A tweet from Kent Police”s road unit joked about the drama, reading: “M20 jct 11-10. Thank you for everyone”s patience whilst the motorway had to be closed. LN #hotfuzz.”
Other drivers screeched to a halt and ran to check the policemen were all right as flames spouted from the blazing car on the M20 near Ashford, Kent.
A column of smoke billowed 50ft into the air and flames could be seen from half a mile away.
The BMW patrol car was burnt out but the two policemen escaped shaken but unhurt.
A three-mile queue tailing back towards Folkestone built up on the London-bound carriageway just after 4pm.
An hour later, Highways England said traffic was flowing in two lanes between Junction 11 for Hythe and Junction 10 for Ashford.
The third lane remained closed to allow recovery teams to remove the written-off patrol car.
A Kent Police spokesman said “The fire destroyed a police traffic vehicle.
“No other vehicles were involved and no injuries have been reported.”
It is thought an electrical fault sparked the blaze which gutted the BMW, worth about £30,000.