Only seven police forces managed to cut car thefts in 2018

  • Car thefts in City of London fall by a fifth (21%) in 2018 vs 2017
  • Five police forces in England and Wales have seen car thefts more than double in five years

Staffordshire Police recorded the largest increase in car thefts of any police force in England and Wales last year, with crimes up by more than a third (38%) on 2017 figures, according to analysis of GOV.UK data by Motorway.

The latest government data on recorded police crimes*, reveals that, alongside Staffordshire, four other police forces – Bedfordshire (27%), Thames Valley (27%), Surrey (22%) and Durham (20%) – saw car thefts rise by more than a fifth last year vs 2017.

Only seven police forces in England and Wales recorded fewer car thefts in 2018 than the previous year, with the City of London (-22%), British Transport Police (-12%) and Wiltshire (-11%) all reporting double-digit cuts in thefts.

Five police forces – British Transport Police (217%), Surrey (138%), Nottinghamshire (122%), Staffordshire (115%) and the West Midlands (114%) – have seen motor vehicle thefts more than double in the past five years.

Four in ten car thefts in England and Wales during 2018 were reported by the Metropolitan Police (30,752) and West Midlands Police (11,140).

The following table shows police forces recording largest rise and fall in car thefts in 2018.

Police ForceNumber of car thefts in 2017Number of car thefts in 2018% rise in car thefts  2018 vs 2017
Thames Valley2,5743,26526.8
West Midlands9,38611,14018.7
London,  City of7861-21.8
British Transport Police464409-11.9
Avon and Somerset2,476 2,352-5.0

Alex Buttle, director of Motorway comments:

“These troubling car crime figures suggest that over-stretched and under-resourced police forces are struggling to curb the rising number of car crimes, and in particular keyless car thefts.

“Advancements in anti-theft systems do not seem to be discouraging thieves, who are using a variety of ever-more sophisticated techniques to break into and start cars.

“The 21st century thief isn’t using a hammer to smash a window and hotwire a car. They’re armed with wireless transmitters, signal jammers and key programming devices, and can open car doors and start engines in seconds.

“The police can only do so much, and there is a responsibility on drivers, particularly those with highly desirable prestige motors, to check they are not being watched, to keep their car keys in a safe place away from windows and front doors, and to consider fitting a tracking device as an added level of protection.”

typing on keyboard
Smashing a window is passé. Modern car thieves use signal jammers and electronic devices to steal cars.

Notes to Editors

Methodology analysed the latest Police recorded crime data on, updated on 25th April 2019, for 43 out of 44 police forces in England and Wales. Lancashire wasn’t included in the research due to the lack of a complete data set.

N.B. Aggravated car thefts weren’t included in the research.

Used diesel car values drop 6% as ‘Toxin Tax’ and scrappage schemes bite

  • Average value of diesel variants of most popular car models falls by 5.7% in Q3 vs. Q1 2017, while equivalent petrol models increased by 5% comparing same period
  • Diesel variants of some popular cars fell in value by up to 26%
  • Car scrappage scheme announcements and impending toxin taxes to blame for dive in diesel values

London, 11th September 2017 — Data from car buying comparison website has shown a sharp decline in the value of popular diesel cars, with average values down 5.7% in Q3 2017 compared to Q1 2017. Valuations for some of the UK’s most popular diesel models are down by as much as 26%.

Continue reading “Used diesel car values drop 6% as ‘Toxin Tax’ and scrappage schemes bite”

360,000 UK drivers have had their licences taken away for medical reasons

  • In 2019 so far, more than 42,000 people have had their driving licences medically revoked
  • Over 7,000 drivers had their licences revoked because of seizures or blackouts
  • Alcohol (5,450) is the most common reason for a licence to be medically revoked
  • Almost 1,000 domestic vehicle drivers have had licences revoked for sleep conditions, including narcolepsy
  • In the past 18 months, almost 1,000 bus or lorry drivers had their licences revoked due to blackouts or a sleep-related condition

More than 360,000 UK drivers (363,280) have had their driving licences revoked for medical reasons in the past five years, according to DVLA data analysed by Motorway.

Numbers peaked in 2018, with 73,724 driving licences medically revoked. Over 300,000 motorcycle and car drivers (307,414) have had their licences revoked on medical grounds since the start of 2014, while 55,866 lorry or bus drivers have had licences cancelled.

So far this year, more than 40,000 UK drivers (42,467) have had their driving licences revoked on medical grounds.

driving licences revoked on medical grounds after car accident
Accidents involving drivers with medical conditions has risen in recent years leading to a high number of DVLA revocations

A Freedom of Information (FOI) request made to the DVLA (Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency) in August 2019 by, reveals that 36,310 car or motorcycle licences (Group 1) and 6,157 lorry or bus licences (Group 2) have been medically revoked in 2019 to date.

