Car Theft in the UK: Trends and Prevention

With the high profile coverage of Land Rover theft in the UK making the news, it is important not to lose sight of the fact that they are not the only vehicles being stolen.

In recent years, car theft has been a concerning issue across the United Kingdom. This problem not only inflicts financial losses but also leaves victims feeling violated and vulnerable. Understanding the dynamics of car theft, including its trends, and preventative measures, is crucial for both individuals and authorities alike

Trends in Car Theft

According to the DVLA there were 64,000 vehicles stolen in 2023, which represents a 5% rise on the previous, with a theft occurring approximately every eight minutes in 2023. It is evident that certain makes and models are more prone to theft due to their desirability and resale value.

1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.
Ford Fiesta
Ford Focus
Volkswagen Golf
Mercedes C-Class
Range Rover Sport
Range Rover Evoque
BMW 3 Series
Vauxhall Corsa
Vauxhall Astra
Landrover Discovery Sport
5979
2186
2036
1378
2283
1532
1454
1289
1240
862

This is not confined to the UK, with Italy and France having lost 141,000 and 119,000 cars respectively last year. The top vehicles stolen in Europe saw an increase as below:

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2.
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6.
7.
8.
9.
10.
Jeep Renegade
Kia Cee’d                           
Opel Mokka       
Nissan X-Trail    
Renault Zoé   
Suzuki Vitara     
Toyota Rav4       
Honda CR-V       
Toyota Prius      
Porsche 911
0.14%
0.14%
0.14%
0.13%
0.13%
0.12%
0.12%
0.10%
0.10%
0.07%

In recent times, the rise of keyless entry systems has presented new challenges, as sophisticated thieves exploit vulnerabilities in these technologies to gain unauthorized access to vehicles. The ease and speed with which modern cars can be stolen without the need for physical keys have made them attractive targets for tech-savvy criminals. You can read our previous guidance on Relay theft here.

Preventative Measures

Given the evolving tactics of car thieves, vehicle owners play a crucial role in preventing theft. Common sense, simple precautions such as using high-quality alarm systems, parking in well-lit or secure areas, and installing steering wheel locks can act as effective deterrents (less so than in the 1980’s with the advent of battery powered angle grinders!). You could also consider adding a secondary electronic immobilizer system – one such example would be those manufacturerd by Ghost Immobilisers. Never leave keys in the ignition or valuables in plain sight, and disable keyless systems and use the buttons – this makes the car more secure. Finally remember to actually lock your car – this is not a given with keyless entry!

We are also seeing a huge amount of tool theft from commercial vehicles – see article here

If you have a fleet of vehicles and want more information about protecting your fleet, please get in touch.

About us:

Founded in 1987, Castlemead Insurance Brokers is an independent commercial insurance broker, specialising in Corporate Insurance, offering a full insurance broking and risk management service to our clients. Offices in the South-West of England, with clients across the UK, including Scotland and Channel Islands. Castlemead are experts in International Insurance Programmes and are partner members of the GBN Insurance Network. We also have an French subsidiary to aid placing insurance policies within the EU.

Bristol office:
Castlemead House
St John's Road
Bristol BS3 1AL

0117 942 6968
info@castlemead.com

Exeter office:
Leeward House
Fitzroy Road
Exeter Business Park
Exeter EX1 3LJ

0117 942 6968
info@castlemead.com