Car Theft Statistics UK

Written by Lauren Davison

8th March 2024

In the UK, vehicle theft is a persistent problem that impacts countless individuals each year. With cars being swiped from streets and driveways alike, understanding the scale of this issue is crucial. In this article, we’ll delve into the data shown to us by car theft statistics UK. They will work to shed light on the sheer volume of incidents occurring across the nation. Let’s take a closer look at the numbers behind the headlines…

Take a look at the areas we’ll be covering in our article on car theft statistics in the UK:

  • Key stats
  • Car theft stats by location
  • Preventing car theft
  • Results of car theft

Plus, you can also explore our articles for top tips on keeping safe, such as what should I do if my car keys are stolen?

Key Car Theft UK Stats You Need To Know

There were 106,000 incidents of vehicle theft in the UK in the year ending September 2023, compared with 72,000 in the year ending September 2022.

Statistics from the Office for National Statistics also show there was a total of 397,264 vehicle offenses in the same period, which is a 2% increase from the previous year.

Theft and the unauthorised taking of a motor vehicle increased by 17% in the year ending September 2023, compared with the year ending March 2020.

car theft uk statistics

Car Theft UK Statistics By Location

In this section, we’ll examine car theft UK statistics by location, exploring where these incidents occur and the places from which vehicles are snatched. By mapping out these hotspots, we can gain a clearer understanding of the geographic patterns of car theft across the country. Let’s dive into the data and uncover the locations most at risk.

graph for car theft statistics in the uk

As the RAC reported, Cleveland, in the north east of England, had the highest ratio of vehicle theft in 2022. 12.67 vehicles were stolen for every 1,000 registered cars.

Merseyside in comparison, rounds up the list of top ten car theft hotspots in 2022, with 4.37 vehicles stolen for every 1,000 registered cars.

In 2022, 17% of all reported car thefts took place while the car was parked on the street outside of the victim’s home, according to Compare the Market.

13% of cars stolen in 2022 were taken from on-street parking in a residential area, while 11% were stolen from a driveway. Our article on what is car park security will provide you with some top tips for keeping your car secure in this particular type of environment.


Are People Taking Precautions Against Car Theft?

In the ongoing battle against car theft, proactive measures are key. But are people really stepping up to protect their vehicles? Is the rapid development of technology making it harder to secure our vehicles? Let’s explore what the car theft statistics UK are telling us…

In 2024, there is now smart equipment on sale online worth up to £5000, that can help thieves hack into a vehicle’s computer system.

There is also a device resembling a game console, known as an emulator, that reportedly helps thieves steal vehicles within 20 seconds.

When it comes to protecting your vehicle, being aware of what to do if the worst does happen can prepare you on what steps to take. For example, we’ve explored the question of what should I do if my car keys are stolen in our article.

car theft statistic for the uk

What Are The Results Of These Car Theft UK Statistics?

    Between 2019-2022 just 6% of the 396,000 reported car crimes resulted in anyone being charged. This is according to the data released by 39 police forces.

    In the same period, 69% of car theft cases were dropped due to no suspect being identified.

    Between 2020 and 2023, 888,696 cases of vehicle crime went unsolved.

    To Sum Up

    In dissecting the landscape of car theft statistics UK, we’ve peeled back the layers to reveal the raw numbers behind this widespread issue. From the bustling streets of metropolitan hubs to the quiet lanes of rural communities, no corner of the country is untouched by the threat of car theft.

    As the statistics on car theft UK statistics highlight the importance of proactive measures, explore our safety tips and guide articles for insights on staying safe. 

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