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Top 10 most stolen cars

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With over 40% of the population admitting to being a victim of car theft, you wouldn’t have thought that car crime is still as rife today as it was 10 years ago. In 2008 alone there were 150,000 cars reported stolen and £32.5m have been recovered in assets and 200 criminals have been arrested but there’s still more to be done if we want to stop car crime.

Below if a list of the top 10 most stolen cars


  • Vauxhall Vectra
  • Ford Mondeo
  • Ford Focus
  • Ford Escort
  • BMW 3 Series
  • Volkswagen Golf
  • Vauxhall Corsa
  • Vauxhall Astra
  • Ford Fiesta
  • Ford Transit


As you can see the only ‘top class’ vehicle on the top 10 most stolen list is the BMW 3 series. All the others have had better security systems fitted in the last few years so stealing is harder. Having said this, it hasn’t stopped thieves from stealing the most recent models though. Some of the cars on this list are much safer to own now whilst some others like the Ford Fiesta are still the most popular stolen cars today. Just because you have an older car doesn’t make it safer; in fact money can still be made from parts alone. If you have an old vehicle that is harder to find parts for, this is another reason why it is targeted by thieves. Cars that have a high resale value for parts in the UK and abroad are the ones being targetted.

How are cars stolen?

One of the ways thieves stole cars is by looking on the dashboard to find the VIN number; equipped with this, they go to the car manufacturer and request a new key. Now it sounds unfair for a car manufacturer to just hand over new keys without any proof of ownership and more information but this is just one of the rumours you will find on the internet.

The classic ways we all know is to pop the hood and disconnect the alarm and look for the ignition cable. If this doesn’t work, there are other ways that you can manipulate a car's alarm system. Depending on how old it is, some cars don’t even have alarms so by forcing the door open and looking for the ignition cable, you can get away with it. There are still some cars that are made today that don’t have a security alarm fitted as standard.

Car ‘fishing’

The term fishing is applied to thieves who target cars that are seen on the driveway. They then peer through the letter box to see if they can find the keys and ‘fish’ them out. Since most people tend to leave keys in the door at night or on a hook next to the door, thieves are taking their chances to see how easy it is to steal a car right under the owners’ noses. To avoid ‘fishing’, keep car keys out of sight and don’t make it easier for thieves to steal your car and remember if you do become a victim of ‘fishing’, your insurers may not pay out. This may seem unfair but in some ways it is more your fault for leaving keys in a place easy for thieves to steal.

gices Published 01 Feb 2010