18 Sad Photos Of Police Cars That Were Left Behind

Junkyards all over the world are full of cars, trucks, and SUVs that have been neglected, abandoned, or demolished in accidents. Official service vehicles used by the police, fire fighters, sheriffs, and highway patrol are often maintained at a much higher level than daily drivers owned by commuters. After all, the authorities need to be able to depend on their vehicles to perform flawlessly when they need to quickly respond to an emergency, deploy to the scene of an accident, or of course, tail a criminal during a high-speed chase.

The life of an official vehicle certainly isn’t easy, and plenty end up in a state beyond the point of repair. And yet photographers searching for great subjects have often found police cars that appear to have simply been abandoned at some point, left to slowly succumb to the effects of neglect. Keep scrolling for 18 sad pics of police cars that were left behind.


This former pursuit car has long struggled at the hands of Mother Nature, and yet unlike the car directly next to it, it still wears a set of tires that hold air. This picture shows the effects that maintenance can have on a car’s exterior, as cars used in official capacities like police and fire departments are often kept cleaned, waxed, and sparkling.

With plenty of rust forming, this cop car is just about beyond saving—and yet, compared to its neighbor, the exterior paint has held up much better over the years, which should serve as inspiration for car owners who think that waxing their vehicles is a waste of time.


Exactly when many of these abandoned police cars began their struggle will always remain a mystery. But this Plymouth looks like it was simply parked out back next to barn—it’s not like it was hidden in a dark forest or anything, but clearly everyone forgot all about the car.

Still, despite the elements, this piece of split-window history features a bit of brightwork that still shines in the sunlight, although most of its surfaces are clearly covered in rust patches and dust that has accumulated over the years. Of course, as automobiles developed in the ensuing decades, keeping this car running would have been more and more a futile effort.


Part of the reason that police cars are eventually scrapped or sold at auction is due to the hard lives that they lead. Most drivers may have, at some point, noticed that cops don’t turn off their cars when they are on duty.

Leaving the car running not only allows for quicker response times, but also saves the engine (and starter motor) from having to be started and stopped all the time, which conserves fuel as well as reducing wear and tear.

From chasing criminals to daily patrols, police cars are on duty just as much as their drivers, and despite high build qualities, they can only last so long.


Seeing an abandoned police car that doesn’t even have a back row is a real blast from the past. After all, what did the officer do if they needed to arrest someone? Picturing a handcuffed criminal riding in the front passenger seat is almost too funny to be true.

Perhaps that’s why this cop car has been left to nature’s devices, having been stripped of most of its chrome, its glass, and its mechanical components. The fact that the steering wheel is left almost comes as a surprise, as the rest of the car has clearly been gone over with a fine-toothed comb.


Plenty of police cars end up abandoned for exactly the same reason that this car sits in a wooded field having been rendered useless by what looks to have been a serious collision. With the harsh work environment that service vehicles are forced to weather day in and day out, combined with the possibility that a car chase could develop at any given moment, it’s almost a surprise when police cars make it through their term and are able to be sold at auction in reasonably good shape.

But of course, the general public typically doesn’t get to see all the cop cars that end up like this one, torn and mangled almost beyond recognition.


This weather-beaten police car looks like it’s perfectly happy relaxing through the rest of its days in the quiet solitude of a country setting. And yet, it’s been left in a strange location, almost on a patio with outdoor furniture only a few feet away. Hopefully, the authorities weren’t called to break up a backyard barbecue.

Or maybe, they just arrived to find a party well underway and decided to join in, and then had a little too much fun until they got to the point where they themselves couldn’t even drive home in their cop car, much less remember where they’d left it the night before.


This Crown Victoria is well on its way to wearing a matte black finish, although not in the fashion that many drivers these days would hope to wrap their fancy sports cars. With the popularity of matte wrap jobs, and even gold or chrome wraps, there has also been a rarer segment of the population that wraps their cars in a color scheme to mimic the effects of long years spent in harsh weather.

But rather than waste a few thousand bucks to get that faux-rust look, this Crown Vic has simply been left outside for the weeds to grow around it while its black paint slowly fades to a dark brown.


In much the same way that police officers frequently find themselves in situations that no amount of training could have prepared them to safely handle, police cars are often thrown into hectic scenarios that they have no business trying to maneuver through.

This NYPD car is almost up to its front axle in sand, perhaps having been driven onto the beach in pursuit of a suspect.

More likely, the car was the victim of a massive weather event like Hurricane Sandy. Regardless, no one wants to see a police car stuck on the sand, unable to protect and serve like it should.


Most TV shows that center on police departments tend to cover inner city cops going through their rough-and-tumble lives but rural police have a tough job, as well. While city cops are typically counted against a ratio of the population, imagine the number of square miles that a police officer in rural Minneapolis might have to cover with little in the way of backup anywhere close by.