Of these, almost two-thirds (65%) of drivers were 50 years old or over. More than 800 teenage drivers (829) have had their licences medically revoked.

Alcohol (5,450) is the most common reason for the DVLA to medically revoke a driving licence. More than 7,000 drivers (7,159) have had their driving licences cancelled this year for seizures or blackouts.

Just under 3,000 motorcycle or car drivers (2,865) have had their licences revoked in the past 18 months for sleep related conditions, including narcolepsy.

And worryingly, DVLA figures on larger vehicles reveal that almost 1,000 bus or lorry drivers (920) have had their licences revoked over the past 18 months because of blackouts or a sleep condition.

If a driver has their licence revoked on medical grounds, they can reapply for their licence once their doctor says they meet the medical standards for driving.

The rules are different if a driver voluntarily surrenders their licence. Under these circumstances, you can drive while your licence is being renewed if; you have the support of your doctor, a valid licence, you only drive under the conditions of the previous licence, you’re not disqualified, your last licence wasn’t revoked and your application is less than 12 months old.

The following table shows the most common reasons why the DVLA revoked a driving licence on medical grounds (2019):

Medical condition Number of licences revoked % of all medical licence revocations
Alcohol 5,450 15.0%
Seizures 5,417 14.9%
Eyesight 4,534 12.5%
Memory problems 4,175 11.5%
Mental health 3,268 9.0%
Neurological 3,041 8.4%
Cardiac 2,228 6.1%
Drugs 1,770 4.9%
Blackouts 1,742 4.8%
Diabetes 1,176 3.2%

The following table shows the number of driving licences medically revoked in the past five years (2014 to 2019 to date):

Year Number of licences medically revoked (Group 1 & 2)
2014 48,941
2015 55,753
2016 72,019
2017 70,376
2018 73,724
2019  (to date) 42,467

Alex Buttle, director of Motorway comments:

“These figures make for quite frightening reading, but they could be just the tip of the iceberg. How many people are driving with a medical condition and haven’t informed the authorities?

You can be fined up to £1,000 if you don’t tell the DVLA about a medical condition that affects your driving, but is that really a strong enough deterrent?

“With so many of us reliant on our cars for work and pleasure, there will be drivers on the road who think it’s worth the risk to keep quiet because handing in their driving licence could mean losing their mobility, their job and not seeing their family and friends.”

New Motorway radio ad

This week we were proud to launch our first radio ad for commercial UK radio.

Like our TV ad, it features a cheeky sat nav with a mind of its own which once again helpfully suggests Motorway as the fast and easy way to sell your car.

The advert explains how you could get up to £1,000 more by using Motorway to compare offers.

You can hear it airing on commercial radio stations including Absolute Radio and talkSPORT throughout 2019.

Absolute radio logo
Listen to the Motorway radio ad on stations including Absolute Radio and talkSPORT

We are really proud of the finished recording and would like to thank Space City who produced it working with MNC, as well as voiceover artists Elizabeth Saary and Paul Seed.

Listen to the new Motorway radio ad below:

Motorway generates £1m in used car sales a day as pandemic drives automotive transactions online

Motorway, the UK’s fastest-growing online marketplace for used cars, today reveals record growth in transactions on its platform as buyers and sellers embrace the opportunity to buy and sell cars entirely online. 

Having paused trading during the lockdown, Motorway restarted its service for private car sellers and dealers nationwide on May 11th, along with free, no-contact transport for every transaction. It has since seen 100% week-on-week growth in transactions, achieving £4.9m in sales last week, and a record £1.39m completed on June 10th. Over 250 new dealerships have started buying cars in its daily auctions since lockdown restrictions were eased, joining over 1,000 already using the platform. This recent performance surpasses figures from before the lockdown, supporting reports that the market is surging back to life.

To respond to huge market demand, the three-year-old start-up is now expanding its 70-strong team to reach 100 by the end of the year, as it leads a drive for efficiency and online transactions in the used car market.

Motorway connects car sellers with dealerships looking to buy stock via a purely online platform, helping both parties get the best deal by removing middlemen and automating the sale process. It charges dealers a fee for each successful sale, and is free for consumers to sell their car, with each vehicle collected from their home in a contact-free transaction.

Key stats from Motorway include:

  • Over 60,000 customer sale enquiries since the start of May
  • £4.9m in weekly sales and a record £1.39m on a single day
  • 480% increase in revenue over the past four weeks
  • Sustained improvement in car sale valuations achieved in its auctions. On average, Motorway’s sellers are receiving £480 more for their cars in June than in May.
  • The company is now looking to expand its 70-strong team to 100 in the next three months to help fulfil market demand for its service.

