Almost 10,000 vehicles without insurance have been seized by Devon and Cornwall Police since 2018 for not having insurance, new figures reveal.

The statistics come as a leading motoring body tells drivers "don't take the risk" by dodging car insurance before hitting the road.

Figures obtained by the AA drivers' association show 9,403 uninsured cars have been seized by Devon and Cornwall Police since the start of 2018 – including at least 1,258 so far this year.

Across the UK, more than half a million motors have been impounded for not having proper insurance over this timeframe.

In 2021, 1,852 vehicles were seized by police in Devon and Cornwall – equating to 1.5 seizures for every 1,000 licensed vehicles in the area as of the end of 2021.

Many forces now use automatic number plate recognition to check whether cars are road-legal, which can instantly tell officers whether cars have insurance and an up-to-date MOT.

Gus Park, managing director for AA Insurance Services, said: “Every driver is worried about being involved in a collision, but worse still is the other party being uninsured.

“Sadly, we know that when times are hard some people try to cut their costs, and one area people are tempted to chance it, is cutting out their motor insurance.

“However, these figures show that forces across the country are on the lookout and will take an uninsured car away.”

The figures cover every force across the four nations, with the exceptions of Kent and Cheshire, which did not provide data to the AA.

The largest force in the UK, the Met Police, confiscated the most vehicles over this period – 62,900 – while the West Midlands and West Yorkshire police forces followed with 44,056 and 33,829 respectively.

Despite successive lockdowns, 2020 saw the most cars seized in Devon and Cornwall and across the country – nearly 130,000 were taken off UK roads, including 2,333 in the area.

Mr Park said drivers should be wary of the penalties for not having insurance.

“Not only is there the chance of having your car seized, but the criminal and financial hardship is not worth the gamble,” he added.

Drivers caught without proper insurance can face a fine of £300 and six points on their license – with the potential for larger fines or even a driving ban if their case goes to court.