Experts have issued an urgent warning to drivers to be aware of criminals stealing popular cars after new data found that one car was stolen every eight minutes last year.
Motor thefts jumped by almost five percent in 2023 as the Ford Fiesta had the unfortunate position of being the most stolen vehicle.
The Fiesta, which is also the most owned car in the UK, was stolen almost 6,000 times over the last 12 months, although this represented a slight decrease of 0.1 per cent compared to the previous year.
The data, which came from a Freedom of Information request to the DVLA, found that the Ford Fiesta was stolen once every 88 minutes on average.
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Drivers are being warned to remain vigilant with the rate of car thefts rising
Ford also saw its Focus models stolen 2,120 times, placing them in second, just above the Volkswagen Golf and Mercedes-Benz C-Class.
In total, 64,087 vehicles were reported by the police to the DVLA last year, representing a 4.9 per cent increase compared to 2022.
This equates to a staggering total of 176 cars stolen each day, or one taken every eight minutes and 12 seconds.
While everyday vehicles were among the most stolen, owners of luxury vehicles did not escape having their vehicles pinched with Range Rovers, BMWs and Mercedes-Benz models all featuring in the top 10.
The UK’s most stolen vehicles in 2023
1. Ford Fiesta – 5,976 stolen
2. Ford Focus – 2,120 stolen
3. VW Golf – 2,038 stolen
4. Mercedes-Benz C-Class – 1,786 stolen
5. Range Rover Sport – 1,631 stolen
6. Range Rover Evoque – 1,489 stolen
7. BMW 3 Series – 1,466 stolen
8. Vauxhall Corsa – 1,110 stolen
9. Vauxhall Astra – 1,086 stolen
10. Land Rover Discovery Sport – 954 stolen
John Wilmot, CEO of LeaseLoco, said: “The Fiesta was unable to shake off the title as the UK’s most stolen car despite being axed by Ford in the summer of 2023.
“Logically, with fewer new Fiestas on UK roads, we might have expected to see thefts fall significantly last year.
“However, Ford’s decision to discontinue the popular small hatchback could well have sparked an increase in demand for second-hand parts, making them a hot target for thieves.”
He highlighted how car owners should be extra vigilant to ensure they do not become a victim of crime, with many drivers now installing extra security measures.
The Ford Fiesta was the most stolen vehicle in 2023
With the dramatic rise in keyless car thefts, some drivers are investing in Faraday pouches which block the signals of the key fob from being intercepted by criminals.
Other security measures include installing CCTV cameras, parking in safer areas and even putting up fences or gates to keep people away from their vehicles.