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UK’s Top 10 Most Stolen Cars Revealed As Thefts Rocket

New, 2016, vehicle theft figures revealed plus a brief overview of the models most frequently stolen and recovered

Number of cars stolen in UK

The United Kingdom’s most stolen and recovered cars have been revealed as new figures prove that selfish, mean spirited, crooks stole 30% more in 2016 than 2013, the RAC’s freedom of information request confirmed. During 2016 – in 40 of the nation’s 45 police force regions - 85,688 cars were stolen compared to 65,783 in 2013.

The Metropolitan Police region was most targeted by crooks that cannot be bothered to earn money legally. During 2016, 26,496 cars were stolen compared to 20,565 in 2013 (+29%). This Police Force region was followed by: West Midlands (5,930 stolen +43%), West Yorkshire (5,597 stolen +57%) then Greater Manchester (4,999 +29%).

Most stolen and recovered cars

In 2016, the models most frequently stolen and recovered all sported prestigious, fashionable, badges. The top 10 follows below.

10: BMW 5 Series

The BMW 5 Series is a medium size, executive class, saloon/estate. Its primary strengths include its mature image, comfortable ride and space age equipment specification. New prices start at £35,835.

9: Land Rover Defender

The Land Rover Defender is a long lived, fairly basic, medium size sports-utility vehicle that best suits rough terrain. It has a traditional feel – and cannot be ordered new – but remains popular.

8: Range Rover Vogue

The Range Rover Vogue is a large, prestigious, and supremely comfortable sports-utility vehicle. This trim excels on the tarmac and over extreme, off-road, terrain. New prices start from £79,595.

7: Range Rover Autobiography

The Range Rover Autobiography builds on the strengths of the Vogue trim. Luxury extras include massage seats - as standard – plus a choice of standard or long wheelbase. Purchase new from £98,595.

6: BMW 3 Series

The BMW 3 Series is a compact, executive class, saloon and estate. The confident handling, fashionable badge, sharp styling and low price are among its core strengths. New prices start from £26,790. 

5: Mercedes-Benz E-Class

The Mercedes-Benz E-Class is a medium size, executive class, saloon/estate. Qualities include its effortlessly prestige, comfortable interior and grown up image. Furthermore, estate versions have am enormous boot capacity. Purchase new from £36,005.

4: Mercedes-Benz C-Class

The Mercedes-Benz C-Class is a compact, executive class, saloon/estate that impresses friends and colleagues. It lists sure-footed handling and a smooth ride among its virtues. All from £29,035.

3: BMW M3

The BMW M3 is the high performance, hard-core, version of the 3 Series. It stands out from its siblings thanks to its immense power, high speed and iconic status. New prices start from £58,580.

2: Range Rover Sport

The Range Rover Sport is a large sports-utility vehicle that – as is typical of the brand – excels off road. In addition, its sporty set-up ensures it is fun on twisty roads. Prices start at £61,315.

1: BMW X5

The BMW X5 is a large, sports-utility class, vehicle and the most stolen and recovered car of 2016. The fashionable image, muscular styling and luxurious cabin make it popular among legitimate motorists – and self centred crooks. New prices start from £48,140.

Bad news for motorists

The RAC’s Insurance Director Mark Godfrey explained: “We fear thieves are now becoming more and more well equipped with technology capable of defeating manufacturers’ anti-theft systems.”

“This is bad news for motorists”, he continued. “It has the effect of causing insurance premiums to rise at a time when they are already being pushed up by a variety of factors - not least the recent change to the discount rate for life, changing personal injury compensation claims and the rises in insurance premium tax.”

So the most expensive brands are the ones with the worst record. Seriously we need to go back to locks & keys some of the more modern locks are very hard to crack, electronics are easy.

Don't forget, an increasing number of cars are being stolen from the owner's drive because the thief either breaks into the house and steals the keys or hijacks the keys from the owner him/herself. I take your point though, about electronics being easier to crack than locks.

Isn't this something to do with BMWs poor security systems, allowing quick and easy theft in a few seconds?

Our vehicle was recently stolen from outside the door - police almost laughted when we said it had the "keyless entry" system. What we assumed from a reputable manufacturer to be a secure vehicle turned out to be a joke - security of keyless entry vehicles is a known weakness and I feel manufacturers have not responded or provide sufficient advise to owners. Very frustrating to learn after the event that "keyless entry" is not secure.

Unfortunately it's not the manufacturers' fault. It's EU legislation, to make the car servicing market more competitive. E.g. so that non-franchised dealers can service cars, replace components and program in-car electronics. As a result, and somewhat ironically, the law has ended up (unintentionally) favouring the criminal.

how difficult would it be to fit trackers as standard to all new cars with a central tracking base, police could then simply intercept stolen vehicle on route and arrest the thieves, with modern technolagy must be easy to do.

Considering a lock keeps out only honest people, manufacturers stuck to that philosophy to a degree bordering on stupidity throughout the history of motoring, making little effort to increase vehicle security in spite of them growing ever more expensive in real terms. It wasn't until the Thatcher created inflationary spiral began to bite and burglary, car theft and joyriding became national sports that a few manufacturers paid more than lip service to car security - but did so with their usual penny-pinching mentality. Ford's answer to kids with a 99p screwdriver being able to enter and drive away almost any car they chose was to fit high security Chubb locks - but fitted them in the same cheap way as the previous locks with the result kids weren't kept out but the resulting bills (if the car was recovered) were considerably higher. The mentality that caused an expensive lock to be fitted in a cheap way to an insubstantial substrate has persisted into the electronics age; The modern equivalent of a 99p screwdriver, in the wrong hands, still defeats expensive and sophisticated security systems... The real problem is society today contains a much higher percentage of low quality people and government has no interest in improving matters but sharing the same mentality as vehicle manufacturers prefers to Legislate against anything they don't like. This is a situation predicted by many when National Service ceased in 1960.

Fords - particularly the fast ones - are by far the most targeted in the Midlands, Home Counties and other places where lots of JLR/Ford employees live. The lengths owners have to go to, fitting numerous after-market security systems, is ridiculous. All because of certain electronics components that are over a decade old and so lack even a basic form of system security.

Great if there were sufficient police on the roads and criminals didn’t know how to instantly disable trackers. All it needs is for manufacturers to prevent teaching a new key to a car without replacing a damn expensive part. And secondly for owners to educate themselves about keyless entry!