It’s reported that vehicle thefts are on the rise in the United Kingdom. In 2020, there were close to 20,000 more instances of car theft than there were reported in 2019. It was revealed that there were 74,769 vehicles stolen. When breaking this down per day, it equals more than 200 cars. This is a large number of vehicles, so owners will want to be sure they are careful.
Those who are considering buying a new vehicle might want to consider looking at the most commonly stolen cars in the UK before making their purchase. Some makes and models of vehicles tend to be higher on the list when it comes to stolen cars.
Commonly Stolen Cars
- Ford Fiesta
- Range Rover
- Volkswagen Golf
- Ford Focus
- BMW 3 Series
- Vauxhall Astra
- Land Rover Discovery
- Mercedes E Class
- BMW 5 Series
- Nissan Qashqai
It’s been revealed that the Ford Fiesta tops the list when it comes to vehicles stolen last year. This is a popular vehicle in the UK, and last year alone, 50,000 of these vehicles were sold. Since there are so many of these vehicles, it makes sense that this would be one of the cars that gets a lot of attention from thieves.
The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) in the UK reported that 3,392 of this type of vehicle were stolen. However, the Ford Fiesta was not the only type of vehicle that was stolen. Consider some of the other popular models, too.
The next vehicle on the list is the Range Rover. These are larger vehicles than the Fiesta, but the model was a popular choice for criminals, as there were 2,881 reported stolen. It was revealed that the Volkswagen Golf takes third. This is another smaller vehicle similar to the Fiesta, and there were revealed to be 1,975 of these vehicles stolen in 2020. The Ford Focus is the fourth most stolen vehicle in the UK with 1,587 of the model taken last year.
1,435 BMW 3 Series cars were stolen in 2020. Like the Range Rover, this is more of a luxury vehicle. It offers features that are appreciated by criminals just as much as by those who work for, purchase, and own the vehicle. The Vauxhall Astra is next on the list with 1,126 stolen. Again, this goes back to more of a utilitarian vehicle when compared to the BMW 3 Series.
There were 900 Land Rover Discovery vehicles stolen in 2020. This is another larger vehicle like a Range Rover that brings with it a sense of luxury. Rounding out the rest of the list include the Mercedes E Class with 766 stolen, the BMW 5 Series with 678 stolen, and the Nissan Qashqai with 655 stolen.
As you can see from the list above, there is quite a bit of discrepancy between the various types of vehicles that are being stolen in the UK. Many of the vehicles that are being stolen are the everyday get-around vehicles that are common and driven by a large number of people. However, quite a few luxury vehicles are being stolen each year, as well. The size of the vehicles varies, as well.
This goes to show that it doesn’t always matter whether you opt for a car that works as a jack of all trades or a high-end luxury vehicle, it could be in danger. You need to understand how thieves are stealing vehicles, so you can better protect your car.
How Are Criminals Stealing Cars?
Today, criminals are stealing cars using many of the same methods they’ve been using for decades, such as gaining access to an owner’s keys. However, many of the new vehicles on the market use keyless entry. While this feature might make it more convenient for owners to get into their vehicles, thieves are using this to their advantage. Around 93% of vehicles are stolen without the use of the owner’s keys.
Thieves can hack into the vehicles using the keyless entry functions. Criminals use relay devices that can hack the signal. This will then allow them to open the vehicle, get inside, and drive away with your vehicle. They can do this from a distance, so you could wake up to a stolen car even though the key fob might be safe and secure in your house.
While this is not the only way that cars in the UK are stolen, it has become a major problem in the last year or so. It’s reported that over the course of the past several years, the instances of keyless entry vehicles being stolen have risen by 26%. One of the methods of reducing the risk of having a stolen car due to this type of theft is to keep the key fobs in an electronic car key security pouch. These are called faraday pouches. However, they are not the only way that owners can keep their vehicles safe from thieves.
In some cases, it may be possible to file a freedom of information request with a local police station to ask for information about car thefts in a certain location, or the types of thefts that occur. However, this information is not always available at a local level. You may have to rely on information at the national level instead to get a better understanding of the types of vehicles stolen and how they are stolen.
