Car thief

Nine of the top 10 UK locations for car theft are in London

Survey also revealed that best-selling small cars are most likely to be stolen

THE TOP 20 locations in the UK for car theft have been revealed in a new survey, and it’s not good news for motorists living in London.

The poll from Co-op Car Insurance looked at the frequency of claims made by policyholders dating back to 2016, and the number one location for theft claims was Lambeth in south London. Affluent Kensington and Chelsea recorded the second highest number of car theft claims, followed by Ealing — both boroughs in west London.

In fact, London boroughs took nine of the top 10 spots in the survey, with Watford in Hertfordshire the interloper at nine (though it’s still within the M25 London Orbital motorway). Leading hotspot in the north of England was Preston, Lancashire, at 13.

At the other end of the table, Moray in Scotland, Denbighshire in Wales and Mid Devon in England can lay claim to having the lowest frequency of claims for their respective countries.

Affordable cars most likely to be stolen

The survey by Co-op Insurance also revealed the cars that are most likely to be targeted by thieves, whether they’re stolen or broken into.

Unsurprisingly, the UK’s best-selling car in recent years, the Ford Fiesta, comes in at number one in this part of the survey, while other popular models the Ford Focus, Vauxhall Corsa, Vauxhall Astra and Volkswagen Golf complete the top five.

However, the rest of the top 10 comprises luxury models from Land Rover, Audi and Mercedes-Benz, providing an insight into vehicles that are attractive for thieves to clone and sell, or cars that are stripped for their valuable parts.

In an effort to help drivers reduce the risk of vehicle theft, Co-op Insurance has launched an interactive tool called Park Smart, which helps users identify safe streets in which to park. An interactive map shows how many reports of vehicle thefts, thefts from a vehicle and vandalism there have been in the last six months for a selected location.

Head of motor insurance at Co-op Insurance, Paul Evans, said: “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.

“People with smaller and perhaps less expensive cars need to be aware that these motor vehicles are hot property for car thieves.”

Tips for making your car less attractive to thieves

  • Park in a well-lit area, near to people and other cars, and somewhere it can easily be seen
  • A visible steering lock can deter a car thief. Consider adding a car alarm, immobiliser, tracking device and hardwired dash cam with a parking mode
  • Increasingly inexpensive remote control jamming technology can block the key fob signal to your car, preventing you from locking it — always check the lights flash and doors have locked correctly
  • Never leave objects such as bags, clothes, portable navigation units, designer sunglasses, cash or mobile phones on display. Ensure your car looks empty and free of expensive items
  • Don’t leave your car running when exiting the car, even briefly – thieves can quickly take advantage of an empty driving seat
  • Lock your car when paying for fuel at a kiosk
  • When in slow-moving traffic, lock your windows and doors to deter opportunist thieves. Place valuables out of sight and remain alert, especially if travelling at night or driving a convertible

Top 20 UK vehicle theft hotspots by frequency of claims

Source: Co-op Insurance, 2016-2020

  1. Lambeth, south London
  2. Kensington and Chelsea, west London
  3. Ealing, west London
  4. Southwark, central London
  5. Lewisham, east London
  6. Wandsworth, south London
  7. Greenwich, east London
  8. Hounslow, north London
  9. Watford, Hertfordshire
  10. Westminster, central London
  11. Hammersmith and Fulham, west London
  12. Three Rivers, Hertfordshire
  13. Preston, Lancashire
  14. Slough, Berkshire
  15. Spelthorne, Surrey
  16. Stevenage, Hertfordshire
  17. Barking and Dagenham, east London
  18. Havering, east London
  19. Peterborough, Cambridgeshire
  20. Southampton, Hampshire

Top 10 cars with a theft claim reported, as a percentage of total theft claims

Source: Co-op Insurance, 2016-2020

  1. Ford Fiesta
  2. Ford Focus
  3. Vauxhall Corsa
  4. Vauxhall Astra
  5. Volkswagen Golf
  6. Range Rover Evoque
  7. Land Rover Discovery
  8. Audi A3
  9. Mercedes C-Class
  10. Audi A4