Northumbria Police is undertaking a comparative trial of the Vauxhall Astra as a beat car following delivery of 56 Astras supplied to full police specification.
The car is one of two models currently listed within the Police National Framework for the beat car role.
They are the first Vauxhall products to join Northumbria’s 1,100 vehicle fleet in significant numbers for several years.
It takes GM six weeks to convert the Astras to full police specification using the GM UK Special Vehicles facility at Millbrook in Bedfordshire.
Keith Wilson, fleet manager for Northumbria Police, said: “A major benefit of a turnkey arrangement like this is that with these Astras everything is properly designed and fitted into the vehicle.
"There are no bolted on bits, nothing to obstruct the dash, and all the controls and switches are sensibly placed for ease of access or sight.
"Nothing sticks out, gets in the way or looks out of place.
The cars will be run on a four-year, 100,000 mile programme.