New data from the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) shows worrying theft levels of high-end motor vehicles. Natasha Root, Private Client Insurance Executive looks at the implications for luxury car owners of increasingly sophisticated criminal methods.
By far the most stolen car brand in the last twelve months was the Land Rover, according to the DVLA. The twelve months to March 2023 highlighted that almost one in every hundred Land Rovers licensed in the UK was stolen, and Land Rovers were three times more likely to be targeted than Mercedes Benz, the second most sought-after brand targeted by car thieves.
Most stolen car brands in the UK for the twelve months to March 2023:
|Make of car||Number of stolen cars||Number of licensed cars||Cars stolen per 100,000|
DVLA data, analysed by confused.com
The data obtained by confused.com shows that as well as Land Rover being the most popular brand of vehicle for thieves, it also featured in six of the most popular car models that were stolen in the past twelve months. The Land Rover Range Rover Velar R-Dyn HSE D180 A and the Land Rover Range Rover Sport HSE Dyn Black P400E A were the top two stolen car models, with the Lexus 450H CVT and the F Sport CVT coming in at third and fourth place, and the Ford Fiesta Zetec S (red and black editions) taking eighth and ninth places.
What colour is your car?
DVLA’s data also revealed, perhaps unsurprisingly, that black cars are the most specifically targeted colour for theft, with 18,000 black cars stolen in the last twelve months.
Enhanced vehicle security
As vehicle security systems become more sophisticated, so are the hi-tech methods the thieves use to overcome them. Current techniques for stealing a vehicle include key cloning, or relay theft, where transmitters are used to intercept the security signal from a car and redirect it to a second transmitter which is then directed at the car. Insurers are reporting that relay transmitters are now so advanced they can clone and amplify an unlocking signal from a car key, even when they are outside a house.
What to do if your car is stolen
You should inform the police as soon as possible if your vehicle has been stolen. Advice from the government’s website is to dial 101 and ask to be put through to your local police station. They will need:
- Your vehicle’s registration number
- Make and model
- Colour and any other distinguishing features
They will then provide you with a crime reference number. You will then need to report this to your insurer so that they can register your car as missing. DVLA will be informed of the theft by the police and also if and when the vehicle is found.
How will rising car theft figures affect my insurance premium?
There is no doubt that the rise in vehicle thefts will have an impact on insurance premiums across the board, and especially for high value cars under five years old, which are the most desirable to thieves. Working with a specialist insurance broker such as Scrutton Bland will help, as they have the knowledge and experience to access the whole of the UK insurance market, can identify the cover you need and negotiate the best premiums for you.
What can you do to help protect your vehicle from thieves?
- Ensure you have an operational tracker on your vehicle and that the subscription is up-to-date
- Keep your vehicle keys in a faraday pouch to help prevent the signal being cloned
- Consider investing in an aftermarket immobiliser which will prevent the car engine from starting, even if the key signal has been cloned
- Keep your vehicle parked in a secure location such as a locked garage or gated area. If this isn’t possible, park in a well-lit busy area where potential thieves can be easily seen
- For extra security, use a steering wheel lock. A visual deterrent is sometimes enough to put off a potential thief, where they have only a few seconds to steal your car
- Don’t leave anything on display in your vehicle. It sounds obvious, but anything worth stealing which is visible inside your car will enhance its attractiveness to crooks
- Be careful where you keep your car keys. They shouldn’t be stored near the front or back doors, or in the garage.
Car theft is a distressing crime and it’s important to do all you can to prevent it happening. Setting up robust security measures to deter thieves is an obvious way to reduce your risk of car theft, and this may help reduce your insurance premium, at a time when costs are going up. It is also important to have the correct cover for your vehicle and the way you use it, so that should the worst happen you are covered.
Scrutton Bland’s Private Client Insurance team understands that everyone’s lifestyle is unique, so we provide policies tailored to your own individual circumstances. Thanks to our industry knowledge and understanding of the personal insurance sector, we’ll work with you to get the right insurance for your luxury vehicles at the best possible premium. Furthermore, we are registered and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), so you can be confident that the advice you receive meets strict professional standards.