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Romford is the UK’s car theft hotspot

Written by: Emma Lunn
You’re more likely to have your car nicked in the Essex town than anywhere else, while Dumfries & Galloway in Scotland is the safest location.

Research from MoneySupermarket found that Romford topped the car theft hotspot list for the second year running, with a car theft rate of 16.38 per 1,000 insurance enquiries in 2021. It was followed closely by Ilford and Barking which had 15.71 thefts per 1,000 insurance enquiries.

Other areas where car thefts are more common include Birmingham, Enfield, Dudley, Bromley and Stockport.

MoneySupermarket analysed millions of car insurance enquiries made on its site between 20 July 2020 and 20 July 2021, to identify the areas with the highest and lowest rates of reported car theft claims within a five-year period.

Scottish postcodes dominated the top 10 locations where car theft is least likely. Dumfries and Galloway, in Scotland’s Western Southern Uplands, had the lowest rate of reported car thefts at 0.37 per 1,000 capita. Kirkwall had 0.48, Perth 0.87, Paisley 1.01, and Galashiels 1.11.

When it comes to age, drivers aged 30 to 39 are the most likely to report their car as stolen (8.78), whilst those aged 20 to 24 years face the least risk (4.09). This compares to 2020, where 40 to 49-year-olds were most likely to face higher risk of car theft (8.33).

According to DVLA statistics, the Ford Fiesta was the vehicle most targeted by thieves in 2020 with 3,392 reported cases, followed by the Land Rover Range Rover (2,881), then the Volkswagen Golf (1,975).

Praksha Patel-Shah, car insurance expert at MoneySupermarket, said: “Not only can where you live and park your car increase the likelihood of you experiencing car theft, but criminals are now becoming more inventive and sophisticated when it comes to modern vehicles, so extra preventions may be necessary.

“Our research shows that urban, built-up areas have the highest incidences of car theft, while more rural, remote areas tend to record fewer instances. Insurers do consider your location when providing you with a quote, so if you live in an area with a high theft rate, you might see this reflected in higher premiums.”

How to keep your car safe

  • Make sure your car keys aren’t easily accessible and avoid leaving them near your front door.
  • Always check that your car is locked before you walk away.
  • Park off road or in a garage wherever possible.
  • Don’t leave your vehicle running or unattended even if this is for a short period of time.
  • Get windows made from security glass or Enhanced Protection Glazing.
  • Fit security measures such as tracking devices and steering wheel locks.
  • If you have a keyless car, buy a protective pouch to store your keys in.


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