Hotwheels: DVLA Reveals 2020’s Most Stolen Cars

Tue 26th Jan 2021

Car thefts last year rose by thirty-three per cent in shocking figures released by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency.

There were 74,769 cars stolen in 2020, up from 56,288 the previous year, and the data which was released this week shows us that the Ford Fiesta is the most popular car to steal for thieves.

There are now on average 205 vehicle thefts a day according to the DVLA data, and with keyless car fobs thought to be one of the main security flaws in modern vehicles, it is no surprise to find that some of the UK’s most expensive cars are in the list of most stolen cars.

The Land Rover Range Rover, BMW 3 Series, Land Rover Discovery, Mercedes-Benz E Class and BMW 5 Series all feature in the top ten, demonstrating that car thieves have expensive tastes, but also that premium cars may not have premium security.

Though car crime is on the rise, Richard Billyeald from Thatcham Research, an influential motor safety and security company, said that the keyless car hack could be behind the recent spike.

 “Although any increase in vehicle thefts will be a concern to car owners, we are still a long way off from the endemic car crime seen in the early 1990s – where upwards of 600,000 cars were stolen in a single year, with thieves mostly using equipment found in a toolbox.” Billyeald told This Is Money.

“Keyless entry systems have been problematic and can be exploited by thieves using a technique known as the relay attack.
“Many carmakers do now offer countermeasures with new vehicles, such as motion-sensor enabled fobs. However, all new cars with keyless systems should have a solution to this long-standing vulnerability in place.
“It's also important to remember that the motion-sensor fob, while a good short-term fix, is not the ultimate solution to the keyless vulnerability, which should be designed-out of new vehicles completely in the future.”