Back to Posts

The Top Stolen Cars in the UK and How to Safeguard Your Ride

  • The Top Stolen Cars in the UK and How to Safeguard Your Ride

Here is a look at the most stolen cars in the UK this year and tips on how to better protect your vehicle from thieves.

Car theft remains a persistent problem in the UK, with over 100,000 vehicles reported stolen in 2022 according to statistics from the Office for National Statistics. Some makes and models are more vulnerable to theft than others.

Ford Fiesta

The consistent top stolen car model year after year is the Ford Fiesta. As one of Britain’s highest selling cars, Fiestas offer thieves abundant targets and strong demand for sold parts. Most lack sophisticated anti-theft systems beyond basic alarms and immobilisers, making them easy to steal for quick resale.

Range Rover Sport

Boasting high price tags even when second-hand, Range Rover luxury SUV models like the Sport tempt thieves to steal and strip for parts or export abroad. Keyless entry systems introduced convenience for drivers but vulnerabilities too, with tech-savvy criminals using relay devices to unlock and start them quickly.


Like Range Rovers, BMW’s X5 luxury SUV carries a premium price and demand across global markets for sold parts after theft. Keyless entry and driving functions enable swift access by thieves using wireless signal amplification tricks, making them easy targets.

Mercedes C-Class

The Mercedes C-Class is another luxury model featuring keyless entry drawing car thieves’ attention. The C-Class retail parts command high prices domestically and abroad. Like all keyless models, they remain susceptible to tech-enabled relay thefts by experienced criminal groups and chop shop operators.

Volkswagen Golf

A UK bestseller like the Ford Fiesta which lacks sophisticated alarm deterrents in most trims, The Volkswagen Golfs give thieves abundant targets and marketability for stripped parts. Quick exits and popular status allow criminals to disappear before recovery.


Protecting Your Vehicle

Fortunately, there are steps you can take to reduce the odds your car gets targeted. Adding extra layers of security acts as an effective deterrent. Steering wheel locks, brake locks, and other physical anti-theft devices make stealing your car more difficult and time-consuming. Installing a Thatcham-approved alarm can also discourage thieves.

Keyless entry systems have become standard on many newer cars, but also introduce vulnerabilities that thieves have been quick to exploit. By using signal amplifying devices, criminals can pick up fob signals from outside houses and drive away without ever needing the key. This has led to a substantial rise in thefts of vehicles with keyless starts like Land Rovers and BMWs.

Where you park matters as well. If possible, use secure garages and park in well-lit, high-traffic areas rather than dark, isolated streets. Get a steering wheel lock to deter opportunistic thieves if parking on the street. Using a GPS vehicle tracking system allows police to pinpoint your car’s location if all prevention fails. 

Investigate new technologies like advanced driver-recognition systems that use biometric authentication to prevent keyless cars from starting without an authorised driver present. Faraday shield bags block remote signals to keep thieves with signal amplifiers at bay. Aftermarket ECUTM control units provide added electronic immobilisation when the ignition is off.


Advice for High-Risk Vehicles  

Drivers of the most stolen car models should take extra precautions. For Ford Fiesta owners, having your engine switched off immediately if your key fob goes out of detectable range is advisable. Emptying the car of any valuables and using visible steering locks and gear stick locks act as theft deterrents. Installing a battery cutoff relay to disable the engine from electrical power when turned off also adds protection.

Range Rover and Land Rover owners would be wise to store keys in RFID-blocking wallets or pouches at night. Using deadbolt steering wheel locks and parking next to another car or structure can block access from both driver side doors, as most keyless thefts involve prying open the driver door before entering to initiate the start sequence.  

In general, police advise drivers to park in locked garages when possible and busy, well-lit streets when not. Clearing vehicles of valuables, using visible deterrent devices, and installing Thatcham certified vehicle alarms all can discourage opportunistic thieves. Advancements in biometric fingerprint scanning and facial recognition technology offer future promise to combat keyless theft as well.

In Conclusion

A few preventative steps can go a long way to shielding your car from theft. Drivers of high-theft models like Ford Fiestas and Range Rovers should take extra precautions like using physical locks, immobilising devices, and location tracking systems. Technological advancements in biometric driver authentication, wireless signal blocking, and supplemental control units may provide more robust protection options in the future. Being vigilant about security allows UK motorists to continue enjoying and benefiting from car ownership.