The number of vehicles stolen in Britain went up by three per cent in 2021, with nearly 48,500 cars taken.
That’s up from 46,800 in 2020, according to Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency data.
The latest figures have been reported by the Mail Online following a Freedom of Information request by vehicle leasing firm LeaseLoco.
With 3,909 thefts, the Ford Fiesta was the most stolen car last year, which is perhaps unsurprising given how many of them are on the roads.
It’s a similar story for the third-placed Ford Focus (1,912) and fourth-placed Volkswagen Golf (1,755).
Meanwhile, the Vauxhall Corsa (1,218) and Astra (1,096) came eighth and ninth in the table respectively.
However, the rest of the top 10 was made up of cars from premium brands.
In second place was the Range Rover with 3,754 cars stolen, while the Land Rover Discovery saw 1,260 thefts, which placed it seventh.
The Mercedes-Benz C-Class (1,474) and E-Class (818) also made the top 10, as did the BMW 3 Series (1,464).
While it’s no surprise to see big-selling cars such as the Fiesta and Golf in this list, the prevalence of lower-volume models such as the Range Rover and E-Class indicates there is still an issue with criminals targeting premium vehicles through keyless car theft.
This often happens when gangs use signal boosters to trick the car into thinking the key is nearby, which unlocks it and allows it to be driven away.
Experts recommend leaving keys far from the front door so boosters can’t pick up the signal, while some car makers have programmed keys to cut their signal when not being used.
The exact number of cars stolen in 2021 was 48,492, an increase of 1,617 on 2020. That means there were about 933 thefts per week, or 133 per day.
However, thefts are still well below pre-pandemic figures, with 58,642 vehicles stolen in 2019.
An Essex policeman is pictured at top breaking into a decoy car
Britain’s 10 most stolen cars in 2021
1. Ford Fiesta: 3,909
2. Range Rover: 3,754
3. Ford Focus: 1,912
4. VW Golf: 1,755
5. Mercedes-Benz C-Class: 1,474
6. BMW 3 Series: 1,464
7. Land Rover Discovery: 1,260
8. Vauxhall Corsa: 1,218
9. Vauxhall Astra: 1,096