YOU will have no problem spotting a marked police car, but what about the ones that look like the cars you and I drive to work?
At first glance, they look like any other car, but we have some tips on spotting them in traffic.
Britain’s streets are patrolled by undercover cops – and they no longer have an extra antenna or two to make them highly visible.
However, there are some telltale signs that an unmarked police car is on your tail, and here’s a rundown of what to look out for.
Unmarked police cars are often from a major manufacturer, less than three years old and in immaculate condition – and clean. You can exclude rare, dirty and older models.
Flashy colors or modified cars are rarely used by the undercover police.
Normal black, blue or silver sedans, station wagons or SUVs without additional body parts are usually selected.
Expect to see two people in the car – a driver and a passenger – with a dashboard full of kits.
The car may also be low-slung in the back because of the gear that police officers are required to wear on board.
If a car is close enough behind, check out the front grille as well, as you might find little LEDs tucked behind it so it can flash the “blues-and-twos” when it needs to go somewhere.
Any car with a personalized license plate can be excluded – squad cars will have “regular license plates”.
In some areas, police cars – unmarked and marked – all have the same code on the front because they were bought from the same place.
MX can be for Manchester, GX for Surrey and SF for Glasgow – although just because it doesn’t have the code doesn’t mean it’s not a police car.
The last way to check is to look at how the car drives.
It will likely stall about a mile behind a car following it, maintain a steady speed, and not drive erratically.
An IAM RoadSmart spokesman said while these cars are interesting to see, the best way to avoid a fine is to drive safely at all times.
He said: “Yes, quite often we are tempted to look out for a police car and identify it.
“But any law-abiding driver just has to obey the traffic rules, all of which they know from their time as a student, and they don’t have to worry.”
Yes, you must always stop in front of an unmarked police car when indicating that you should stop.
They look like any other normal car on the road, but can stop you if you break the law.
The best way to avoid being stopped is to obey the traffic rules.
Yes, unmarked cars are usually fitted with lights and sirens so if they want you to stop they’ll let you know, don’t worry.