Premium vehicle thefts double in five years

The number of premium cars being stolen has doubled over the last five years, according to new research.

Between January and October 2019, car insurance firm Direct Line Group received 14,300 claims for stolen premium cars, up 117 per cent on the 6,600 claims made during the same period in 2018.

In total there have been 67,000 claims made to Direct Line for premium car thefts in the past five years. It means that a luxury or high-end car is stolen every 38 minutes on average, accounting for 37 per cent of all theft claims.

Steve Barrett, head of motor insurance at Direct Line, 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.”

The study found that so far in 2019, 17 premium cars have been sold for every 10,000 premium vehicles put on the road. In contrast, 12 per 10,000 cars are stolen when looking at all of the cars in the UK.

It also found that 65 per cent of all vehicles stolen were taken from the owner’s address. This bumps up to 71 per cent for premium vehicles.