Drivers warn of most stolen vehicles in 2021, including Ford, BMW and Mercedes-Benz
More than 48,000 vehicles were recorded as stolen by police in 2021, up from 46,800 the previous year, according to records held by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA). Some of the most popular cars targeted for theft are the most common cars on UK roads, such as the Ford Fiesta and Vauxhall Corsa.
In addition to this trend, criminals are also targeting premium vehicles from well-known brands such as Range Rover, BMW and Mercedes-Benz.
The total number of cars pinched last year – based on records provided by police from January 1 to December 31, 2021 – was 48,492, up 1,617 from the previous year.
This represents an average of 133 cars stolen each day, or nearly 1,000 per week.
However, engine theft is still not as high as before the pandemic, with DVLA figures showing 58,642 engines were stolen from owners in 2019, a fifth more than last year.
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John Wilmot, managing director of car leasing comparison website LeaseLoco, said: “The Ford Fiesta may have lost its crown as the UK’s best-selling new car, but it still retains the unenviable title of most stolen in Britain.
“Right behind it is the Range Rover, one of the most popular luxury SUVs on the market, which has been targeted by sophisticated criminal gangs who have the knowledge and keyless technology to enter.”
They found that over 3,900 Ford Fiestas were stolen in 2021, closely followed by the Land Rover Range Rover with 3,754 models stolen.
Clive Wain, Police Liaison Manager for Tracker, commented on the numbers: “2021 has been another busy year for car thieves.
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“Due to the pandemic, global demand for auto parts has created a boom in ‘cut shops’ – buildings that house stolen vehicles to be dismantled so that their expensive parts can be resold.
“Furthermore, the lack of parts for making new cars has led to increased sales in the used car market, creating a lucrative business for car thieves to fill the shortage.
“Prestigious models have always been the benchmark for criminals who exploit the demand for these desirable cars in territories like Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
“We are constantly intercepting shipping containers full of stolen vehicles at ports across the country and 2021 has been no different.
“However, due to the pandemic, lower value cars have also seen an increase in theft rates.
“No matter how valuable a car is, a significant barrier to stopping thieves is using traditional physical security devices like steering wheel locks and wheel clamps.
“Additionally, placing the key fob in a signal blocking pouch lined with layers of metallic material will prevent a key’s signal from being intercepted by would-be thieves.
“However, thieves are becoming more determined and also using sophisticated methods.
“If a vehicle is stolen, an SVR solution will greatly increase the chances that it will be quickly recovered and returned before being resold, dismantled for parts, or shipped overseas.”
Date Tracker revealed that the most recovered vehicle model in 2021 was the Range Rover Sport, after 2020.
The Range Rover Autobiography and Vogue, the Land Rover Discovery and the BMW X5 have all been recovered more than any other vehicle by Tracker.
The most stolen car models in 2021
1. Ford Fiesta: 3,909
2. Land Rover Range Rover: 3,754
3. Ford Focus: 1,912
4. VW Golf: 1,755
5. Mercedes-Benz C-Class: 1,474
6. BMW 3 Series: 1,464
7. Land Rover Discovery: 1,260
8. Opel Corsa: 1,218
9. Vauxhall Astra: 1,096
10. Mercedes-Benz E-Class: 818