UK Crash-For-Cash Hotspots Revealed

United Kingdom crash-for-cash trouble spots, how criminals stage collisions plus how to cut the risk of falling foul

Postcodes most targeted by crash-for-cash crooks

Callous, reckless, car crooks that stage collisions then profit from fraudulent, crash-for-cash, insurance claims mostly target victims in The Midlands and Northern England, The Insurance Fraud Bureau revealed. Drivers in Birmingham – followed by those in Bradford, Manchester and Oldham – are therefore the most likely to be struck. The table below confirms the most problematic postcodes. 

9Oldham OL8

How crash-for-cash works

Crash-for-cash is a straightforward scam. The criminal’s purpose is to cause a collision that is blamed on the victim. The innocent party’s insurance company then compensates the criminal for any perceived losses. Damage to the rear of the vehicle and personal injury, for example. Techniques that cause such an incident include:

  • criminal approaches a roundabout
  • criminal brakes very hard at a time and/or location the following victim cannot reasonably anticipate
  • victim’s vehicle hits the criminal’s vehicle
  • criminal denies braking inappropriately
  • insurance company concludes the victim (say) braked too late so is responsible for the collision
  • criminal receives a payout


  • criminal sees a victim waiting to emerge from a t-junction
  • criminal flashes the headlamps to indicate that the victim will be permitted to emerge safely
  • victim moves forwards
  • criminal accelerates so the vehicles collide
  • insurance company concludes the victim moved inappropriately into the path of the criminal so is responsible for the crash
  • criminal receives a payout

Cost of crash-for-cash fraud

Crash-for-cash costs the insurance industry £336 million per-annum in The United Kingdom, it is estimated. A single claim can be worth tens of thousands of pounds. However, the physiological cost, inconvenience and upset experienced by the victims is incalculable. 

How to avoid crash-for-cash scams

Simple precautions cut the risk of falling foul to selfish, dangerous, crooks. Simply look far into the distance, anticipate hazards, and ensure there is a big gap to the next car. There is then more time to respond to braking. Furthermore, crooks are unlikely to pounce if there is a big gap. Why bother? You can stop.

Beware false signals, too. A friendly wave at a congested t-junction – to right thinking motorists, at least – is likely an invitation to move first. However, crash-for-cash crooks are setting traps. It seems there is no thought for the safety of victims. Cut the risk by being wary of any signals and invitations.

This is where a car cam with front and rear recording can come in handy. Too many rogues out on the roads now and insurance is not cheap - particularly if you make a claim.

maybe all new cars should be fitted with dash cams, insurance companies could make it a condition of cover to have dash cams

Excellent idea, maybe if not installing cameras, at least install the wiring "sockets". Many cars come with cameras already, although only intended for parking.