Crime Trends

Top 10 UK Regions for Car Theft 2019

Tracker’s statistics around the most stolen and recovered cars in 2019 unveiled the Range Rover Sport as the number one most stolen and recovered car by Tracker last year. Other cars in the top 10 included the BMW X5 and Mercedes C-Class, with a total recovery value of £13 million for the year. 

To shine a light on further car theft trends, Tracker has compiled a list of the Top UK Regions for Car Theft for 2019. These statistics are based on recoveries by Tracker, which also showed that in 2019, 92% of cars recovered were stolen due to keyless entry theft.

Keyless entry theft, or a ‘relay attack’ is when thieves can steal your keyless car through a relay-style device. A group of two or more thieves will hold a device up to your house and to your car, in the hope that they will pick up the signal from your keyfob and trick your car’s security system into thinking the fob is activating the car. Thieves can steal your car in seconds through this method.

To find out if your region is on our top 10 list or learn ways to protect yourself from car theft, read on...


Tracker Theft UK Hotspot Infographic

As the latest Tracker statistics show, London and its nearest neighbours regularly see the highest frequency of car thefts and recoveries, followed closely by the West Midlands. Tracker’s Worst UK Regions for Car Theft 2019 list below shows northern regions creeping higher in the list in the last year than the home counties – London tops the list, followed by Essex, the West Midlands, Manchester and Yorkshire.

Clive Wain, Head of Police Liaison at Tracker said: “These are unprecedented times, and sadly we cannot look into the future to see how long the current restrictions will affect the car manufacturing supply chain. However, what we can do is protect ourselves while it does. Sadly, whilst we are seeing many positives come out of the current crisis – such as communities pulling together and environmental benefits – we could in the coming weeks and months see criminals take advantage of new opportunities.  

“With movement so restricted, most of us are using our cars far less frequently, so it is easy to get out of the habit of checking doors are locked and keys are secured after those rare essential journeys.”, says Clive. “It’s even easier to forget these good [car security] habits after popping out to the car to collect something you left behind. 92% of the vehicles we recovered last year were stolen without the vehicle’s keys

As such, we advise owners of all vehicles to take extra care to fully secure their vehicle and keep remote locking keys as far away from the car as possible, and in a closed tin (or a faraday bag) so that [your keyless car is] protected against relay-attacks.”


Protect your key fob

Keyless car theft works through a relay-style electronic device tricking your key fob signal into thinking the key is near to the car and then the device can assume all key fob power. 

To prevent a relay attack, keep the key – and the spare too - away from where the vehicle is kept when not in use, and block the signal by keeping the key fob in a closed tin or faraday bag. 

Switch off and lock up

Never leave your car running idle and unattended, even when defrosting windscreens and windows on a cold morning. More on this in our article about frost jacking.

Make life difficult

Fit security posts or a substantial gate if parking on your drive, physical barriers will make thieves think twice.

Don’t advertise your stuff

Never leave your belongings on show, lock them in the boot or take them with you

Keep paperwork indoors

Don’t store car documents or spare keys inside the car as it makes it easier for thieves to sell it on

Plan for the worst

Take car security measures to protect your car from being stolen in the first place, such as installing security lighting where you park your car and using a steering wheel lock. 

And remember...

If criminals do find a way to steal your car, having a high-quality vehicle tracker fitted can help the authorities to recover your vehicle.

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