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fastmedic

Police Specification Focus

32 posts in this topic

Morning all,

Back in late December I bought a 56 plate 1.8 TDCI hatch for the other half.

It is my fifth ex plod motor, have had Volvo, BMW and Skoda. All have been a good buy and most of them are not that expensive. I just wanted to open discussion with regards to my personal experience of having bought a variety of ex police vehicles and crack myths and possible pitfalls.

Generally all decent manufacturers will have a specific production line that has nothing else but emergency vehicles for UK and European consumption, many of these will be Ford. Police print outs of services, both A & B services will be there. The V5 will be in the title of the Chief Constable of the relevant force.

Ford specifically have an outfit in Essex, Special Vehicle Preparation (SPV) that fits all essential looms, part wiring and vehicle hard points for comms and video equipment. All of this is visible in the real passenger area and boot in most cases. All SVP vehicles will have a white sticker on the drivers door with the lot number and type of vehicle specification thatr has been requested. A handy contact number for SVP is included as well for obtaining wiring diagrams that are not standard Ford fit.

My Focus was a Welsh CID vehicle, no signs of police radios or mangled dash here. All the extra cabling os neatly rolled up in the boot along with the mountings for the radio frame. Never used. Bigger battery and a slightly beefed up alternator is evident.

I will post some picture for the forum to digest this week of little bits I have discovered.

Hope this is of interest to the forum.

Fastmedic

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I see them on eBay a lot and often wonder if they are a good buy... you get a lot of car for the money!

I guess they may be high milers and some may have been driven hard, but I bet they are really well maintained with no expense spared :)

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Hmm, what size of alternator & battery? Just made me wondering if mine has previously been an "civil" police car. (in here you can spot a civil police from miles away, 99% of the time its focus, whit tinted back windows, and an extra antenna on the roof).

Tinted windows are common, but that extra antenna not, same goes for dash, you can see evidence of hole in there, for 3 - 4 different kind of bracked. Also, it has 160A alternator, and huge battery...

But, its nice to troll people whit a car that looks like a civil police vehicle. You drive on the motorway exacly at the speed limit, and no one dares to overtake you :D After a while, someone goes brave and slowly starts to pull next to you. When they reach the side, and notice that its not a cop car, and there's some youngster behind the wheel, you can lipread the cursing, and see them disapearing to the horizon, flat out... :D

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My work car has extra bits sticking out all over the place, wires and brackets for cameras and radios, siren and lights controls etc.

Tbh I keep knocking my knee on sticky out bits but nothing I can do about that.

Luckily for me, and very rare, they left the stereo in mine.

Usually that's the first thing to come out to allow fitting of a cleartone radio but mine is in the passenger footwell under the dash on a bracket.

All our cars are fitted for radios etc by a company called Sonic Communication.

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my cousin bought a 2.9ltr Granada/Scorpio which was an ex-cop car and it even had a dash screen but it didnt work. It had 180k on the clock but didnt miss a beat and it was blooming fast but very thirsty!

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ive heard that they upgrade the performance of the engines from standard, is that true?

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Well mine has definitely been remapped, i stood and watched them do it.

Also upgraded springs, but that's more to do with taking the extra weight of the dog crates in the back.

Upgraded brakes, upgraded electrical system for the radios/lights/cameras etc.

Carpets replaced with rubberised liners due to the fact that i spend most of my time ankle deep in mud and smelly stuff.

Rear seats removed and back modified for the crates, dual zone climate control for me and the dogs (I even get a temperature guage on my dash so I can be sure that they're kept comfy).

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I see them on eBay a lot and often wonder if they are a good buy... you get a lot of car for the money!

I guess they may be high milers and some may have been driven hard, but I bet they are really well maintained with no expense spared :)

The service history is roughly every 3500-5600 miles and has much detail, even for silly bits like replacement of windscreen wipers.

Mileage on the ones I personally have had ranged from 45k to 88k.

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ive heard that they upgrade the performance of the engines from standard, is that true?

Not true, at least for Volvo,BMW, Ford and Skoda. The engines have not been modified apart from electrical additions such as a larger battery and alternator. It is given to you with the service print out and vehicle booklet covering police spec vehicles.

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Hmm, what size of alternator & battery? Just made me wondering if mine has previously been an "civil" police car. (in here you can spot a civil police from miles away, 99% of the time its focus, whit tinted back windows, and an extra antenna on the roof).

Tinted windows are common, but that extra antenna not, same goes for dash, you can see evidence of hole in there, for 3 - 4 different kind of bracked. Also, it has 160A alternator, and huge battery...

But, its nice to troll people whit a car that looks like a civil police vehicle. You drive on the motorway exacly at the speed limit, and no one dares to overtake you :D After a while, someone goes brave and slowly starts to pull next to you. When they reach the side, and notice that its not a cop car, and there's some youngster behind the wheel, you can lipread the cursing, and see them disapearing to the horizon, flat out... :D

The alternator is a 130mA and the battery a Karden(P) Heavy Duty Use type 12A/0093/emerg/c

Needless to say it will cost a small fortune to replace when it dies!

