The Ford Fiesta was the most stolen car in the UK in 2022, with the equivalent of one stolen every 88 minutes.
New analysis of government figures reveals a sharp rise in the number of cars stolen last year, with the best-selling small hatchback the most common target. It topped the table ahead of a number of other best-selling mainstream models from Vauxhall and Volkswagen and desirable premium cars from Range Rover, BMW and Mercedes-Benz.
DVLA data shows that police recorded a total of 61,106 stolen cars in 2022, compared to 48,493 in 2021 - an increase of 26% and equivalent to a theft every eight and half minutes. A total of 5,979 Ford Fiestas were stolen, just ahead of the total of 5,533 Range Rovers taken.
The luxury SUV was one of two models from Land Rover to make the list of most stolen cars compiled by LeaseLoco, with the Discovery also in the top five. High prices and strong demand have made the high-end off roaders a desirable target for thieves, with a 47% jump in the number of Range Rovers reported stolen to police between 2021 and 2022 and a massive 52% increase in Discoveries being taken.
Mercedes and Vauxhalls were also among the most targeted, with two models from each brand making it onto the list of the 10 most stolen. The premium Mercedes C- and E- Class were seventh and tenth on the list, with 1,378 and 866 examples stolen respectively. A total of 1,280 examples of the best-selling Vauxhall Corsa were also taken, just 40 more than the larger Astra.
The sheer number of Fiestas and Corsas on the roads make them an easy target for thieves but the number of less common but more expensive models on the list shows that many are being stolen by organised gangs targeting desirable models and often stealing to order.
John Wilmot, CEO of comparison site LeaseLoco commented: “The Ford Fiesta has retained its unenviable title as the most stolen car in Britain, with our research revealing that a Fiesta was stolen every 87 minutes somewhere in the UK last year. However, it is likely to be the last year it tops the table, as Ford recently announced that it will be discontinuing the Fiesta in June.
“Based on the latest figures, the Range Rover could well head the table next year, with more than 5,500 stolen in 2022, up 47% versus 2021. The luxury SUV continues to be a popular target for sophisticated criminal gangs who have the knowledge and keyless tech to quickly gain entry.
“But our figures show that it isn’t just Range Rover thefts that are on the rise. There was an overall 26% increase in car thefts last year. Car owners need to be aware that thefts are on the rise and to take the appropriate precautions to avoid becoming a victim.
“Always make sure your vehicle is locked before you walk away and check that it’s locked at night. Keep your vehicle keys safe; store them out of sight from windows and doors, don’t leave your car running with the keys in the ignition, and consider using a signal blocking key.
“It’s worth thinking about upgrading the security on your car - particularly if you have a high value motor. This could include fitting an alarm, immobiliser and tracking system. And consider another layer of security in the form of a steering wheel lock, which also acts as an effective visual deterrent.”