Vehicle security is of paramount importance, with the APCO Vehicle Crime Intelligence Service (AVCIS) reporting that over 120,000 are stolen in the UK alone every single year.
In 1997 when vehicle security standards were significantly lower, 378,000 vehicles were reported stolen in the UK. This demonstrates the importance of vehicle choice when it comes reducing the chances of theft.
It should not be forgotten that these figures will be used in the calculation of insurance premiums, which are calculated by looking at the statistical likelihood of a claim being made. It would therefore make sense for you to expect to pay slightly higher premiums if your vehicle is one of the following vehicles which are statistically the ten most likely to be stolen:
10. Vauxhall Vectra
Launched as a replacement to the Vauxhall Cavalier in 1988, the Vectra had a twenty year life span before being retired from service in 2008.
The strong reliability and enduring appeal of the model means that there are still many of the older models on the road. Therefore, despite newer Vectra models being recognised by Thatcham as being one of the most secure family cars on the road, the older models which did not feature such advanced security systems are the reason why the Vectra has made into the top ten.
9. Ford Mondeo
The Mondeo was launched as replacement for the legendary Ford Sierra in 1992 and therefore suffers from the same problem as the Vectra in that despite improvements in the security ratings of newer models; there are still a lot of older Mondeo’s on the road.
It should not be forgotten that many of these older vehicles are being targeted in an attempt to source replacement parts which can be sold on.
8. Ford Focus
Despite the newest second and third generation Focus’s scoring highly on the Thatcham security rating and the model being first launched in 1999 (eleven and seven years after the Vectra and Mondeo respectively), there are still more Focus’s stolen than either a Mondeo or a Vectra.
A possible explanation for this is the popularity of the relative models, with the Focus finishing fourth on the list of the top 50 most popular cars in the UK which was conducted by MoneySupermarket.com. This is compared to the 13 and 14th place finishes of the Vectra and Mondeo.
7. Ford Escort
The Escort was in production for over thirty years before being replaced by the 8th place Focus in 1999. Given the average age of Escort’s which are still on the road in the UK, and hence the comparatively poor security systems they feature; it is unsurprising to find it featuring strongly on this list.
Despite production having stopped over ten years ago, the Escort is still very popular with motorists; finishing 26th on the car popularity list released by MoneySupermarket.
6. BMW 3 Series
BMW’s are popular with car thieves who are on the look out for a luxury model. It is therefore unsurprising that the company’s most popular model (which accounts for approximately 40% of its overall sales) is 6th on the list.
Launched in 1975, there are a lot of older BMW’s which are still in operation. A MoneySupermarket.com survey found that average age of BMW on the road is over ten years old.
5. Volkswagen Golf
Volkswagen’s Golf model is another vehicle with enduring appeal, having first been launched in 1974. As we have seen with the before mentioned model, this is a prime explanation for the Golf’s presence on this list despite strong Thatcham ratings for modern models.
The Golf is also the 5th most popular vehicle on the road in the UK according to MoneySupermarket.com.
4. Vauxhall Corsa
The Vauxhall Corsa was the unveiled by MoneySupermarket to be the most popular car on the road; being the only vehicle to attract over one million car insurance searches on the MoneySupermarket.com website.
Not only does this mean that it is more likely that a Corsa vehicle will be reported to have been broken into than any other vehicle; but it also means that is a prime target for thieves on the look out to source replacement parts.
3. Vauxhall Astra
At first it may be surprising to find that the Astra is five places higher on this list than its main rival the Ford Focus despite both being similarly popular with motorists.
However, closer analysis of this demonstrated that the first Astra was made available in the UK twenty years before the first Focus. This undoubtedly means that there are a larger number of older models with lower security ratings still on the roads; a problem which the Focus does not have.
2. Ford Fiesta
The Ford Fiesta is handicapped by a similar problem to the Astra, having first been launched in 1976.
This problem will have been exacerbated by the fact that the Fiesta is hugely popular with younger drivers who are keen to take advantage of the vehicle’s cheap running costs. Many of this group of road user can only afford to buy older, and hence cheaper models meaning that a larger percentage of the Fiesta’s on the road are likely to be over ten years old.
Many of the older Fiesta’s are woefully easy to break into compared to modern vehicles. This along with the popularity of the model (2nd most popular on the road behind the Corsa), explains the Fiesta’s high position on this list.
1. Ford Transit
The vehicle with the unwelcome honour of being the most stolen vehicle on the road isn’t a car but a van in the form of a Ford Transit. Thieves know that Transit’s are mainly used by businesses to carry expensive equipment, and are therefore a prime target.
This is despite the Transit being nominated in the Thatcham awards to recognise the most secure vehicles on the road in the 2011 survey in both the light and heavy weight van categories. Ultimately, this increased level of risk will be reflected in van insurance premiums.