Car theft across UK hits six-year high

2017 saw the highest levels of car theft since 2011

- Advertisement -

The number of cars stolen in 2017 reached its highest level in six years, according to official figures from the DVLA.

Falling police numbers and the vulnerability of modern electronic security systems are being blamed for the increase in thefts, which saw more than 43,000 vehicles reported stolen to the DVLA in 2017 – 9,000 more than in 2016 and 13,000 more than in 2015.

Speaking to Auto Express, spokesperson for RAC Insurance Simon Williams said this was “a real cause for concern”. He said that while manufacturers put more clever systems on their cars, “it seems criminal groups are continuing to find ways around them”.

Williams added: “We are concerned that the declining number of police officers could be resulting in less investigation of motor crime like this, something that could be solved by forces having greater resources.”

The surge can be blamed in part on ‘keyless’ car crime, with thieves using a car’s security system against itself to gain access. Using handheld scanners, easily purchased on the internet, thieves are able to scan the signal from a car’s entry fob and amplify it, tricking the car into unlocking itself.

The Association of British Insurers said keyless theft was the main cause of the spike in figures. Its spokesperson, Malcolm Tarling, said: “Car criminals don’t stand still. As cars become better protected, criminals see a challenge to break into them.”

Figures out this week from the association also showed an increase in keyless car crime, up 32% in the first nine months compared to the same period in 2018 and costing insurers £271 million.

DVLA data for 2018 shows that 32,827 cars were stolen up to October 26. That points towards a full-year total that will again exceed 40,000 thefts.

- Advertisement -
Stuart Masson
Stuart Massonhttps://www.thecarexpert.co.uk/
Stuart is the Editorial Director of our suite of sites: The Car Expert, The Van Expert and The Truck Expert. Originally from Australia, Stuart has had a passion for cars and the automotive industry for over thirty years. He spent a decade in automotive retail, and now works tirelessly to help car buyers by providing independent and impartial advice.

Latest Expert Advice

Euro NCAP announces big changes to safety testing

Car crash test procedures are getting their biggest overhaul in a decade to improve occupant safety and improve post-crash protection.

The best websites for buying a new or used car

As online car buying becomes more popular thanks to the coronavirus lockdown, which sites should you trust? We round up seven of the top contenders.

Latest Expert Ratings

Nissan X-Trail

Comfortable and practical, but off the pace of the class leaders.

Range Rover Sport

The Range Rover Sport has received positive media reviews, with praise for its driving dynamics but criticisms over quality and reliability.

Volkswagen T-Roc goes back to Black

Volkswagen has added a new Black Edition trim level to its compact T-Roc crossover model, with extra kit over the existing SE specification.

Seven-seat Toyota Highlander coming to the UK

Toyota has announced that it will bring its popular seven-seat Highlander large SUV to the UK for the first time next year.

Euro NCAP announces big changes to safety testing

Car crash test procedures are getting their biggest overhaul in a decade to improve occupant safety and improve post-crash protection.

Car insurance providers told to allow delayed payments

Car insurers have been told to waive fees and allow for delayed payments to help customers in financial difficulty due to the coronavirus.

More from The Car Expert

Expert Advice

Award-winning, independent and impartial advice on buying, financing, owning and running a car

Expert Ratings

We analyse and aggregate dozens of media reviews for each new car into an overall Expert Rating

Expert News

All the most important new car launches, model updates, car reviews and industry news

Expert Partners

Our new space for commercial partners to bring you special offers on their products and services

What are your thoughts? Let us know below.