New research reveals UK’s top 10 car theft hotspots

Close-up shot of a thief wearing a black shirt and black gloves. He tried to open the car door and tried to break in. car theft concept.

The UK’s worst places for car thefts have been revealed by private number plate vendor Absolute Reg, with rates rising in several of these areas.

In 2023, more than 130,000 cars were reported stolen, and an additional 212,900 drivers had an item taken from within their vehicle.

Director of Absolute Reg, Jake Smith, advised motorists across the country to keep their vehicles safe from burglars by parking them in well-lit areas.

He advised: “Motorists in these hotspot car crime areas and across the country should ensure their vehicles are secure as soon as it gets dark. There are also several things you can do to deter any criminals looking for cars to break into or steal.

“At nighttime try to park in a well-lit area underneath a streetlamp or in a busy area you’re unable to use a garage. This will help prevent opportunistic thieves from attempting to steal your car.”

The West Midlands has the highest rate of car crime, with 12.64 instances per 1,000 residents in 2022, according to Absolute Reg.

The company also found that, with 11.87 incidences per 1,000 people, London’s bustling streets are a popular location for car crime.

The majority of the top ten featured parts of England; however, South Glamorgan was also noted as being a bad location for car crime, with a crime rate of 7.56.

Top 10 most dangerous areas for vehicle crime in the UK (rate per 1,000 people)

  1. West Midlands – 12.64
  2. London – 11.87
  3. Bristol – 10.72
  4. South Yorkshire – 8.52
  5. South Glamorgan – 7.56
  6. Bedfordshire – 7.49
  7. Warwickshire – 7.42
  8. Buckinghamshire – 6.9
  9. West Yorkshire – 6.77
  10. Berkshire – 6.59

He continued: “Many drivers also forget that leaving personal items inside your car may increase the chances of getting your vehicle stolen. It’s best to keep any bags, coats, and other items inside your home.

“Secure any items that are on the outside of your vehicle including tailgate racks and roof boxes. Use padlocks and cable locks to prevent thieves or better yet remove anything left on the vehicle.”

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