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High-end premium car thefts rise in the UK

Premium car brands being targeted include Audi, BMW, Mercedes and Porsche. Photo: Getty

The number of premium brand cars stolen across the UK has more than doubled in the past five years, new data reveals.

The figures from insurance provider Direct Line estimate that more than 14,300 high-end cars were stolen across the UK between January and October this year alone. This is more than double the 6,600 premium car thefts recorded during the same period in 2015.

The analysis shows that a premium car is stolen every 38 minutes in the UK, the numbers accounting for nearly two-fifths (37%) of all reported car thefts in 2019.

Premium car brands being targeted include Audi (VOW.DE), BMW, Mercedes (DAI.DE) and Porsche (PAH3.DE).

The Direct Line analysis puts the surge in thefts down to an increasing number of premium cars in the UK – a 26% rise in the last five years – and their high prices, which has made high-end car theft an even more attractive opportunity for thieves.

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London is the premium car theft capital, with one premium car being reported as stolen every two hours, accounting for more than a third (34%) of all high-end car thefts over the past five years. Thefts of high-end brands account for nearly half (49%) of all reported car thefts in the capital.

London is followed by the West Midlands (15%) and the North West (14%).

Steve Barrett, head of motor insurance at Direct Line, said: “Our shared love of cars and technology has led to increasingly luxurious vehicles, but also a steady rise in car prices and an increased possibility of theft.

“Our analysis shows that certain premium car brands can be at heightened risk of being stolen so it is important for car owners to take additional precautions especially in the darker months to ensure their vehicles are not easy targets for thieves.

“Many owners believe that parking in their driveway can be an effective deterrent to thieves, though our research shows that parking in driveways does not deter thieves. We would, therefore, encourage policyholders to protect their cars by investing in anti-theft equipment, such as a steering wheel lock.

“Such simple yet effective devices make cars less attractive to thieves and much harder to steal.”

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