Fleet News

Number of stolen vehicles down by 70% in past decade

The number of vehicles stolen in England and Wales has fallen by 70% in the past decade with the crime now at its lowest point since 1968, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Latest figures show 69,547 vehicles were stolen last year, compared to 231,323 in 2004. Vehicle theft fell by 1.2%, or 842 incidents, compared with 2013. With more than 36 million vehicles on the road, today's figures show that just 0.2% of all vehicles were stolen in 2014.

The SMMT said that the continued reduction in vehicle theft follows a tireless effort by manufacturers to help make vehicles ever more secure. The industry invests billions of pounds each year to ensure it remains at the cutting edge of technology and stays ahead of criminals. The introduction of advanced security systems as standard equipment is also helping to make vehicles harder to steal.

To reduce theft rates further, the automotive industry is urging authorities to collect more detailed data about how vehicles are being stolen. There is currently little nationwide understanding of trends in types of vehicle theft because only a small number of police forces collect and analyse this data. This can lead to skewed public perceptions about the regularity of certain types of vehicle theft across the country.

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said: "Thanks to significant investments by car manufacturers in the latest security systems, vehicle thefts across England and Wales are at the lowest levels for decades. We are, however, calling for better tracking of how different vehicles are stolen so that we have an accurate understanding of how criminals are operating and can develop future technology to eradicate vehicle crime."

Leave a comment for your chance to win £20 of John Lewis vouchers.

Every issue of Fleet News the editor picks his favourite comment from the past two weeks – get involved for your chance to appear in print and win!

Login to comment


  • Sage & Onion - 27/04/2015 13:46

    Stolen with keys is probably the most common reason these days. I have doubts about the security of hired vehicles because we can never know if a previous hirer has hired it just to get a "cloned" key made and then observes where it goes to next. If hirers fitted trackers to their vehicles it would reduce this risk significantly.

  • Mike D - 28/04/2015 17:10

    I wonder whether owners of stolen Range Rovers will be reassured by the statistics in this article. Underwriters are refusing to cover some Range Rovers in London and owners of other prestige brands are resorting to old fashioned security to stop their keyless entry cars (fitted with keyless start technology) being stolen. Wouldn’t these figures improve even more if manufacturers stopped building in security flaws into cars? What is so difficult about carrying a key? As a result of keyless technology, I understand that car crime figures are likely to rise for the first time in 20 years.

Compare costs of your company cars

Looking to acquire new vehicles? Check how much they'll cost to run with our Car Running Cost calculator.

What is your BIK car tax liability?

The Fleet News car tax calculator lets you work out tax costs for both employer and employee