UK’s Most Stolen Cars: Are You at Risk?

Car theft in the UK is on the increase with a total of 61,106 cars stolen in 2022. That amounts to a car being stolen every nine minutes and is a 26% increase over the previous year.

The theft of cars is not evenly spread over all makes and models, with some being more popular for thieves than others. So is your car on the thieves’ wanted list and are you at above average risk of it being stolen? If so, what can you do about it to avoid becoming another statistic?

The Most Popular Cars for Thieves and Why They’re Being Stolen

The top ten list of stolen cars in 2022 in the UK is as follows:

1. Ford Fiesta


2. Range Rover


3. Ford Focus


4. VW Golf


5. Land Rover Discovery


6. BMW 3 Series


7. Mercedes C Class


8. Vauxhall Corsa


9. Vauxhall Astra


10. Mercedes E Class


Of the ones shown here, the Ford Fiesta at the top has suffered a 53% increase in thefts, up from 3,909 in 2021. The Land Rover Discovery has had a similar increase while the Range Rover is up by 47% over the year. Others on the list have had a more modest increase while some, notably the BMW 3 Series and the Mercedes C Class, have had fewer thefts.

Many of the cars on the list are high-end models, SUVs and saloons, and are often stolen because they’re high value and in great demand for thieves. Others are there because they’re popular models and there are a lot of them about. The number one stolen car, the Ford Fiesta, is one of the most popular cars in the UK and there are over 1.5 million on the roads so its popularity with thieves is not really surprising. However, the large increase in thefts can possibly be explained by a different reason for stealing it.

Ford has indicated that it will stop producing Ford Fiestas in June 2023 and will replace it with an all-electric vehicle. The shortage of quality used cars has caused an increase in second-hand prices recently and the announced end of the Fiesta has already caused a surge in prices so the level of demand is even higher. The end of production of the Fiesta will also likely cause a shortage of spare parts in the years to come and that’s driving the increased level of thefts so the vehicles can be dismantled for parts.

This situation does put Ford Fiesta owners more at risk as demand increases. The same, to some degree, does apply to most good quality and popular cars, particularly high-end SUVs, as supply constraints force used prices higher. Most car thieves have a ‘shopping list’ of cars that they will target and they use a range of sophisticated technologies to get them, even though they’re only likely to receive around 5% of a vehicle’s market value, sometimes as low as 1.25%

What You Need to Do to Stop Your Car Being Stolen

Whatever type of car you have, there is an increasing risk of it being stolen. If this happens, figures show that you’ve only got a 28% chance of getting your car back, so you need to do something to avoid your car becoming one of those that are stolen because it will cause you stress, frustration, a disruption to your life and likely a large financial loss.

To keep your losses to a minimum, check your car insurance policy covers you adequately. Ideally, you want a comprehensive policy that pays full replacement value in the case of loss, offers a loan car so you’re not without transport and protects your No Claims Discount so you don’t suffer a rise in premiums after a claim. Some sort of legal protection may also be useful in case you incur legal fees.

Most modern cars are fitted with a ghost car immobiliser but will be better protected with the addition of a Thatcham-approved ghost alarm for car that is likely to deter thieves due to the noise attracting unwanted attention. You can also fit a security lock to the steering wheel or pedals as a visible deterrent and a vehicle tracking device that will ensure your vehicle is more likely to be recovered if stolen.

Always keep your car locked when unattended, preferably in a locked garage but, failing that, in a well lit and busy area. Many thieves are opportunists so will only target cars that are obviously vulnerable. Others are much more professional and use electronic devices to jam signals so doors can’t be locked or to clone the signal for keyless vehicles so they can unlock and drive them away.

You’re more at risk of theft in big cities such as London, Manchester and Birmingham so need to be particularly vigilant. Whatever car you drive, we can help you make it more secure so get in touch to avoid becoming a statistic.