Huge demand from consumers looking to sell their cars, along with safety concerns around visiting physical dealerships, is shifting behaviour to all-online solutions, which Motorway is leading. Motorway’s model – connecting private sellers directly with dealers – results in much faster transactions for everyone. 

Tom Leathes, Motorway CEO
Tom Leathes, Motorway’s CEO, comments on surging growth in used car sales

Tom Leathes, CEO of Motorway, says:

“We have been growing rapidly for the past twelve months as the automotive market continues its shift online. The coronavirus pandemic has accelerated that trend, and we’re now seeing unprecedented demand for our service, from car sellers and dealers alike.

“Unlike many other industries, the used car market is now looking stronger than it has been for months.  Consumers wanting a quick sale for the best price, and dealers looking to replenish their stock, are now embracing the efficiency of doing everything online with Motorway. 

“The car industry has been behind others in embracing technology, but that is changing – and there will be no return to how things were. Motorway is delighted to be at the forefront of a fundamental movement towards a better experience for the long term. We look forward to continuing to drive technology to help the used car industry get back on the road.”

“With ballooning sales and a surge in new dealers signing up, Motorway’s experience suggests strong growth ahead in the used car market. Motorway expects this trend to continue through 2020 as both car sellers and dealers adapt to the post-Covid market with a much greater focus on efficiency, speed and transparency.”

Data reveals prestige car brands are pandemic proof

Prestige used cars have proven to be ‘pandemic-proof’, with average prices of some of the most popular luxury brands – such as Land Rover, Lexus and Maserati – more than 8% higher than 12 months ago, according to research by Motorway.

Motorway looked at thousands of valuations on its platform, which revealed that the average price of a used Maserati in June 2020 was £34,170, compared to £31,052 in the corresponding month in 2019, an increase of £3,118 or 10%.

While in the same month, the average price of a second-hand Land Rover at £30,834, was up more than £2,000 or 8.5% compared to 12 months ago (£28,420). And the average value of a Lexus was £22,446 compared to £20,627 the previous year, an 8.8% uplift.

Lexus red car
Lexus has proved a ‘pandemic proof’ brand since lockdown restrictions were eased

Across mid and lower-end brands, Smart and Citreon have seen used car prices increase more than 6% in 2020 vs 2019. Toyota second-hand prices have fallen 2.9% though.

Table: 20 major car brands and how average used car prices compare in 2020 vs 2019.

Car BrandAverage price – 2019Average price – 2020Difference (£)Increase/ (decrease) in price (%)
Land Rover£28,420£30,834£2,4148.5%

Alex Buttle, director of Motorway comments: 

“The prestige end of the used car market has shown remarkable resilience during lockdown and since restrictions were eased, any expected drop off in values just hasn’t materialised. This has led to higher-than-expected offers for sellers with quality used vehicles on our website. 

“Demand from dealers has been high for top-end brands with car owners attracted to the second-hand market where two to three-year old cars can be picked up at affordable prices. 

“For example, Land Rover drivers looking to upgrade their cars, can find three-year-old, fifth generation Discoveries, for just over £30k as opposed to paying upwards of £60k new.

“We’re also seeing more luxury car owners who would normally buy new, turning to the used car market. People still want a nice car, but with the short to medium term economic outlook remaining uncertain, many owners are understandably reluctant to commit to buying expensive new cars on finance at the moment.

“There is a real appetite for quality used cars, and this is born out in our data. This increased demand is squeezing supply levels, particularly on the budget and premium end, but also at the mid-range too. It’s all combining to create upward pressure on prices across the board. This trend has continued into July and August, and will likely remain into the rest of the year as people return to work after the summer holidays.”

The new Motorway

Today we’re excited to announce a brand new look for Motorway.

Our new brand includes a fresh, bold redesign of our website and a brand new logo, colour palette and typographic design.

motorway logo

Motorway has grown significantly since launching in 2017, and we now help thousands of customers compare offers for their car every day. For hundreds of professional car buyers we are now a major source of exclusive vehicle stock.

Our new brand reflects this growth and leadership in car selling with a confident and forward-thinking look.

The new design was developed in collaboration with Koto and is inspired by the iconic and enduring UK road signage system designed by Jock Kinneir and Margaret Calvert, first introduced in 1958 as the signage for the UK’s first motorway.

watford motorway sign

road signs

turning road signs

This signage system was groundbreaking in completely rejecting and replacing all road signs that came before, bringing with it a clarity and simplicity that had never been seen before by British motorists. It’s this futuristic, pioneering spirit that we hope to embody at Motorway as we seek to revolutionise the way we buy and sell cars.

Motorway posters

Motorway typography guidelines

In creating the Motorway identity, Koto took the Transport font used on road signs and elements such as the chevron, combining them with a modern, digital colour palette, photography and illustration.

Motorway underground poster

Our in-house design team then developed these concepts and guidelines into a design system and component library that is now used across all of Motorway’s products.

