Phantom Bidding - The Cost of Not Having Insurance

Usually, phantom bids are just what an auction does not need. However, a 'Phantom bid' (indeed bids) is exactly what the auctioneers at SMA Leeds will be seeking in a forthcoming auction. The subject of those bids will be a Rolls Royce Phantom with a guide price of £128,200.The car is being presented for sale having being seized as an uninsured vehicle by the Police Vehicle Recovery Scheme (VRS).

The Rolls Royce Phantom EWB has been described by What Car as 'massively luxurious, spacious and rapid, the Phantom EWB is the ultimate luxury car'. However, all the luxury features are of no value on UK roads without insurance. The seizing of the Rolls Royce demonstrates the determination of the police to ensure there is no place for uninsured drivers on UK roads, no matter how prestigious the vehicle might be.

SMA has been working with police forces across the UK for over 18 months providing full support on a range of seized vehicles. This is one of the most unusual to date and is unlikely to experience the fate of many - the business' 'end of life' environmental programme and be recycled.

"When we were contacted by the VRS our normal collection and delivery process quickly ensured the vehicle was safely moved to a secure location, but that is the only normal thing about this particular situation! Even for our team, with its extensive experience this is an unusual item.

"We are very proud of our role in supporting the police. Naturally, we aim to achieve the very best price for the car, but above all, we want to maximise publicity for the consequences of failing to have a vehicle properly insured". Noted SMA National Operations Director Eddie Thomson, adding;

"The police's programme for identifying uninsured vehicles is extremely fast and effective. Every day, they are actively seizing vehicles from uninsured drivers to protect the wider driving public. Once due process has been observed we will support the police by ensuring seized vehicles are sold or destroyed quickly and effectively".


With a little over 48,000 miles on the clock and a full service history up to 35,000 miles, the Phantom will grace the rostrum on Tuesday the 21st of May at SMA's Leeds Auction Centre, where bidders can participate either in person or online - details of the car and online bidding are available at

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NAMA grading has been developed to provide a long awaited industry standard grading scheme to be used across all auctions within the UK.

We have now introduced NAMA grading across our sites, and over the coming weeks you will notice more vehicles being offered for sale displaying a NAMA grade. These grades are easy to identify as they are 1,2,3,4,5 and U in place of the SMA grades A,B,C,D and E.

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