Lamborghinis top list of supercars breaching London's noise laws

Almost 700 fines have been handed out for noise breaches in upmarket neighbourhoods of the city

Lamborghinis top the list for supercars whose owners were fined in London's noise crackdown. Getty Images
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Hundreds of Lamborghinis, Ferraris and Porsches are among supercars that have been fined for breaking London’s noise laws.

In London’s upmarket neighbourhoods of Knightsbridge, Mayfair and Kensington, supercars are a regular characteristic on the well-heeled streets.

But for some drivers, racing and revving their engines has landed them in trouble with the authorities.

Three years ago the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea Council installed noise cameras in hotspots after receiving hundreds of complaints from residents about the noise some were creating.

The National can reveal that 683 drivers have been fined under the scheme between 2021 and 2024 for exceeding the legal noise level resulting in almost £70,000 in fines.

Under the Freedom of Information Act, the council revealed that 110 Lamborghinis, 51 Ferraris, 39 Porsches,12 Aston Martins and three Bentleys were among the supercars which have been caught. There were also dozens of Audis, BMWs and Mercedes.

Those caught are fined £100 ($126) and repeat offenders can face having their cars seized.

Royal Kensington and Chelsea Council told The National it feels the scheme is working, as they do not see many repeat offenders.

They said fines are also issued for anti-social driving which includes racing, revving engines and performing stunts.

“All the footage is reviewed by a human being so fines aren’t automated based on noise alone,” they said.

“It’s not just about noise but about anti-social driving. If you’re driving your high performance vehicle or classic car safely and respectfully, and it happens to be loud, you’d be very unlikely to be fined for that.”

Supercar watching

Supercars are a popular feature of the London scene with car lovers searching the streets to find them.

Kyan Foster spends his weekends hunting for the cars to put them on his Instagram page carsbykyan, which has more than 10,000 followers.

This week alone he has posted images of a Ferrari 458 Italia in Belgravia, a Lamborghini Revuelto in Piccadilly and a McLaren Elva in Mayfair.

He said the best spot is outside The Berkeley Hotel in Knightsbridge and Mayfair.

“It’s always non-stop,” he told MyLondon news website..

“People just drive for no reason. Some of the guys from countries in the Middle East love to come here, where it’s not as hot. They drive their cars and leave them on random roads. You never know what you will see.”

Roaring to Harrods

Councillor Johnny Thalassites said the cars “look good” and said the council is not looking to punish “considerate drivers”.

Caryl Harris, Chair of South Kensington and Queen’s Gate Residents' Association, lives off Old Brompton Road, near Harrods, and says residents have been plagued for years by noisy cars.

“I live in a very lovely residential street and we have been plagued with fast flashy cars, mainly on Friday nights and very early Saturday and Sunday mornings,” she told The National.

“The cameras, especially as they can be relocated, are really helpful and things have improved but it is summer when they are at their peak and this is not here yet.”

She said some motorists do racing circuits of the area and would “roar away on their lap up to Harrods” and do a timed circuit around Sloane Street or Knightsbridge.

Her residents’ association and others have asked for more acoustic cameras to be installed and some are calling for fines to be increased.

“Fines should be hiked for breaching the peace – owners are well able to pay,” Lindsay Douglas, from the Philbeach area, said.

John Cookson, chair of the Old Court House Residents' Association, says the cameras have made a difference.

“Our mansion block faces Kensington High Street. There has been significant cut back in the amount of cars tearing up the High Street in the early hours,” he told The National.

“We get the occasional roar – so they haven't gone away completely. But the fines are obviously working.”

Across the city in Westminster, the cameras have also made a difference.

“It is not as big an issue in Westminster as it once was as the police and council have dealt with it,” Nickie Aiken, Member of Parliament for the Cities of London and Westminster, told The National.

Simon Williams, head of policy with automotive services company the RAC, is calling on the technology to be rolled out.

“It’s extremely positive to see progress made on the installation of noise cameras, after six in 10 drivers (58%) told us they would be in favour of these measures,” he told The National.

“Excessive noise pollution is not only extremely frustrating, it could also have a really serious impact on residents’ health and lives, and until this point there’s been very little anyone can do about it. We’re keen to see if this new technology goes some way towards resolving the issue and hope it can be rolled out quickly and efficiently.”

Supercars in London - in pictures

Updated: May 20, 2024, 10:54 AM