Of course, with that much room, getting help can take a much longer time, which adds to the danger for rural officers as well as their vehicles. In this case, the officer may have been forced to sacrifice his car to keep the peace in the best way possible.


To drivers who have become used to seeing police cars in the form of Ford Crown Victorias or Dodge Chargers, being pulled over by a cop driving a tiny hatchback would certainly come as a surprise. For people with a bit of a lawless streak, a tiny car like this one must seem incredibly easy to escape from, although there’s always the risk that backup is right around the corner.

Maybe this car was used for officers who are receiving some administrative punishment, forced to go out with the meter maids to give parking tickets before being allowed to resume their normal duties.


This country is lucky enough to have Dodge Chargers being increasingly utilized as police cruisers, but most of the world’s police, big Detroit muscle is a ways off. Of course, several countries in the Middle East have also turned to high-end supercars, like Lamborghinis, so that they can catch wealthy speed demons enjoying their otherwise unbeatable supercars and presumably make cops in more average countries jealous.

Comparing this compact car that’s been abandoned after receiving minor damage in the line of duty to a supercar is a bit ridiculous. After all, it doesn’t even have run-flat tires, fancy wheels, or an aero kit.


The fact that so much of the glass on the lights of this abandoned police car remain intact seems like something of a miracle. With rust on just about every surface, flat tires, and chrome pieces that look about to drop right off the body, somehow all those blue and red lenses have weathered the test of time.

Imagine being flagged down by a cop car today with an aggressive lighting kit like this, rather than the standard rooftop set. Especially at night, the entire area would be lit up in a kaleidoscope of flashes—perhaps so many lights were necessary in the era before electronic loudspeakers were fitted to every police cruiser.


With the rise of the SUV and crossover market, police officers the world over must be wondering why they still drive around in large sedans. After all, the sheer mass and power of some of the SUVs and pickup trucks on the roads today means that in a hot pursuit chase, the average citizen is likely to have a serious advantage over the authorities tasked with chasing them down.

Of course, the Dodge Charger is a pretty beastly sedan, but it’s almost surprising that more large SUVs like this abandoned one aren’t employed by police departments. Plus, they’d be able to fit more criminals in the back.


Most drivers think that snow and the salt used to melt it are the absolute worst thing for their cars’ longevity, but in reality heat is often the bane of a vehicle’s existence.

Just take a look at any car that’s lived its life in the desert, where the sun beats down and cracks plastic parts, ruins rubber trim, oxidizes paint remarkably quickly, and ruins tires in almost no time at all.

Compared to the chemicals that most regions use to melt snow, which can be rinsed off at a car wash any time the weather turns terrible, the sun that destroyed this abandoned cruiser is typically a car’s consistent adversary.


Not many BMWs from the era when this police cruiser roamed the roads are still driving today. Today, BMWs are more likely to see official use when they’re motorcycles, but even if a few make it onto the force here and there, it’s almost certain they won’t be painted in the drab olive color scheme that this car is slowly but surely losing.

Considering how well most police departments maintain their vehicles—from both a cosmetic and mechanical standpoint—it’s a surprise that this Bimmer got left behind. Even if its green paint scheme was a remnant from a less-than-ideal age, it surely could have been repainted in a more modern color for use in parades.


Many people think that Monster Truck rallies are mostly enjoyed in rural townships in the middle of the country, which is also where the public seems to think that citizens have a healthy respect for the boys in blue. However, as this picture demonstrates, there’s still plenty of outlaw culture at the heart of demolition, with neglected police cars highly likely to be smashed beyond recognition in the name of spectator sport.

Destroying currency is considered a criminal act, but apparently, celebrating the destruction of a car that once protected and served the people watching it be crushed isn’t beyond the pale.


The life of a State Trooper in Utah is definitely not easy. With so much of the state barely populated by humans, and long stretches of roadway that see little, if any, traffic on a daily basis, maintaining the constant vigilance necessary to remain safe for an entire day of driving must be a challenge.

Hopefully, the driver of this Charger was simply sacrificing his car during the course of duty, otherwise it almost looks like a semi truck may have sideswiped the rear end and caused such catastrophic damage. Dodge Chargers certainly aren’t fragile cars, so something big was definitely involved in this collision.


Chief Robert of the Shaw police department may have retired, but there’s also a good chance that his Crown Victoria is now in a junkyard because he saw a chief from another department running around in a brand new Dodge Charger.

Compared to the iconic yet dated Crown Vic, Chargers in police livery just ooze a feeling of power that is perfect for law enforcement on the road.

Many of the well-used Fords that made up service fleets end up being sold at auction once the Chargers roll in (and no one likes it when average citizens drive a former police vehicle) while plenty also end up in scrapyards, waiting for weather and time to slowly strip them of their former glory.

Sources: wikipedia.org, statefarm.com, and bringatrailer.com.