Do classic cars get stolen?


Do classic cars get stolen?

Yes Classic cars do get stolen, however they don’t get stolen as much as other types of car. As of 2019 there were 1,241,863 Historic cars listed in the DVLA database according to research by the Federation of British Historic Vehicle Clubs. In 2015 (The latest statistic available) less than 270 Historic or classic cars were stolen in the UK, around 0.02% of registered classic cars. 70,216 Vehicles in total were stolen in 2015, with 36.5 million registered (Data from Only 0.3% of stolen cars where classic or historical.

Vehicle theft is however on the rise, 113000 cars were stolen in total in 2020 (

The thing to remember with classic cars, especially very old or rare ones is that they really only have value as an item to be shown off, or as a source of parts for others of the same model. Whilst you can steal a famous painting and display it in your house for years, if you steal the last remaining registered Citroen CX and park it on your driveway someone will notice. You try taking a stolen Model T Ford out for a drive and you will be noticed. As such when they are stolen it is usually “To Order” either to be shipped abroad for sale or parts. This also explains why the recovery rate for stolen classic cars is only 5%, they are not worth stealing without the organisation in place to dispose of it.

Being an active member of a specialist car club for your marque can dramatically increase the chances of your car being found and recovered if stolen. Club members tend to recognise each other, indeed clubs for some marques know not only where every remaining model is, but also where all of the remaining spare parts are. They also will naturally notice the cars more if they pass them. If someone turns up at an event to show the car, or even drive it around town, and you have told the club it has been stolen, someone will spot it.

The biggest increase in classic car theft comes from new classics, ones that are just turning old enough to qualify. We have reached the point now that there are classic cars that are suitable for day to day use with well known security exploits. A Mark 1 Ford Escort can be opened with just about any key going for example.(

If you have one of these cars, then aftermarket security devices such as replacement locks, a steering wheel lock like a Disclok are a must. Also a GPS tracking device, like the Skytag tracker units available for free with some insurance companies or from can help with recovery.