The UK’s most stolen cars in 2021 revealed

Vehicle thefts increased three per cent in the UK in 2021 as criminals got their hands on almost 48,500 vehicles.

The figures were reported by the police to the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) and mean that a car is stolen every 11 minutes somewhere in the UK.

It’s an increase of 1,617 vehicle thefts on 2020, but remains more than 10,000 down on 2019’s pre-pandemic figures, when 58,642 cars were nicked.

The Ford Fiesta was 2021’s most stolen car in the UK with 3,909 thefts, which is perhaps unsurprising given just how popular the supermini is, having spent many years at the top of the annual sales figures.
In second place was the Range Rover, with 3,754 being stolen. This model is commonly targeted because it’s an expensive premium SUV that’s in high demand.

The rest of the top five was made up of two more mainstream models in the Ford Focus (1,912) and Volkswagen Golf (1,755), as well as another premium model, the Mercedes-Benz C-Class, with 1,474 thefts.

Range Rover Sport SVR
(Land Rover)

The Land Rover Discovery was the second Land Rover product in the top 10, with 1,260 stolen, while the Mercedes-Benz E-Class (818) rounded out the top 10.

These premium models are often targeted by keyless car theft. This usually involves criminal gangs using signal boosters to trick vehicles into thinking the key is nearby, which makes it possible to unlock it and drive away.

To combat this, it’s recommended to keep the key as far from the vehicle as possible so the signal boosters are less effective. Meanwhile, some manufacturers have implemented software that turns off the signal if the key is not being moved.

The data was released following a Freedom of Information request by vehicle leasing comparison site LeaseLoco. Other findings included the fact that the Mitsubishi Outlander was the most stolen plug-in vehicle in 2021, followed by the Hyundai Ioniq and Lexus RX.

John Wilmot, CEO of LeaseLoco, said: “There’s no reason not to purchase these cars just because they appear on the list. If you take the right precautions you can avoid becoming a victim of car thieves – and that goes for any car owners.

“Always make sure your vehicle is locked before you walk away and check that it’s locked at night. Think about upgrading the security on your car; this could include fitting an alarm, immobiliser and tracking system.”