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UK car theft hotspots – Where your car is most likely to be stolen and tips to protect it

car theft

Romford and Ilford top the list as the most targeted areas for car theft (Image: GETTY)

New car theft data has revealed where in the country the most reported car thefts are.

Data from five million car insurance enquiries between the months of July 2017 and June 2018 were analysed to discover where cars are most frequently being stolen.

Romford and Ilford took the top spots with 13.5 per 1,000 cars being robbed in the former and 13 per 1,000 in the latter.

Birmingham came in third place with 9.5 followed by Halifax with 8.6 and Liverpool with 8.2.

On the other end of the scale Lerwick in the Shetland Islands, Scotland, is officially one of the safest places to keep a car, alongside Jersey and neighbouring Guernsey, with no car thefts stated.

Kirkwall, Dumfries, Inverness and Perth follow suit, with low theft rates ranging from 0.3-0.7 per 1,000 capita.

This makes Scotland the safest ares in the UK with half of the top 10 belonging to the area.

The South West of England also rank well with Truro in Cornwall and Exeter also scoring highly.

Kevin Pratt, consumer affairs expert at MoneySuperMarket, who provided the research, comments: “When it comes to car thieves, it turns out that the only way is Essex, as the county has three of the UK’s car theft hotspots.

“Making sure your vehicle is protected with the right insurance is key to minimising the financial impact a theft can have – but prevention is always better than cure.

“No matter where you are in the UK, it’s important to defend your property against planned and opportunistic theft, whether of the vehicle itself or belongings left inside.

“There are simple steps drivers can take to enhance security and thwart criminals. And if you can avoid having to make a claim on your insurance, you will protect your no claims discount and dodge a nasty hike in your premiums.

“If you do have to claim after a theft, make sure you shop around at next renewal. It might be possible to undercut your existing insurer by finding a competitive deal elsewhere.”

car keys

Drivers shouldn’t leave their car keys by the front of their house (Image: GETTY)

Car Theft: Top 10 Most Targeted Areas and theft rate (per 1,000 capita)

1. Romford – Theft rate 13.5

2. Ilford – Theft rate 13.0

3. Birmingham – Theft rate 9.5

4. Halifax – Theft rate 8.6

5. Liverpool – Theft rate 8.2

6. Southend-on-Sea – Theft rate 8.1

7. East London – Theft rate 7.2

8. Bromley – Theft rate 7.2

9. Bradford – Theft rate 7.0

10. Stockport – Theft rate 7.0

steering wheel lock

A steering wheel lock could be help deter a thief (Image: GETTY)

Car Theft: Top 10 Safest Areas

1. Lerwick – Theft rate 0 (none stated)

2. Jersey – Theft rate 0 (none stated)

3. Guernsey – Theft rate 0 (none stated)

4. Kirkwall – Theft rate 0.3

5. Dumfries – Theft rate 0.6

6. Inverness – Theft rate 0.7

7. Perth – Theft rate 0.7

8. Isle of Man – Theft rate 0.7

9. Truro – Theft rate 0.8

10. Exeter – Theft rate 0.9

car theft

Don’t leave valuables in sight when in the car (Image: GETTY)

Top tips to help Brits keep their cars safe and secure:

1. Fit an approved alarm and consider old-school devices such as a steering lock, especially if you have keyless entry

2. Don’t leave valuables in sight to deter opportunistic thieves

3. Avoid leaving keys near the front door – the easiest way to steal a car is by getting hold of the key, so make sure they’re not easily accessible

4. If possible, park off road or in a garage

5. Never leave your car idling on the drive while the air conditioning cools the interior, or to warm up in winter – it’s an open invitation to a thief

6. Use a tracking device to increase the chance of recovery

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