The Ford Fiesta was the most stolen car of 2020 in Great Britain, the Driver and Vehicle Licencing Agency revealed.
3,392 were taken from their owners. That equated to 2 cars for every 1,000 on the road. These figures should be seen in context, though.
Why? Because this supermini has been the best selling new car for many, many years – so thieves had rich pickings. It was far easier to find a Fiesta to steal than a Ferrari F40, for example. Many other cars were stolen in great numbers, too. Note the table below.
|Position||Vehicle||Stolen in 2020||Stolen Per 1,000|
|2||Land Rover Range Rover||2,881||7|
|5||BMW 3 Series||1,435||2|
|7||Land Rover Discovery||900||3|
|9||BMW 5 Series||678||3|
Car theft on the rise
The DVLA also revealed that far more cars were stolen in 2020. 74,769 went missing compared to 56,288 in 2019. That was an increase of 18,481. The Office for National Statistics added that 72% of stolen cars are never recovered. Some are bought by unsuspecting drivers, for example. Others are stolen to order for criminals. Alternatively, many get disassembled then sold as parts.
Stop your car from being stolen
It is easy to minimise the risk of theft. Perhaps your car has keyless entry, for example. If so, its door might unlock as you pull the handle – if the key is nearby. Why? Because the key sends a signal to the vehicle which proves you have a right to unlock it.
You then use a button to start the vehicle rather than a traditional key. ‘Relay theft’ exploits this keyless entry. But how?
Imagine a scenario. Your vehicle is parked at home and its key is on a table in the lounge. The criminal now stands close to your house with a device that captures the signal from the key. The signal is now relayed to a second unit closer to the vehicle. Next:
- the car assumes your legitimate key is nearby
- the thief opens the door, starts the engine, and leaves.
But never fear. There is a solution. Simply keep the key in a Faraday pouch to block its signal. There are further steps that minimise the risk of your car being stolen. The highlights include:
- park in a well-lit area (most thefts happen at night)
- add additional security, e.g. tracker
- conceal any valuables
- keep your key safe (the thief might try to steal your key rather than break into the vehicle).
- never leave the car unattended while it is running.