Motorway website on laptop

Motorway Pro website for dealers

We’re really proud of our new look, and would like to thank James, Tim, Tom, Courtney, Craig and the whole team at Koto that worked on this project with us.

Land Rover defies lockdown blues with used car price surge

The Motorway Used Carometer reveals the average price of used cars valued on its platform each month. It is based on market valuations of premium used cars on Motorway over £10k, less than five-years-old, with under 50,000 miles on the clock.  Now more than ever, consumers need a reliable source of truth to gauge how much money they’ll need to spend to get a quality used car. 

The UK government may be banning new sales of diesel and petrol cars from 2030, but the used market for diesel is definitely on the up.  After several years of plummeting diesel car prices, Motorway’s data also reveals that the average price of a used diesel car has been steadily rising month-on-month. The average price for diesel used cars were +3% higher in September than August and October prices were +1% higher than September.  

This rise, coupled with a +10% increase in the number of car valuations for Land Rover in October demonstrates increased demand for these premium SUVs in the used car market.  In fact, Jaguar Land Rover’s fightback continued with used Jaguar cars rising +4%, almost £1,000, on September prices and climbing +8%,  £1,862 higher than 12 months ago.  

land rover car
Used Land Rover sales have been surprisingly robust throughout 2020

Tom Leathes, CEO of Motorway comments: 

“With the ongoing pandemic, and restrictions set to continue through the winter, people are turning to the car market to avoid public transport and travel safely.  However, with the uncertain economic outlook, many consumers are reluctant to buy new. Instead, they are choosing to buy used cars and we have seen a significant increase in demand across more-expensive brands like Jaguar, Land Rover, Mercedes and BMW, which is keeping used car prices strong across the premium vehicle sector.  

“Our data also clearly shows consumers are not turning their back on fossil fuels just yet. While new car sales continue to drop, consumers are quickly realising they can get a great deal on a top of the range Land Rover that’s only a few years old, instead of dropping £60k on a new one, or on a new electric car.

“As a result, Jaguar Land Rover is now enjoying a renaissance in used vehicle demand that it may not have seen if not for the pandemic. We think the government’s changing legislation on fuel is unlikely to impact consumer appetite for premium used cars at a good price over the next twelve months.”  

High risers

Overall, the most popular cars on Motorway among dealers in October were the likes of Mercedes, BMW and Audi, with average prices holding at around £20K and all three brands performing well against October 2019 prices. 

The highest rising car brand was Mazda in October, with average prices up +7% on September, at £14,994 vs. £14,018 and +11% on the year before, rising by £1,447. This was followed by Jeep and then Honda which each had respective uplifts of +6% and +5%, compared to September. Porsche bounced back from last month’s drop and has now returned to its previous summer prices, jumping +4%, an increase of £1,444. 

EV price wars

It’s not just diesel that is on the rise. October was another strong month for used electric vehicles, proving there is appetite for both when it comes to used cars – average prices of EVs were £31,663, an uplift of 11% or £3,231. The most popular EV was unsurprisingly the Tesla Model 3, at £33,611, up almost +3% on September prices and +7% on the previous year.  

Jaguar Land Rover also performed well in the EV category, with the average price of a second-hand Jaguar I-PACE up +1% on the previous month to £54,280, while the Nissan Leaf held strong with a +0.5% uplift and an average price of £19,316.

Mid-level & value cars

Across mid-level and value brands, Ford and Peugeot saw a minor dip in average prices in October of around -1% while Vauxhall and Skoda second-hand prices both fell by 4%.  Although the average price of a used Mini dipped by £122 in October, overall this brand is still a consumer favourite, up +7% or £1,000 on the same time last year.

The Motorway Used Caromoter helps inform consumers what they can currently expect to get for their car or pay for a used one.  Instead of fairytale guide prices that are unlikely to come true, The Motorway Used Carometer uses real, aggregated data from multiple sources to provide a true picture of average prices in the last month, and year, to identify trends for the months ahead*. 

Car BrandAverage price: Oct 2020September: Price increase/ decrease (%)Difference (£)October 2019: Price increase/ decrease (%)Difference (£)
LAND ROVER£29,4261.87%£5403.61%£1,025
25 major car brands in the Motorway Used Carometer and how average used car prices compare in October 2020 vs. September 2020 and October 2019.

When it comes to getting the right price for a used car, consumers shouldn’t be in a position where they have to accept low or cheeky offers. Motorway helps drivers secure the best deal for their car from a used car marketplace of 1,500+ trusted dealers nationwide. Car owners can sell fast, as well as safely, with minimum hassle, for the best price.  Rather than losing money through a middle-man, Motorway connects private sellers directly with dealers across the country – ensuring they get the best price and a trustworthy service, all in as little as 24 hours.