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The year 2020 will no doubt be remembered as the year of the COVID-19. Numerous new rules have meant we have used our cars far less than expected. However, the rate of vehicle theft has remained high during the year.
New data provided by the DVLA, following a freedom of information request from Rivervale Leasing, provides some startling information.
Overall thefts increased in 2020 compared to 2019
The DVLA revealed that 74,769 vehicles were reported as stolen to the police in 2020. This is nearly 20,000 more than the figure reported for 2019.
This means just under 205 vehicles a day were stolen in 2020—this is around a 36% increase compared to 2019.
How often are vehicle thefts returned to their owners?
The Office of National Statistics has confirmed that 72% of stolen vehicles are not returned to their owners.
Further data confirmed that 36% of vehicle thefts are by keyless entry. This is where thieves use sophisticated electronic devices to bounce signals from the vehicle key to gain entry.
24% of thefts happen with the use of the key for the vehicle. Often perpetrators locate keys on display through a window or close buy when they force a door.
Finally, it has been highlighted that 80% of vehicle thefts happen in the evening or overnight. Having your vehicle in a well-lit area can deter potential theft it has been advised.
Top car models that were stolen in the UK 2020
- Ford Fiesta - 3392
- Range Rover - 2881
- Volkswagen Golf - 1975
- Ford Focus - 1587
- BMW 3 Series - 1435
- Vauxhall Astra - 1126
- Land Rover Discovery - 900
- Mercedes E-Class - 766
- BMW 5 Series - 678
- Nissan Qashqai - 655
- Ford Kuga - 620
- BMW X5 - 551
- Fiat 500 - 358
- Mercedes GLC - 342
- Audi A6 - 268
Should be noted that some of the positions are filled by models that occupy similar positions in the best selling lists also. The Ford Fiesta is the best selling vehicle in the UK. The Volkswagen Golf and Ford Focus also appear in the top four positions in the best selling lists also.
However, luxury models like the Range Rover, Land Rover Discovery, BMW 3 and 5 series and the Mercedes E-Class perhaps indicate a disproportionate propensity to be stolen.
In a year where most of the country has been under periods of lockdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic, perhaps the figures may be a shock to some. However, at Total Loss Gap, we can confirm that we have seen an increase in Gap Insurance claims also. This is only to be expected with such a rise in the rate of vehicle thefts.
Sobering figures, and perhaps a perfect reason to consider Gap Insurance for your vehicle!