56,288 cars were reported stolen to the DVLA in 2019 alone. The type of cars that are most frequently targeted has a lot to do with the type of thief. Most thieves steal whatever was most vulnerable and could be ‘Hotwired' and driven off, at high speed, easily, such as Volkswagen Polos, Vauxhall Corsas etc. These tend to be opportunists and if you car is hit by them its usually just bad luck.
Then there are the cars ‘stolen- to- order’, usually expensive new models, which despite having some of the best security systems, are electronically over- ridden and are stripped down into parts then shipped off to other countries, mostly in Europe and South Africa. These are high-end models such as Rolls- Royce, Range Rover, Porsche, Ferrari and the like.
The top ten most stolen Vehicles in the UK are as follows:
Now these are all top quality cars I am sure you’ll agree, however they also have some things in common. Many of these models have keyless entry, or just a fob, and keyless start which thieves are aware of and exploiting. Whilst it is convenient for motorists to gain entry to their vehicle and start it without having to get keys out, thieves use signal cloning devices to copy the signal from your key and then steal your car at a later date. This is often known as Relay Theft. This allows them to gain access to your car, allowing them to drive away even when your key fob is inside with you. You can read more about Relay Theft here.
This is obviously worrying for car owners, but there are some things that can help keep the thieves at bay.
For example, ensuring that your keys are kept out of sight. This may seem obvious but thieves have been known to poke through letterboxes to retrieve keys to cars. As seen in this clip from the BBC show The Real Hustle.
For keyless entry vehicles many Police forces recommend Electronic car key security pouches. These pouches can be used to block key signals when the fob is inside it, making it much harder to be stolen. Here are some good ones on Amazon
Things like car alarms, better fitting locks and immobilisers are also crucial in keeping the chances of theft to a minimum, and although potentially invasive, Trackers are a brilliant way of increasing chances of your stolen car being returned to you or to the police.