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The UK’s most stolen cars revealed

Vehicle theft is an unfortunate fact of motoring life, with tens of thousands of new and used cars disappearing from the UK’s streets every year.

Now, a study and report by Tracker, a firm specialising in the tracking and recovery of stolen vehicles, reveals the ten cars most often targeted by thieves.

car theifThe models in the top ten represent just a handful of high end marques: Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Range Rover. The Range Rover Sport takes the top spot, with the Vogue in third place and the luxury Autobiography model in ninth position.

BMW also has several entries in the list. The X5 was the most stolen car in the UK for six consecutive years, but drops into second place in the 2015 statistics. Both 3 Series and 5 Series models of all ages are also popular targets for thieves.

Mercedes-Benz and Audi feature twice each. The eco-friendly Mercedes C220 takes fourth place, perhaps due to high sales and a large number of models on the streets. Thefts of Mercedes’ C63 AMG, as well as the Audi RS4, suggest that fast and powerful cars are a hot choice with criminals, although the family friendly Audi Q7 also makes it on to the list, in tenth place.

The survey also reveals the areas of the UK most prone to car theft. Greater London tops the list, with several of the surrounding counties, Essex, Kent, Surrey, and Hertfordshire, also appearing in the top ten.

Greater Manchester takes second place, with the West Midlands in third. While most car thefts take place in urban areas, like Merseyside, which takes the ninth spot, the countryside is not immune, as shown by West Yorkshire’s position as the seventh most popular area for car theft.

Statistics show that the rate of car thefts in the UK is actually dropping, falling to a 40 year low in 2014. We can thank improved vehicle security systems and anti-theft measures for the fall.

However, an overall drop in car crimes is no consolation when it’s your own car that has gone missing. Vehicle theft can be both expensive and inconvenient for the victim, and can cause the cost of your insurance policy to rise for years to come.

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There are ways to reduce the chances of theft if you own a desirable car, live in a high risk area, or both. Parking in a well-lit, busy area, ideally with CCTV nearby, can be a deterrent. At home, if you don’t have a garage, try setting up security lighting and a camera.

Even if your car came equipped with an immobiliser and alarm system, consider adding extra security measures. A steering wheel lock or etched windows can put off thieves looking for an easy job, while tracking systems like Tracker’s have a proven record of getting stolen vehicles back to their owners.

The motor trade should sit up and take notice of Tracker’s findings, since they are likely to affect the sale of particular models. Where there are security loopholes, let’s hope the car manufacturers get to work on closing them.