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UK Car Thefts in 2023

Figures released by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) show 64,087 vehicles were reported stolen in 2023 across the United Kingdom.

Taking that into account, that means a car is stolen every eight (8) minutes! So, we decided to construct a list of the makes and models that car thieves like the most.

What's the Number 1 Stolen Car in the UK

In fact, the number of cars getting nicked has actually risen around 5% - when compared against the previous year [2022].

So, if thieves are stealing 176 cars every day, what are the makes and models that they enjoy pilfering the most?

Well, it may surprise you to learn the top ten most stolen cars include some of the UK's best selling small cars (e.g. Ford Fiesta).

On reflection, there are around 1.5 million Fiestas being driven on the roads, so we should take that into account.

Plus, some of the top models taken illegally last year have actually done better. For example, we previously wrote about the best tracker for Range Rover Sport model. In 2023, it saw a decrease of some 29%.

Yet, there was bad news for the Mercedes-Benz lineup. Data released by the DVLA revealed a 30% increase in the number of Mercedes C-Class vehicles ending up in the hands of criminals.

But wait - there's more:

The lawbreakers started targeting electric vehicles (EVs) more often in 2023. As a result, the most stolen electric vehicle in the United Kingdom was the Kia Niro (177 taken). This was closely followed by the Hyundai Ioniq (139 stolen).

Whereas, car theft seems to be giving the exotic and high-performance vehicles a bit of a miss. Statistics show 51 Porsche 911s, 43 Ferraris, 29 Teslas, and only 14 Lamborghinis got taken without the owner's permission in 2023 (according to DVLA data).

10 Most Frequently Stolen Vehicles

1. Ford Fiesta: 5,979 Stolen

After producing 20 million units, the Ford Motor Company stopped making the popular Fiesta hatchback in June 2023.

In spite of this fact, or because of it, the number one spot for the most stolen cars in the United Kingdom in 2023 goes to the Ford Fiesta.


Well, it is fair to say that Fiestas are fun to drive. Some of the later models have a punchy turbo-powered petrol engine. They also produce low emissions, and they are economical to drive.

As a consequence, if you own a Ford Fiesta you may want to sharpen your focus on car security. Moreover, the demand for spare parts from breakers for discontinued models may mean that it retains the unenviable title for a few more years.

2. Ford Focus: 2,120 Stolen

The Focus is also a coveted vehicle that stands out in a crowd of many. Not only is it the best family car to drive, the Ford Focus Sport variant is one that car thieves enjoy thrashing around at high speeds.

We can't even call them cheap family hatchbacks. You could also expect the lacklustre interior trimming to deter the criminals. But, with over a million units UK-wide, it seems they are one of the easiest targets for joyriders to steal.

3. Volkswagen Golf: 2,038 Stolen

For several generations, the Volkswagen Golf has ranked as a top seller in Britain. The later VW models are jam-packed with hi-tech gadgets and they are great to drive.

For that reason, the Golf has become a desirable car and there is no shortage of them on the roads. Thus, if you own one of these vehicles that edged into eighth place in the UK sales chart in 2022, make sure you lock it up at night.

4. Mercedes C-Class: 1,786 Stolen

Owners of Mercedes-Benz cars might have some concerns that the C-Class moved up to 4th place in 2023 - a significant jump from seventh last year.

Of greater concern is that the Mercedes C-Class has become even more popular for car theft than the BMW 3 Series, its main competitor.

Pro Tip: Check out our Mercedes-Benz Van models for further details and information about the Sprinter, Vito, and Citan Panel Van.

5. Range Rover Sport: 1,631 Stolen

So, we're half way down this list of most stolen cars and Range Rover Sport thefts have come in at number five.

Even so, thefts of Range Rover Sport models actually went down by 29%. After 2,283 units were taken in 2022, it ranked as the second most frequently stolen vehicle on the DVLA list one year ago.

Here's the thing:

The high risk cars were vulnerable to exploitation of the keyless entry system. But, a substantial upgrade to the security of some 75,000 second hand Land Rovers saw a huge drop in thefts.

6. Range Rover Evoque: 1,489 Stolen

Another target for Range Rover thieving is the Evoque. Because the numbers are high, it's recommended that owners take extra security precautions.

For example:

Owners should check with their local Land Rover dealer to see if they are undertaking a retrofit upgrade of certain security accessories on used models.

7. BMW 3 Series: 1,466 Stolen

Without a doubt, we can consider the BMW 3 Series as being a prestige model. The efficient and powerful engines (including the new 330e plug-in hybrid) are fun to drive.

But, even though it's not the number 1 stolen vehicle, ranking at number seven confirms that the 3 Series BMW has become a major appeal for unscrupulous criminals.

8. Vauxhall Corsa: 1,110 Stolen

It's a challenge to describe the Vauxhall Corsa as being highly sought after. Yes... the third best-selling car of 2023 has become a common sight around the United Kingdom.

But, if we're going to be honest, it's a mystery why this make and model ranks above other cars that get pinched less often.

9. Vauxhall Astra: 1,086 Stolen

The Vauxhall Astra family hatchback has been great value-for-money for several decades in the UK. It has plentiful boot space, it's punchy, and the engines are economical.

As a result, you could make the case that having two models in the top 10 most stolen car list is not good news for Vauxhall Motors.

10. Land Rover Discovery Sport: 954 Stolen

Land Rover's efforts to foil the most ardent of car thieves have been fruitful for the high-end lineup. Even so, some of the fixes have yet to filter down to older models, such as the Land Rover Discovery Sport.

As a consequence of that, thefts of these remarkably desirable vehicles have risen by fifteen percent since 2022. Indeed, attracting the unwanted attention of car thieves has become a stigma that Land Rover 4x4 will be keen to remove.

Editor's Bio: We are self-confessed car fanatics and we enjoy writing blog articles about the automotive industry - especially here in the United Kingdom.

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