How to Reduce the Risk of Stolen Vehicles
Thieves might also gain access to the vehicle’s keys, which is another common way that they get access to the vehicle. They could break windows and attempt to hotwire the vehicle, as well, although this method is falling out of fashion. Car thieves are unfortunately industrious, and they are a growing problem in the UK. To reduce the risk of vehicle theft, consider some of the following tips. Employing these in your everyday life will help to reduce the risk for your car.
First, if you have a vehicle that has keyless entry, invest in a Faraday pouch to reduce the risk of thieves hacking into the vehicle. This will prevent thieves from using devices to remotely hack. However, it will not stop them from gaining access to the keys if they break into your home.
Easy to Spot Keys
One of the biggest mistakes that many people make with their keys is leaving them in an easy-to-spot location. They might put them near the door or where they can be seen from a window, for example. People do this because it’s convenient for them when they are heading out the door to see and grab their own keys. However, thieves know this. These will be the first places they look when they are trying to steal keys. It’s better to keep the keys out of sight.
Keep Everything Locked
It doesn’t matter whether you are home or not, you will want to keep your doors locked. This includes locking your vehicle, as well as the doors and windows to your home and garage. Adding a lock provides yet another barrier that thieves will have to get through before they can gain the access they want. Keep in mind that this also includes the vehicle. Even if you are going inside for just a few minutes to take in bags from the market, lock the doors to your car.
Double-check the garage door, as well as the windows around the house. This is especially important at night and when you are away. Sometimes, a thief might find a way into the home and steal only your keys, or your second set of keys. This could mean that you have no idea they are even missing until your car is stolen.
Be Careful of Where You Park
Thieves like to have easy access to vehicles. If you are parking at the far end of the parking lot that doesn’t get a lot of foot traffic, or if you are parking on a street with no lights, there is a greater risk of having the vehicle stolen. Look at the surroundings when you are parking your vehicle. If there are no streetlights or if it looks like a bad neighborhood, you should opt to park elsewhere, even if it might mean a longer walk.
Even if you are parking in your own driveway or garage, you want to make sure your vehicle is as safe as possible. This means installing a security camera and security lights if you can. The lights can help to deter criminals from being on your property, and the security cameras can record any suspicious activities. Thieves will often want to avoid lights and cameras, as it could increase their risk of being caught.
Use Extra Means of Protection
If you want to keep your vehicle, regardless of the model, as safe as possible, consider using some or all of the following. First, make sure that you have a quality car alarm on the vehicle. While a car alarm alone will not necessarily make a thief run away, they do not like the attention it brings. When the alarm is combined with something such as a steering wheel lock, it will slow the thief down.
The steering wheel lock itself can be cut through, but this takes time. When you add the time that it takes to disable the alarm, it makes thieves think twice. When they see these types of protection on the vehicle, they may just pass the car by because they don’t want to spend too long trying to steal it.
Additionally, you should consider getting a car tracking device for the vehicle. These devices can keep track of your vehicle no matter where it is on the planet. When they are installed and hidden so the thieves can’t see them, there is a much better chance of the car being found and recovered.
Don’t Make the Vehicle a Target
Even if thieves don’t want to steal your car, they might want to break into it to see what you have stored inside of it. You should make sure that you are not leaving anything on the seats or any visible location that will let people see that you have expensive items in your vehicle. This could include sunglasses, shopping bags, a laptop, etc. Anything that’s in the vehicle and that can be seen will get the attention of people who are up to no good.
You do not want to give them any temptation to break into the vehicle. Make sure that there is nothing on display in the vehicle. Additionally, if you are going to move your valuables from the front of the vehicle into the trunk to hide them, don’t do it in the place that you are going to be parking and leaving the vehicle. Someone could simply watch you put your bags into the trunk before you walk away. They will know that you have items worth taking and will simply wait for you to be out of sight before trying to break into your car.
Ideally, you will not have any valuables that you leave in the vehicle at all. The car should be used for transportation, not for storing valuables. There is too much of a risk of someone breaking into the vehicle and taking what you have. Even if they leave your car, you can still lose your valuables.
Keep Your Vehicle Safe
With the number of stolen vehicles last year and the continuing number of thefts per day, it makes sense to take as many precautions as possible. Consider the type of vehicle you are choosing if you are in the market for a new car. While you don’t have to forego a vehicle that you truly want just because a number of those cars were stolen last year and are on the list, you do want to be careful. Use the tips above to help keep your vehicle safer.