Choice of UK police cars massively slimmed down

Published: 22 October 2010

Car enthusiasts will soon be able to relax a little after it was announced that the range of police cars approved for use in Britain is being slashed. Those backward glances in your mirror will now be a simpler mental process.

This week’s Government spending review will purge many of the wilder police cars favoured by some constabularies, as they launch a drive to save £3.4 million each year by standardising procurement of patrol cars.

Expect a much narrower range of police cars in the coming years. Regular patrol vehicles for bobbies on the beat can only be bought from four manufacturers: Ford, Vauxhall, Peugeot or Hyundai.

Criminals must be pleased! Imagine being chased by a Hyundai i10…

Fear not. Motorway patrols and specialist teams requiring faster vehicles will be able to choose from high-powered Audis, BMWs or Volvos. Armoured limousines for escort duties can be sourced from Jaguar.

Mind you, in Italy they have a Lamborghini Gallardo police car…

A new national livery for police cars

A new national livery will also be rolled out; today many of the UK’s 54 different constabularies use their own reflective stripes and branding.

Currently, police forces spend around £83m each year buying some 5600 vehicles across Great Britain and the British Transport Police.

Under the new scheme the National Police Improvement Agency claims each force should save around £25,000 through the new streamlined procurement process. Standardising tyre purchases will save an additional £3.1m.

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By Tim Pollard

Editorial director of CAR's digital publishing arm. Motoring news magnet