Car theft hotspots: specific makes and models most likely to be stolen

With new data naming the UK’s car theft hotspots, we look at the areas where your vehicle is most at risk, as well as revealing the makes and models most attractive to thieves.

More than 100 cars are stolen every day in the UK, new data has found.

According to research from This Is Money and valuation specialists HPI, 109 cars are flagged as stolen every day in the UK.

Unsurprisingly, your risk of car theft can vary greatly depending on your postcode.

With this in mind, HPI crunched the numbers to determine the riskiest (and safest) areas for motorists.

Where is your car most likely to be stolen?

At the top of the tables, Greater London has the highest incidence of this type of crime, with 760 thefts per 100,000 cars.

Shockingly, the region recorded almost 20,000 car thefts last year.

Next up were the West Midlands and Yorkshire & The Humber, which experienced rates of 760 and 401 thefts per 100,000 cars.

In contrast, Northern Ireland is the safest county in the rankings, with just 23 out of 100,000 cars being stolen.

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Car thefts by county

Ranking

County

Number of cars on the road

Number stolen

Stolen per 100,000

1

Greater London­

2,451,620

18,624

760

2

West Midlands

2,955,660

11,865

401

3

Yorkshire & The Humber

2,533,630

6,357

251

4

North West

3,347,918

6,742

201

5

East of England

3,339,208

5,761

173

6

North East

1,193,581

1,724

144

7

East Midlands

2,325,913

2,955

127

8

South East

4,888,945

5,578

114

9

Wales

1,627,203

1,448

89

10

Scotland

2,514,893

1,891

75

11

South West

2,988,477

1,790

60

12

Northern Ireland

1,079,477

244

23

Source: This is Money/HPI

As well as being hugely distressing for victims, this type of crime can have a significant impact on your insurance premiums.

If you live in an area with a higher-than-average number of car thefts, your insurance is going to cost you more as the provider will view you as more likely to make a claim.

It’s a similar story with where you keep your car overnight. If it’s kept in a locked garage, it’s obviously going to be less accessible to thieves than if it’s parked on the street.

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The most stolen cars

As we all know, drivers with certain cars are at higher risk from this type of crime.

Below are the most-pinched cars, according to figures from the DVLA.

Car

Total stolen

Change from 2022

Ford Fiesta

5,976

Down 0.1%

Ford Focus

2,120

Down 3%

VW Golf

2,038

Up 0.1%

Mercedes-Benz C-Class

1,786

Up 29.6%

Range Rover Sport

1,631

Down 28.6%

Range Rover Evoque

1,489

Down 2.8%

BMW 3 Series

1,466

Down 0.8%

Vauxhall Corsa

1,110

Down 13.3%

Vauxhall Astra

1,086

Down 12.4%

Land Rover Discovery Sport

954

Up 15.2%

As the Ford Fiesta has long been one of the most coveted cars for drivers, it isn’t the biggest shock that it is the most stolen car.

Although the DVLA data reveals that one car is stolen every eight minutes, there has been a drop in thefts for most of the vehicles in the top 10.

However, other motors have seen quite stunning increases in the numbers being stolen.

The Mercedes Benz C-Class has soared by almost a third, for example.

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Will I get my stolen car back?

Having your car taken is, of course, a complete nightmare. But once you report it to the police, do you have any chance of getting it back?

Analysis from Rivervale Leasing, which went through the figures dating back to 2010 from the Office for National Statistics, found that on average just two in five stolen cars are handed back to the owners. 

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The worst regions for vandalism

Mini Cooper among the most vandalised cars, according to 2018 research (Image: Shutterstock)

Theft is, of course, not the only type of car crime drivers need to worry about.

According to data from insurance company Churchill, more than 3,000 cars are subject to vandalism every week in England and Wales.

With incidents surging by 26% over the six months to September 2023, Cornwall and Devon are the worst-affected regions for vandalism.

The top five vandalism hotspots

Rank

Police force

October-March 2023

April -September 2023

Percentage change

1

Devon & Cornwall

1,692

2,134

+ 26%

2

British Transport Police

375

447

+ 19%

3

Bedfordshire

643

758

+ 18%

4

Avon & Somerset

2,441

2,813

+ 15%

5

North Yorkshire

723

795

+ 10%

You can read the full list in our article Car vandalism hotspots revealed

Protecting yourself from car crime

There is far more you can do to keep your car safe than simply parking it in a garage.

If you would like to learn more, check out our advice on how to beat hi-tech car thieves.

By following these tips, you can reduce your risk of being among the thousands of motorists each year who have to report a stolen or vandalised car to the police.

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*This article contains affiliate links, which means we may receive a commission on any sales of products or services we write about. This article was written completely independently.

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