Crime Trends

Short Supply And Heavy Demand Widens The Car Thief’s Net

First ever hybrid car makes Tracker’s top ten most stolen and recovered league table as Lexus becomes a target for thieves

Key 2022 Tracker Recovery Data  

  • 42% of stolen cars recovered by Tracker in 2022 were Range Rover and Land Rover models

  • The Range Rover Sport takes the number one spot for the fourth consecutive year

  • Luxury brand Lexus enters Tracker’s top ten league table for the first time with its Lexus RX 450H, which takes sixth place

  • The Volkswagen Golf re-enters Tracker’s league table, last appearing in 2017

  • 32 chop shops were uncovered by police in 2022 as a result of a Tracker activated stolen vehicle recovery - over a 300% increase on the number of chop shop closures recorded by Tracker since 2021


The Top 10 Models Recovered By Tracker in 2022

  1. Range Rover Sport

  2. Range Rover Autobiography

  3. Range Rover Vogue

  4. Land Rover Discovery

  5. Mercedes-Benz C-Class

  6. Lexus RX450h

  7. Mercedes-Benz GL-Class

  8. BMW 3 Series, BMW X5, Mercedes-Benz S-Class& Mercedes-Benz E-Class

  9. Range Rover Evoque

  10. Land Rover Defender, VW Golf, & Mercedes-Benz CL-Class


Keyless car theft remained on par year-on-year with 93% of all vehicles recovered by Tracker stolen without the key present

New data analysis from stolen vehicle recovery expert (SVR), Tracker Network UK Limited confirms that the Range Rover Sport continues to be its most commonly stolen and recovered car.  

However, Tracker’s 2022 data has also revealed that not only has another premium SUV model become favourable among thieves, but hybrid vehicles are now rich pickings for criminals.  The Lexus RX 450h enters Tracker’s top ten most stolen and recovered league table, which is the first time a Lexus vehicle has ever appeared in its annual review of stolen and recovered vehicles. A sharp rise in thefts of the Lexus RX450h in the second half of the year indicates it’s likely to remain a target for thieves.

The Volkswagen Golf has re-entered Tracker’s top ten with an average value of £10k; it last appeared in 2017.

The highest value stolen car recovered by Tracker in 2022 was a Mercedes-Benz AMG with a retail price of £182,000 and the lowest value car recovered was an Audi A4, priced at £1,000.

Clive Wain, Head of Police Liaison at Tracker said, “As the U.K. accelerates towards its ambition of achieving zero emissions, so too has the take up of hybrid and electric vehicles by private and company car drivers. And with increasing demand comes a greater risk of these vehicles being targeted by thieves.

“Crucially however, our 2022 data highlights that it’s not just premium and nearly new cars being targeted by thieves. An ongoing lack of parts for new car manufacturing – primarily microchips – has boosted demand in the second-hand car market and in turn, created an opportunity professional criminals have been quick to take advantage of.  

“Furthermore, a shortfall in vehicle parts supply has also hit the service, maintenance and repair sector, creating another lucrative opportunity for professional car thieves. 2022 saw a U.K. boom in ‘chop-shops' – buildings containing stolen vehicles to be stripped down for their expensive parts to be sold on, on the black market.  Police uncovered 32 illegal chop shops in 2022 as a result of us locating stolen vehicles belonging to our customers being hidden there. What’s more, these recoveries resulted in the police also uncovering 100s of non-Tracker fitted vehicles, as well as seize valuable vehicle parts worth millions of pounds.”

Keyless car theft and ‘relay attack’ continues to challenge manufacturers, as Tracker’s latest data confirms. The level of vehicle theft carried out through this method has significantly increased over the years. In 2017, 80% of all vehicles stolen and recovered were stolen without using the owner’s keys, it now stands at 93% in 2022.

Continues Clive Wain, “It remains a difficult time for car owners but a multi-layer approach to vehicle security will go a long way in protecting vehicles. Criminals continue to find ways around new security technology, which is why we always encourage motorists to use traditional security deterrents such as crook locks and wheel clamps to deter criminals and protect their vehicles.  An investment in smart doorbells or a CCTV system are also increasingly popular amongst those keen to guard against unwanted visitors. Indeed, they have become a valuable means to helping police solve vehicle crime. However, in the event of a theft, stolen vehicle tracking technology will significantly help police quickly locate the vehicle and return it to its rightful owner before it is sold on, broken down for parts or shipped abroad.”

Tracker is the only SVR provider offering vehicle tracking systems that are supported nationwide by UK police forces. Its detection units are fitted in over 2000 police patrol vehicles and throughout the national fleet of Police helicopters that comprise the National Police Air Service (NPAS).

Tracker, the only choice for your vehicle protection

Recovering your vehicle is our priority, no matter your vehicle. Tracker is at hand to help.

Shop Now