A man has been arrested on suspicion of dangerous driving after police said they clocked a car travelling at 100mph (161 km/h) in the wrong direction on a dual carriageway.
Essex Police said the Toyota was spotted on the A13 in Basildon with cloned plates at about 01:40 GMT.
Officers said the car failed to stop during a pursuit and the driver pulled over and fled at a service station.
He was "located hiding nearby" with the help of a police helicopter.
The man, 20, from Hockley, was in custody also being questioned on suspicion of failing to stop.