The driver of a stolen vehicle rammed a police car and backed into another during a brief chase on Thursday night.

Police are still looking for the driver, who left the stolen car damaged and steaming on Bastia Hill, Whanganui just after midnight.

Whanganui Fire station officer Jes Sorensen said firefighters were called out to a car fire at 12.23am.

"The front had been pushed in onto the motor," he said.

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"The engine was running and it was steaming from the engine."

One of the firefighters had to pull the ignition cords out from the coils to turn the car off, Mr Sorensen said.

A police spokesperson said the same car had earlier in the evening been involved in a "brief fleeing driver incident after the driver failed to stop for police on request".

"During the incident the fleeing driver has driven their vehicle into a police car and backed it into another. No police staff were injured in the incident.

"Inquiries are continuing to locate the driver."