Today, Co-op Insurance has released the results of an extensive car theft study, revealing London as the car crime hotspot of the UK. Data from the leading motor insurer outlines the places across England, Scotland and Wales that have had the highest car theft rates since 2016, uncovering that nine of the top 10 locations are all in the capital.
Perhaps surprisingly, affluent Kensington and Chelsea was high on the list, presumably due to the luxury motors on display. Preston is the only Northern borough within the top 20, sitting at number 13.
Meanwhile, those living in Moray, Scotland, can rest easy knowing it had the least frequency of vehicle theft claims in four years. In England, the borough of Mid Devon is the lowest on the list and for Wales, it’s Denbighshire.
When it comes to which makes and models of cars are most likely to be targeted, the study reveals that it is smaller, lower-price point vehicles that are favoured by thieves. The top three cars stolen, by volume of total claims over the four years, are the Ford Fiesta, the Ford Focus and the Vauxhall Corsa.
More expensive models also featured near the top, including Land Rover’s Range Rover Evoque at number six and the Audi A3 at eight. BMWs do not feature in the top 10, but the BMW 320 comes in at number 11.
To help customers understand what car crime levels are like in their area, Co-op Insurance has launched its Park Smart interactive tool, which uses data published by the Home Office on data.police.uk. Users can search for vehicle crime hotspots by postcode or location to quickly identify a safe street, with results showing how many reports of vehicle thefts, thefts from a vehicle and vandalism there have been in the last six months. Areas are colour coded red, orange or yellow to make it easy to spot areas of concern.
Paul Evans, head of motor insurance at Co-op Insurance says: “Having your car stolen is one of the most distressing experiences a person can endure and sadly, it is still something that blights everyday life, particularly in our cities. Our claims data shows that car crime rates in London have remained continuously high but it’s interesting to see that places like Preston and Stockport are also emerging hotspots in the North.
“We’re passionate about helping car owners to keep their vehicles safe – they can do this by researching car crime levels in their own area and also by following some simple steps that will deter a thief. People with smaller and perhaps less expensive cars need to be aware that these motor vehicles are hot property for car thieves. Our policies are designed to offer peace of mind that should the worse happen, we’ll help you get yourself back on the road in good time.”
Television consumer champion and former car dealer, Dominic Littlewood, says: “Whether our cars are parked on the driveway or in an urban car park, they are vulnerable to car thieves who are becoming increasingly well organised in targeting the vehicles on their wish list. There are a number of really simple steps that car owners can take to make sure their vehicle doesn’t look so appealing – from simply turning your car wheels to face the kerb and investing in some simple deterrents like steering wheel locks. And don’t think it won’t happen to you, cheaper makes and models are becoming more attractive than ever to thieves. It’s also important to get the right car insurance in place so if the worst does happen, you’ll get the money to buy another car quickly and conveniently.”