If you're anywhere in London, you should ensure you have a suitable alarm fitted to your car, along with an immobiliser, tracker, plus front and rear live camera monitoring. In fact, just build a solid steel cage around it and station fierce guard dogs at each corner!
London's Worst Car Theft Hotspots
According to Co-op Insurance, the London area dominates its list of the top 20 hotspots for car theft in the UK, based on data from insurance claims between 2017 and 2021. It turns out that the Borough of Islington is the epicentre of car crime in the country. It's followed by Wandsworth, South of the River between Richmond and Brixton, and third worst is The City of London, according to the frequency of car theft claims.
This is followed by Camden, Westminster, Redbridge, Hammersmith and Fulham, Hackney, Barking and Dagenham and Haringey in the top ten.
More alarmingly for Londoners, in the list of the top 20 car theft hot spots, London areas take up 18 positions, with Birmingham at 16th and Solihull at 18th, being the only areas outside of the capital making it onto the list.
Waltham forest was 11th, followed by Brent, Newham, Greenwich and Havering in 15th. Lewisham took 17th spot. 19th and 20th positions went to Southwark and Epping Forest respectively.
Where most cars are stolen outside of the Capital
Following Birmingham and Solihull, outside of the London area, the riskiest places to leave your car are Manchester, Dudley and Coventry making up the top five. They were followed by Salford, Rochdale, Oldham, Bolton and Kingston Upon Hull taking tenth spot.
Completing the top 20 hotspots outside of London were Wolverhampton, Luton, Liverpool, Walsall, North Warwickshire, West Berkshire, Tameside, Bradford, Stockport and Kingston Upon Thames.
The Most Stolen Cars
Among the cars that thieves are most likely to target, perhaps surprisingly, are not Ferraris, Lamborghinis, Bentleys, or Rolls-Royce models. It’s the everyday machinery that’s in demand by crime. As such, the three most stolen cars are the Ford Fiesta (consistently one of the best-sellers in the UK), Honda Jazz and Ford Focus.
In third place is the Toyota Auris followed by the Vauxhall Corsa, Toyota Prius, Vauxhall Astra, Volkswagen Golf, Honda CR-V and Audi A3 in the top ten. The next ten most stolen cars according to this data, are the Honda Civic, Audi A4, BMW 320, Toyota Yaris, Volkswagen Polo, Range Rover, Nissan Qashqai, Nissan Juke, Renault Clio and Vauxhall Zafira.
Certainly not the most glamorous line-up of cars, and none of which would have made the black light shopping list in the iconic year 2000 car heist movie, ‘Gone in 60 Seconds’. But while there may not be a Unicorn on the list, every car is an Eleanor to its owner, so what can you do to try to keep your car from falling prey to a car thief?
Top Tips to Keep your Car Safe
When out and about, always try to park in a public area where there are plenty of people and other cars. Choose a well-lit location if it's in the evening, and try to put it in view of any CCTV cameras in the area.
If you park next to a pavement, turn the front wheels in towards the paving, that makes the car harder to tow away as the thieves have to break in and disable the built-in steering lock to pull it away. Talking of steering locks, highly visible anti-theft steering locks remain an effective visual deterrent to thieves.
Electronic key fobs can make the car as vulnerable to theft as they make it secure. When locking the car, an external jammer could be used to stop the signal getting through, so always double check to ensure the car has locked.
Similarly, never leave the key fob close to your front door when at home. Clever thieves are actually able to pick up the transponder signal and relay it using special equipment in order to unlock and drive-away your car, they can even clone it onto another key fob. Ideally use a special car key box, otherwise known as a Faraday box.
Never leave valuables or any bags on visible display in your car when you leave it parked, and always switch off the engine and lock the car when you leave it, even if only for a few moments such as when paying for fuel.
Where is your car least likely to be stolen?
The safest place to park appears to be in Torridge in Devon, as it has the lowest frequency of theft claims, which means there's one less thing to worry about as you tuck into the famous Devon Cream Tea. You can also feel more confident about finding your car still where you parked it, in Moray (Scotland), Broadstairs in East Kent, Mid Devon, East Devon, Wigtownshire (Scotland), West Devon, Test Valley in Hampshire, North Down in Northern Ireland and North Kesteven in Lincolnshire.