Where you live has a significant impact on how likely you are to suffer a car theft, a fact underlined by data from Moneysupermarket.

According to a study by the comparison site, based on theft figures between July 2019 and June 2020, the Southeast and Midlands regions are where most car thefts occur.

In the Southeast, Ilford and Barking were the theft hotspots, with 20.32 thefts per 1,000 enquiries. The second spot was occupied by Romford with 19.05 per 1,000.

Birmingham, North London and Bromley came next.

UK car theft

10 places with the highest car theft rates:

  • Ilford and Barking (20.32 thefts per 1,000 enquiries)
  • Romford (19.05)
  • Birmingham (16.51)
  • North London (14.17)
  • Bromley (13.28)
  • South West London (12.91)
  • Halifax (12.80)
  • Dudley (12.26)
  • East London (12.15)
  • Southend on Sea (11.99)


Regional UK car theft data

Looking at the UK regions, London saw the highest rate of theft, followed by the West Midlands, and Yorkshire and Humber.

Car thefts were least likely in Southwest England (2.7 claims per 1,000), which had fewer thefts than Scotland.

Analysing specific locations, the Orkney Islands had the lowest theft rate, at 0.55 thefts per 1,000.

Scottish locations occupied the next six lowest-theft areas, followed by Dorchester and Plymouth (both in the South West).


10 places with the lowest car theft rates:

  • Kirkwall (0.55 thefts per 1000 enquiries)
  • Inverness (0.81)
  • Perth (1.11)
  • Galashiels (1.15)
  • Dumfries and Galloway (1.22)
  • Dundee (1.28)
  • Dorchester (1.46)
  • Plymouth (1.56)
  • Isle of Mann (1.57)
  • Llandrindod Wells (1.57)


Car theft prevention tips

  • Always lock your vehicle - It's important to lock your vehicle, even when filling up or parking for short errands. Double check windows and sunroof are closed. Criminals also target cars with wing mirrors that fold in when locked; if they are in the 'out' position, they could attract an opportunist thief.
  • Keep keys away from your front door - Key fob cloning has become a big issue; keep your keys out of sight and away from your front door. Consider keeping your fob in a signal-blocking pouch.
  • Beware carjackers - Always drive with doors locked. Some criminals collide with vehicles before stealing them - regardless of the fact someone is behind the wheel.
  • Park in well-lit areas
  • Look out for illegal/fake tow trucks - Parking in height-restricted car parks should reduce the risk of a car theft by illegal tow truck.
  • Fit quality in-car security
  • Manually check your car is locked before walking away.

Find out more on Steps you can take to protect your vehicle from car crime. 


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