If you drive a Range Rover Sport and live in London you stand more chance of becoming a victim of car crime according to a new ranking of car theft hotspots.
The survey reveals that after London, Greater Manchester and the West Midlands were the UK’s car theft hotspots in 2015. The list has been compiled by Tracker, a company that specialises in stolen vehicle recovery by using a transmitter hidden in the vehicle that enables police to find it if it’s recorded as stolen.
Where are the car theft hotspots?
According to Tracker, after the top three the next three most popular locations with car criminals were all in the south east. Essex, Kent and Surrey featured in that order with Hertfordshire in eighth spot. West Yorkshire (seventh), Merseyside (ninth) and Lancashire/Leicestershire (10th) completed the top 10.
What kind of cars feature?
High end basically, with the top 10 covered by four manufacturers: Range Rover, Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Audi. There is also a bias towards SUVs with half of the most stolen 10 cars upmarket off-roaders. After the popular Range Rover Sport, the Range Rover Vogue came in third spot with the range-topping Autobiography model ‑ costing £91,550 new ‑ in ninth. The BMW X5, 3 Series and 5 Series were second, fifth and seventh respectively. The Mercedes-Benz C220 and C63 were fourth and sixth. Audi’s RS6 and Q7 SUV were eighth and 10th.
How did the regions differ?
According to Tracker, its figures for cars recovered in London were dominated by Range Rovers. Meanwhile in Greater Manchester, Mercedes was the most stolen brand and in the West Midlands, BMWs were the most popular with criminals. Audi was the make most likely to be illegally taken and recovered in Merseyside.
How do the figures differ from last year?
They are up by 12 per cent compared with 2014. That means 28,672 cars were stolen and recovered compared with 25,600 last year and 23,600 in 2013. In 2014 and 2013, the BMW X5 was the most stolen and recovered car with the Range Rover Sport in third spot. But in 2014 car thefts in the capital still topped the list, ahead of Essex with Greater Manchester fourth equal.
How realistic is this list?
The vast majority of cars don’t have tracking devices fitted to them so the Tracker list isn’t representative of car crime figures as a whole. According to Home Office statistics, vehicle owning households are five times less likely to be victims of car crime than they were 20 years ago. But after years of falls, UK car theft increased in 2015, although not by as much as the Tracker figures suggest and it was driven by an increase in the number of motorbikes being stolen.
The most popular cars with thieves are perhaps unsurprisingly the most popular cars on the road. Think Fords, Vauxhalls and Volkswagens. Although new cars are the most stolen because there are more on the road, drivers of older vehicles are still proportionally more likely to fall victim to car crime. This is because cars built before the 1990s had far inferior security.
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