As new figures show the number of cars stolen in the UK has risen by nearly a third in the last three years, we reveal the models most at risk
The days when you could break into a car with a coat hanger might be long gone, but car crime is on the rise again; according to data collated by RAC Insurance, the number of vehicles stolen in the UK has risen by 30% in the past three years.
The worst region for car theft in 2016 was London, with almost 26,500 thefts reported by the Metropolitan Police. However, the area that has seen the biggest increase in car crime is West Yorkshire, with thefts rising from 3561 in 2013 to 5597 in 2016 – a leap of 57%.
Below we count down the 10 most popular models with UK car thieves. Is yours one of them?
10. BMW 5 Series
The 5 Series on this list was replaced by an all-new model at the start of 2017, but it was still the best car of its kind when it went off sale, so it’s perhaps not surprising that it features here.
9. Land Rover Defender
An evoluton of the original Land Rover, the Defender is a favourite among farmers and other countryside dwellers. However, while it’s a very capable off-roader, its on-road manners leave a lot to be desired and security is basic.
8. Range Rover Vogue
The luxurious and cosseting Range Rover has little in common with the Defender, aside from the Land Rover badge on its rump and the fact it’s popular with thieves.
7. Range Rover Autobiography
Another Range Rover is in seventh place – the flagship Autobiography model, which comes equipped with everything from a sliding panoramic sunroof to massaging front seats and a heated leather and wood steering wheel.
6. BMW 3 Series
The 3 Series no longer dominates the executive saloon class in the way it once did, but it still has plenty to attract both buyers and the unscrupulous, because it combines fun handling with sharp looks and a smart, user-friendly interior.
5. Mercedes E-Class
This rival to the BMW 5 Series and Jaguar XF is probably the best mainstream Mercedes on sale today; it’s elegant, classy, well equipped and good to drive.
4. Mercedes C-Class
SUVs remain the most popular type of vehicle for thieves, but prestige saloons aren’t far behind, with the C-Class joining the bigger E-Class and BMW’s 3 and 5 Series models in the top 10.
3. BMW M3
The most desirable verion of the 3 Series is the high performance M3, which features a twin-turbocharged, straight-six engine that produces 425bhp and gets it from 0-62mph in just 4.1sec.
2. Range Rover Sport
Some rival luxury SUVs are faster and more fun to drive, but few are as comfortable or as refined as the Range Rover Sport, not to mention as desirable. Sadly, this makes it a magnet for thieves.
1. BMW X5
This large SUV was the most stolen car in the UK for six straight years, before dropping to second place in 2015. However, in the latest list the X5 has the dubious honour of being back on top.