the police. Additionally, 6 per cent of impounded vehicles, totalling 12,939, were sold at auctions.

Analysis of the data reveals regional disparities in vehicle seizures. Dundee in Scotland emerged as the epicentre of police impoundments, with a staggering 23,344 vehicles seized—an increase of 21,574 compared to the previous year. Following closely behind were the West Midlands with 23,203 seizures, Greater Manchester with 22,317, and West Yorkshire with 20,124.