Figures from HPI, the car data organisation, show that 61,000 uninsured cars were seized by the police last year.
Within this number were five Ferraris (the most valuable being a new 458 Italia valued at £151,475), three Lamborghini Gallardos, an Audi R8 and a Bentley Continental. Whether they were being driven by people with such bad records that they could not get insurance, or so arrogant they thought they needn't bother, is unclear.
Among mainstream cars the type of recovered vehicles tends to reflect the overall market. The most commonly seized car was the Astra (373) examples, followed by the Focus, the Corsa and the Fiesta. Quite why Vauxhall drivers seem to be a bit more likely to be uninsured than equivalent Ford drivers (the Vectra was also seized more often than the Mondeo), is another open question.
The most frightening statistic though is the total number of uninsured drivers on our roads – currently thought to be 1.4 million. Given that insurance is now fully computerised, with records instantly accessible to the police, it surely can't be impossible to clamp down on this crime? Police forces do mount campaigns periodically: the Metropolitan police seized 300 vehicles in one day last October, but there is clearly plenty more to do.
The motivation of the police is partly to stop other crimes: they reckon that 70% of uninsured drivers are involved in other illegal activity, so the hope is that taking away criminals' wheels makes other crimes harder to commit.