Which cars are most often stolen in the UK?

Which cars are most often stolen in the UK?

Whilst the security surrounding cars is continuing to improve, statistics show that car theft throughout the UK is on the rise with thieves finding new and improved ways to access and escape with vehicles. According to the DVLA, a car is reported stolen every 8 minutes with just over 64,000 cars stolen in 2023 compared with just over 61,000 in 2022 (a 5% increase).

But whilst the amount of cars being taken is at an all time high due to the use of remote control codes for locks and alarms being detected and copied and GPS trackers being blocked, there are 10 particular car models that thieves have targeted over the past 12 months. Read on to discover more about what vehicles these were.

10 Most Stolen Cars of 2023

1. Ford Fiesta

Whilst this maybe on the lower end of the value side from a cost perspective, due to the overwhelming availability of this vehicle and the small nature of the car (which makes it prime for joyriders), the Fiesta tops the list with 5979 stolen last year. Whilst the security is up there with other modern hatchbacks, the anti-theft measures are still fairly easy for modern thieves to overcome, and with the Fiesta now being discontinued, there's also a large market for parts of stolen cars now too.

2. Ford Focus

Just like the Fiesta, as one of the most popular family hatchbacks on the market (with over 1 million on the roads), there's plenty of opportunity for thieves and joyriders to get hold of one of these which has led to 2120 being stolen in 2023.

3. VW Golf

Similar to other models discussed earlier, the Golf's inclusion in this list can be attributed to two key factors: its desirability and widespread presence on the roads. It boasts numerous premium features typically associated with pricier vehicles and secured the eighth position in the UK sales chart for 2022. With 2038 stolen in 2023, the Golf has seen an increase of thefts of 0.1%.

4. Mercedes C-Class

As a vehicle that is more desirable from a sell on point of view and has high values associated with it's parts, the C-Class sees a rise of 4 places from 7th on last years list with 1786 cars stolen in 2023. This will be off some concern to Mercedes owners but they are planning additional security improvements going forward into 2024 to help reduce these issues.

5. Range Rover Sport

Although it ranks among the top 10, thefts of Range Rover Sport models decreased by 29% last year to 1631 vehicles stolen, marking it as the second most commonly stolen model, with 2283 instances reported. This significant decline in thefts can be attributed to a recent initiative by Land Rover, which involved enhancing the security of 75,000 pre-owned vehicles dating back to 2018. This measure aimed to safeguard these vehicles from potential exploitation by criminals targeting their keyless entry systems.

6. Range Rover Evoque

Whilst the Range Rover Evoque might not have the same level of thefts per year than the more popular Sport model, over 1489 thefts in 2023 are proof that owners are still wise to be extra vigilant. During the last 12 months, Land Rover have retro fitted security on many of their Evoque models to prevent thefts which seems to be paying dividends.

7. BMW 3 Series

With state of the art features and a huge UK demand from car owners, the BMW 3 Series has a lot of appeal. Whilst the security of this BMW model is also state of the art, with over 1466 stolen throughout Britain, it's still a car that is regularly targeted by some of the most advanced car thefts.

8. Vauxhall Corsa

Just like the car at the top of the DVLA list, the Vauxhall Corsa is primarily targeted by joyriders with 1110 stolen across he UK. Unlike the Fiesta, the Corsa is still very much in production so the parts for this sporty little hatchback are still more readily available, making thefts for parts less common.

9. Vauxhall Astra

Having been one of the UK's top sellers for decades, Vauxhall's mid-sized hatchback, the Astra, fell out of the top 10 rankings a couple of years ago. Nevertheless, there remains a significant presence of Astra vehicles on our roads, presenting ample opportunities for thieves to target them. Last year a total of 1086 were stollen, meaning it just creeps in to the top 10.

10. Range Rover Discover Sport

Last on the list another from the most stollen brand in the UK in the form of the Discovery Sport. Whilst many of the other models on the list have seen a reduction in thefts due to improved security, this has yet to filter down to the Discovery and as a result the UK saw a 15% increase in thefts compared to 2022 with 954 stolen.

How can I ensure my car is kept safe?

There are a number of simple ways to ensure that your car is constantly safe, the main one being keeping your keys stored far enough away from your vehicle. The majority of thefts in recent years have been down to keyless entry systems, with thieves using key copying technology to enter and escape with the car in question.

This technology needs to be within 10 metres in order for software to work, so make that you keep your keys upstairs or at the opposite end of the house when they're not being used. For an added level of security, you may wish to keep your keys in a metal box or faraday pouch as these methods will block the signal reaching your keys and so will ensure access cannot be gained.

Aside from keeping your keys safe and secure, you may also want to consider fundamental security such as wheel locks or external CCTV devices to create a visible deterrent for the thief. These can be very quick and easy to setup and will ensure that your vehicle is left well alone.