Vehicle Theft on the Rise in the UK: Protecting Your Ride

By: Georgina Shaba

Vehicle theft is unfortunately a growing concern in the UK, with a 24.9% increase in stolen vehicles reported in England and Wales in 2023 compared to the previous year, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS). This translates to a staggering 130,389 vehicles stolen, compared to 104,435 in 2021.

Where are you most at risk?

While major cities often grab headlines, the data reveals some surprising trends:

  • Yorkshire: This northern region holds the unwelcome title of having the highest theft rate per capita. With 12.67 stolen vehicles per 1,000 registered cars, it surpasses even London, which sits at 11.51.
  • Other hotspots: Birmingham, Liverpool, and Sheffield consistently experience high numbers of vehicle thefts, indicating a wider geographical concern.

What are they stealing?

While specific data on stolen vehicle types isn't readily available, research suggests older, less secure models are often targeted. Additionally, cars with keyless entry systems are increasingly vulnerable to "relay theft," where thieves use technology to exploit weaknesses in the system and steal the vehicle.

How can you protect yourself?

Despite the rising numbers, taking preventative measures can significantly reduce your risk:

  • Invest in visible deterrents: Alarms, steering wheel locks, and even wheel locks can deter opportunistic thieves. Login/Sign up for FREE to at MotorEasy account to get 15% off car security at Halfords.
  • Park smart: Choose well-lit, secure locations, preferably off-street parking whenever possible.
  • Don't be an easy target: Never leave valuables in plain sight inside your car, even for a short period.
  • Stay informed: Be aware of local trends and report any suspicious activity to the police.
  • Protect yourself with GAP insurance: In the event your car is stolen, MotorEasy’s award winning and 5* GAP insurance will top up an insurer’s pay-out, providing you with extra funds to purchase a replacement vehicle or to settle any outstanding finance. 

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By understanding the current landscape and taking proactive steps, you can help ensure your vehicle stays safe and sound. Remember, vigilance is key, and small actions can make a big difference.

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