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Well mine has definitely been remapped, i stood and watched them do it.

Also upgraded springs, but that's more to do with taking the extra weight of the dog crates in the back.

Upgraded brakes, upgraded electrical system for the radios/lights/cameras etc.

Carpets replaced with rubberised liners due to the fact that i spend most of my time ankle deep in mud and smelly stuff.

Rear seats removed and back modified for the crates, dual zone climate control for me and the dogs (I even get a temperature guage on my dash so I can be sure that they're kept comfy).

Stoney,

I have used the Subaru and it was totally remapped for pursuit emergency use, most of the work being done by Prodrive. A tad expensive and not for the faint hearted!

I had a Volvo S60 T5 from the South Yorks police and it ramped at 300 BHP with the speed of a greased weasel. Very handy for me as it was used for my work and came equipped with full LED and strobes. The front discs were heavily upgraded as were the suspension settings and the vehicle had a run lock as well. Needless to say was both comfortable to drive and sold on easily.....without any emergency kit that is!

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sounds like it would be easier to have an ex police car (upgraded) and do an overhaul on it, :lol: rather than modding a car yourself, maybe cheaper,

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sounds like it would be easier to have an ex police car (upgraded) and do an overhaul on it, :lol: rather than modding a car yourself, maybe cheaper,

I would imagine that is a good cost option and most of all a decent vehicle to use as a baseline for any other mods. I can't think of a better way personally. :)

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yeh if your handy with a spanner and an engine, you could rebuild the engine (knowing the use its had) to go alongside a gd base.. jobs a good'en

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As long as you don't mind grommets on the roof to block lightbar and aerial holes you can't go wrong.

My work wagon has excellent uprated brakes and goes like a rocket even with the extra weight in the back.

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Sounds like its the best way to go!

I dont tend to go for high mileage vehicles, only because I dont have the money to put at them when they go wrong but I would always go ex cop car if I had the dosh to throw at it!

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Sounds like its the best way to go!

I dont tend to go for high mileage vehicles, only because I dont have the money to put at them when they go wrong but I would always go ex cop car if I had the dosh to throw at it!

A lot of the ex plod cars are not high mileage. My Volvo was a spritely 44k on the clock and the BMW was 59k on decommissioning.

And little if any internal damage to the dash. the BMW's always have the CD player intact, as do the Skoda vehicles.

My Focus still had the CD in situ as it was CID.

They are a cheap option and worth a look in my humble opinion.

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only ones I ever saw where top end of 150k on the clock, I will be keepin an eye out for more me thinks!

So whats the average price compared to the rest of the used car market?

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Well,

The price I paid for the 56 (2007)Focus LX 1.8 TDCI was £3000. A six month warranty, six months road tax and a full service history. Serviced again just before decommissioning as well.

My BMW 2006 (56)530 TDI was an SE spec with full service history and comfort pack. £6999 and a bargain!

Average price is approx 30% below all othersa in my humble opinion. Most people are swayed due to the supposed bad reputation plod vehicles have. Admittedly, some are thrashed. Mainly the beat cars will need a bit of TLC, however are mechanically sound.

Hope this helps

Fastmedic

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Thats true, I suppose my main worry about buying one is when folks recognise it as a cop car (when in service) it makes you wonder how they would 'treat' your car when they dont recognise its 'out of service'...

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Thats true, I suppose my main worry about buying one is when folks recognise it as a cop car (when in service) it makes you wonder how they would 'treat' your car when they dont recognise its 'out of service'...

That is a fair one, I have never had a major issue. I feel personally that most people might not know what to look for specificially in an ex police vehicle. Subtle signs for the experienced eye.

However my work vehicle, Golf GTD has emergency equipment fitted to it and does make a statement to others. Us medics have a little of the glam now and again! :)

Fastmedic

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lol, very true!!

I could recognise a few of Medway's undercovers (specifically their Jag XF!) and I recon if someone was to buy that car once decomissioned, they could get a mixture of responses to those who dont know its no longer in service...

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Totally agree with that, our Division has recently updated some of their unmarked Fiestas and two of them are in use in the city.

They still have their secondary aerial fitted and the naer'do'wells in the area having sussed them out quite a while back still thin out when they see them coming.

Quite funn really as one is now owned by a little grey haired Lady. :P

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lol, thats a good laugh... as long as she doesnt press a button and realise a strobe or two was missed... that would be brill!

Actually I wonder... If you buy a used bobby mobile, and they left the strobes in and you found a button for them... Could you be done for using it if they left it there? :P

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Yes unless on private land.

Don't worry, they leave nothing fitted that shouldn't be there.

It's even policy to cover police logos and the light bars if the in house mechanics take the cars for test drives.

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