3,000 foreign-made vehicles bought for British police

The last British made police car on the road?

The last British made police car on the road?

£34 Million is to be handed to foreign vehicle manufacturers in a new police procurement deal. When Britain is the 4th largest automotive manufacturer in the world,  producing 1.6million cars and commercial vehicles every year, is this a new level of crazy?

The 3,000 new vehicles are being supplied to around half of the forces across the UK over the next 2 years and are confirmed the be the following models:

Peugeot 308 – made in Mulhouse and Sochaux, France
Vauxhall Astra 1.6 diesel – made in Ellesmere Port, UK
Peugeot 208 – made in Poissy and Mulhouse, France
Vauxhall Vivaro – made in Luton, UK
BMW 3 series – made in Munich, Germany
BMW 5 series – made in Dingolfing, Germany
BMW X5 – made in Spartanburg, USA
Ford Kuga 4X4 – made in Valencia, Spain

The only ones to be made in the UK are the Astra 1.6 diesel and the Vivaro van, both made by Vauxhall and worth only a small fraction of the total sums involved.

The 22 forces involved in the deal include the British Transport Police, Cleveland, Cumbria, Greater Manchester, Police Scotland, South Wales, Surrey, Sussex and West Yorkshire.

British made vehicles were the mainstay of policing in the UK right up until the mid 1960’s when Hampshire and Isle of Wight Constabulary controversially put an order for Volvo estate cars from Sweden. Today, you would be extremely lucky to spot a bobby on the beat in a British jam sandwich.

The issue here is quite clearly that the European Union procurement rules which force all public sector buying to go out to tender and then the cheapest deal must me chosen. This might be ok if the rest of Europe were also playing by the rules – go to Germany and find a police car that is not an Audi, a Mercedes, or a Volkswagen or to go to France and find a police car that is not a Peugeot, a Citreon or a Renault. It will never happen. Other countries can opt out from EU procurement rules to support their local manufacturers, Britain chooses not to.

The Met will be next

News has also just been release that the UK’s largest police force, the Metropolitan Police, are just about to run their own procurement process to replace thousands of police vehicles in and around London.  Will they buy British?

Challenge time!

Using the list above, can you suggest some British manufactured alternatives that could have been chosen over the foreign built vehicles? Please comment below!


  1. Its no wonder I am struggling to find UK component suppliers ! – keep up the pressure James Bradshaw

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  2. The Police should buy British and be proud of it. If not I would sack them.Have they heard of Jaguar and Land Rover? Who do they think pays their wages?

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  3. Similar situation to Pashley cycles designing and building cycles to Warwickshire Police spec. , only to have the order go to Secalized for some “American” cycles made in Taiwan. Then having to sell the cycles to the general public, they were exelent to I sold some. Surely Jaguar, LandRover etc. can supply Fast cars and 4wheel drives. Perhaps if our government supported British industry their would be more of it.

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  4. Unless we leave the EU Super State we will never have any control in this country over our trade deals.

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  5. Peter Davies says

    JLR have a wide range of vehicles at similar market prices to Audi & BMW.
    Reliability argument doesn’t wash as JLR figure high in the JD Power ratings.
    The bigger argument is that the UK follows EU rules whereas France Germany etc don’t.

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  6. It’s outrageous and the French and Germans must think we are insane to allow it.

    The BMW 3 series should be Jaguar XE’s the 5 series should be Jaguar XF’s and the X5 should Discoveries or Range Rovers all as good or better and no different pricewise. I would really like to meet the people who make these decisions!

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  7. loraine says

    I don’t know anything about cars, but i do know that unless we support our industries and our manufacturers, there will be no jobs left . I wonder if europe will keep us? Am tired of eu bureacracy that the rest of europe seem to ignore, when are we going to vote with our heads and our feet. It is time our leaders passed laws that would get round the eu bureacracy, so that our very diminished manufacturing companies can be supported.

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  8. That’s a real shame.
    But even over here, in France, Police is buying foreign made cars for years.
    Ford is supplying many Escorts and Mondeos to the various police forces. I think the US brand is #2 behind Peugeot. Nearly none cars are Renaults or Citroën.

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  9. Which car manufacture is British? Jaguar? Land Rover? Vauxhall? I am afraid ownership is long gone and design/manufacturing is almost gone…

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    • Richard says

      Too many British car buyers are simply unpatriotic. Why they seem to think imported cars are better defies logic. It simply isn’t true. My Rover 75 is now over 10 years old and has NEVER had a fault. It outperforms all competitors vehicles and is British made. The superb 2,5 K series engine (British made and developed) is more than a match for any challengers. Its fast, well made, roomy and drives like a dream. So why didn’t more British car buyers purchase them instead of buying imported vehicles? Its interesting… now people can’t buy the Rover product – they desire them!. “IT FEELS GOOD, TO DRIVE BRITISH!”

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  10. john edwards says

    it saddens me how this country has over the years lost a lott of our car works ship building etc,and i think the last straw was when we sold bentley and rolls royce to the germans.

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