Britain is winning the fight against car crime according to new statistics released today, with the victory attributed to manufacturers stepping up security levels.
A total of 107,000 cars were stolen last year, but this is a significant reduction from 2009's 119,000 and the 143,000 of 2008. It is a tiny fraction of the 600,000 that were stolen every year 20 years ago. Figures have also revealed that the most popular vehicle stolen is the Ford Transit.
Andrew Miller, director of research at car insurance repair research centre, Thatcham, said the reduction in car thefts was "due to the incredible improvements to a raft of security systems including alarms, locks, immobilisers, toughened glass and tracking devices".
This was backed up by the fact that the majority of vehicles stolen were more than three years old, and 80 percent of thieves use the keys to take them rather than trying to smash their way in.
"We are doing everything possible to crack down on car crime. Now it is the motorist's responsibility to drive down vehicle theft figures," said Miller.
Thatcham has named Volkswagen as the safest manufacturer in the British Insurance Vehicle Security Awards (BIVSA) with Audi and Volvo coming second and third.
The top ten list of vehicles stolen in the first three months of this year was dominated by more everyday vehicles, with the Vauxhall Astra and the best-selling Ford Fiesta coming second and third.
"Vehicles appearing in the list may surprise motorists," said Head of AVCIS, Detective Chief Inspector Mark Hooper. "Although high-end cars are stolen to order by criminals, those driving more affordable vehicles should not be complacent. Whatever vehicle you drive, security should always be a priority."
The full list is as follows:
1) Ford Transit
2) Vauxhall Astra
3) Ford Fiesta
4) Volkswagen Golf
5) Vauxhall Corsa
6) BMW 3 Series
7) Ford Focus
8) Mercedes-Benz Sprinter
9) Ford Mondeo
10) Honda Civic