Surge in premium car thefts

Thefts of premium cars have more than doubled in the past four years, new figures show.

Analysis by insurer Direct Line estimates that more than 14,300 high-end cars were stolen across the UK between January and October.

That is compared with just 6,600 during the same period in 2015.

Premium car brands being targeted include Audi, BMW, Mercedes and Porsche.

Direct Line calculated the figures by extrapolating its claims data based on its share of the car insurance market.

The firm believes the increase in high-end car thefts is due to their price rising faster than the average cost of cars.

Its analysis suggests that for every 10,000 premium cars on UK roads, 17 have been stolen during 2019 to date.

The equivalent proportion for all cars is just 12 per 10,000.

Direct Line head of motor insurance Steve Barrett said: “Our shared love of cars and technology has led to increasingly luxurious vehicles, but also a steady rise in car prices and an increased possibility of theft.

“Our analysis shows that certain premium car brands can be at heightened risk of being stolen so it is important for car owners to take additional precautions especially in the darker months to ensure their vehicles are not easy targets for thieves.

“Many owners believe that parking in their driveway can be an effective deterrent to thieves, though our research shows that parking in driveways does not deter thieves.

“We would, therefore, encourage policyholders to protect their cars by investing in anti-theft equipment, such as a steering wheel lock.

“Such simple yet effective devices make cars less attractive to thieves and much harder to steal.”