Unsurprisingly, the new UK data reveals that almost half of the top ten cars stolen in 2020 coincided with 2020’s best-selling new cars, with Britain’s constant new car favourite, the Ford Fiesta, also being the country’s most stolen car in 2020, with 3,392 examples taken without consent.
According to the DVLA’s statistics, the Range Rover was the UK’s second most-stolen car last year, with 2,881 examples taken. The dependable but dull third-most stolen machine was the C-segment Volkswagen Golf (1,975 examples) with its Ford rival Focus in fourth-position, with 1,587 ending up in the wrong hands. The ubiquitous BMW 3 Series become the UK’s fifth most stolen car last year at 1,435 examples.
Overall, according to the DVLA’s records, the UK’s top ten most stolen cars in 2020 were as follows, with no Toyota Prius to be seen. Four of the UK’s most stolen models also appearing in last year’s ten best-selling new passenger cars, as noted below.
The most stolen cars of 2020
- Ford Fiesta – 3,392 examples taken (no. 1 2020 UK best-seller)
- Range Rover – 2,881
- Volkswagen Golf – 1,975 (no. 3 2020 UK best-seller)
- Ford Focus – 1,587 (no. 4 2020 UK best-seller)
- BMW 3 Series – 1,435
- Vauxhall Astra – 1,126
- Land Rover Discovery – 900
- Mercedes E-Class – 766
- BMW 5 Series – 678
- Nissan Qashqai – 655 (no. 6 2020 UK best-seller)
Theoretically, stealing a car in 2020 would and should have been considerably more difficult that it would have been at the turn of the 21st Century, when the anti-theft security items to be found on a regular vehicle in the UK would have been far less secure and tamper proof than today. At a time, 20 years ago the majority of vehicles in Britain were simpler and more basic, with fitted alarms, robust anti-theft door locks and locking wheel nuts still a rarity on the glut of earlier Ford Fiestas and Escorts, Austin Metros and Vauxhall Corsas that still littered our roads. Back then, my classic old Citroën Mehari lacked lockable doors all together and could be started with a screw driver, whilst the keys to my mother’s Rover could also be used to unlock and start my elder brother’s aging Ford!
Thankfully today the new cars we drive are considerably more secure. That said, despite vehicle makers best efforts, the ONS still reports that over a third of all reported car theft cases in 2020 involved cars with keyless entry systems. If the car key is within range of the vehicle its coded to, its signal can be simply copied and used to open and start the vehicle, even when a physical fob is not present, hence two keyless Land Rover products appearing in last year’s top ten most stolen cars. To help combat potential keyless car theft, owners are strongly recommended to consider buying a specialist shielding ‘pouch’ to store the keys away safely when they are not in use.