The Metropolitan Police, London’s police service, has been confirmed as the latest UK police force to sign up to HPI Crushwatch following three months of successful work with the programme, run in conjunction with the Finance & Leasing Association’s Vehicle Recovery Scheme and the ACPO Vehicle Crime Intelligence Service, to identify and return those untaxed and uninsured vehicles which belong to finance companies.

From August to November, the Met Police, the 44th of the 52 UK police forces to join the scheme, enabled HPI to alert lenders to more than £10.5m worth of "at risk" vehicles and has increased the number of vehicles returned to finance companies by more than 50%.

August set a new record for the number of enquiries – 5,599 – to the scheme and led to the recovery of more than £3m-worth of vehicles in a single month for the first time since October 2011, and the second-highest total recorded by the scheme behind £3.31m in July 2010. Records were broken again in September and October, when 7,268 enquiries led to the recovery of £5.63m-worth of vehicles.

Daniel Burgess, managing director of HPI, said: "The Metropolitan Police Services covers an area of 620 square miles and a population of 7.2m. In London alone, an estimated 10% of drivers are uninsured, making this a very real issue for the Met Police and a threat to road users and the finance providers who own the offending cars.

"The sheer size of the Metropolitan Police makes this a significant partnership," added Burgess. "HPI Crushwatch is playing a key role in the Met’s ongoing clampdown on uninsured and untaxed vehicles, helping to improve the safety of Britain’s roads and putting finance houses back in control of their assets."