RSS Feed

Related Articles

Related Categories

How to avoid car theft - Cars which are most likely to be stolen

15th August 2011 Print

The least stolen car, based on's customer data, is the Ford Ka3 with no incidences of theft among 9,070 owners between 2004-2011. But which vehicles do thieves see as the most ‘stealable' when scoping out a street? Car insurance specialists at have interviewed security expert and ex-burglar, Michael Fraser, to get a picture of what car owners can do to avoid losing their car to a thief.

Michael Fraser advises on which vehicles thieves might target:
(All tips to be attributed to Michael Fraser, working with

"A Ford Ka is not very likely to be stolen as thieves will view them as cheap, with no power, and no street cred among thieves." Says security expert Michael Fraser, "The cars that are much more likely to be targeted are the BMW 3.5, Jaguar XJ, Mercedes C Class, and Range Rover Sport. These are sought after by car thieves as they are very fast, powerful, hold the road well and are built well. Protection on these vehicles will be high so it's about getting hold of the keys. Manufacturers should include a tracker on new vehicles as standard."

In interviews with car insurance specialists at, Michael also advises that vans are usually stolen too because the thief can see tools or equipment inside the vehicles so it's definitely worth hiding them away:

Michael says: "Cars are stolen for certain types of jobs, so for example, ram-raiders prefer sturdier vehicles with tow bars or oversize bumpers and they will choose dark-coloured vehicles so they blend in. White vans are useful for moving for stolen goods because they appear anonymous." 34 years ago Michael took cars himself, and chose the Ford Capri and Bedford vans as at the time these were relatively easy to take.

"Any anti-theft device will deter thieves to a certain extent, so it is always a good thing to have them because they do work. The thief doesn't want to spend time trying to remove it. Instead they will just move on to the next car without any security. They will always avoid vehicles that have visible devices and deterrents such as a sticker saying ‘this car has a tracker'. Etched windows and alarms are also good, but it is worth remembering that factory-fitted ones are the best as the cheaper ones on the market are easier to overcome." He advises.

The most common mistakes car owners make are leaving things on show such as phone leads, briefcases, handbags, sat nav holders and paperwork. Untidy vehicles attract car thieves. asked Michael how new technology is affecting car theft and he shared this advice:

"Portable sat navs leave a circular mark on the screen and if you don't wipe the screen it's a dead give-away that you have one. This highlights the fact that you are not security conscious and the thief could also use the sat nav to find out where you live if you have programmed your home address into it too. Leaving windows slightly open is not advisable either as it simply makes the car more inviting to thieves."

Car theft happens to all makes and models of vehicle although modern cars are harder to take. Unfortunately people lose their cars for simple reasons such as forgetting to lock them or leave a window open because they are in a rush - that is exactly what the car thief is looking out for.

Michael says: "Most modern cars have a memory chip in the key which makes taking a car harder because they can't hotwire it as they did in the past. But instead of making it harder for the thief people often leave their car keys in the hallway, on the stairs, in handbags left downstairs or in the kitchen. In order to get the keys the their will either go "letterbox fishing" for the keys or they will try the back door because so many people leave their back doors open." tips from Michael Fraser:

When parking on a road turn the wheels into the kerb and when in a car park turn the wheels towards another car: a car thief will avoid your car as it takes a lot more effort to move the vehicle.

When parking on a drive always drive in rather than reverse in and turn the wheels.

Untidy vehicles attract the thieves because they indicate the owner is usually a rush and is likely to have left something of value or forgotten to lock the car. Show that you care about your car.

New cars have built in chips in the key so without the key it's harder to take the car.

If a car has flowers painted on it or fluffy toys inside it's not a car that is likely be stolen because it draws the wrong sort of attention and they tend to be cheaper cars. Cars with private plates are also avoided as they are easy to spot on the road.

All alarms are a deterrent but a thief will know how to bypass them - it depends how much they want that car.

If you have a driveway you should always use it as the thief has to come closer to you to take the car and they don't like to do that that.

If there are no visible security signs, worn locks and/or the windows are slightly open or the doors not shut properly your car will be an invitation to a thief.

Michael advises: "You should put all gadgets including any clues that you have them out of site so put in glove box or under front seat or ideally lock them in the boot. Never leave anything with your name and address in the car for obvious reasons."

"The best way to keep your vehicle safe is to put a tracker on it, wheel locking nuts, a sticker saying the vehicle is alarmed, keep the inside tidy, keep the car locked, the windows shut and everything out of sight."