The country’s worst areas for car theft have been revealed, with London and the Midlands proving to be danger spots for motorists while Scotland and England’s south-west are relative safe havens.
Insurance data from nearly six million drivers has shown that Ilford in London is the UK’s biggest car theft hot spot, while Kirkwall in the Orkney Islands is the safest spot in the country.
Romford, also in London, is a close second to Ilford, with other postcodes in the capital, West Midlands and Yorkshire among prime hunting ground for thieves.
The data, released by comparison site MoneySuperMarket looked at 5.8m car insurance enquiries to compare reported thefts over the last five years. It showed that a car theft rate of 20.3 per 1,000 enquiries for East London’s Ilford, and 19.1 per 1000 in Romford. This was followed by Birmingham (16.5), North London (14.2) and Bromley (13.3).
Overall, six of the 10 worst car theft hotspots were in or around London while six of the 10 safest places were in Scotland.
Kirkwall topped the table for fewest car thefts, with 0.55 per 1,000 enquiries, according to the figures. Behind it, drivers with postcodes connected to Inverness (0.81), Perth (1.11), Galashiels (1.15), Dumfries and Galloway (1.22) and Dundee (1.28) reported the next fewest incidents.
Dorchester (1.46 per 1,000) and Plymouth (1.56) in England’s south west, along with the Isle of Man and Llandrindod Wells in Wales (both 1.57), complete the list of the 10 safest postcodes.
When analysed by region, London tops the chart as the UK’s car theft capital (11.2) followed by West Midlands (10.9) and Yorkshire and The Humber (7.9). Despite Scotland having the safest postcodes, England's South West is revealed as the safest region on average with a car theft rate of 2.7 per 1,000.
Dave Merrick, car insurance expert at MoneySuperMarket, commented: “When comparing car insurance quotes, providers will take your location into account which may impact the cost of your premiums."
MoneySuperMarket’s top tips for keeping your car safe and secure:
- Take care of your vehicle’s documents and don’t leave any records in the car. Should your car be stolen, this will make it easier for thieves to sell your vehicle or steal your identity. Instead, try keeping all important documents in a safe location at home.
- Additional security devices such as tracking devices and steering wheel locks will not only act as good deterrents but also a method of tracing missing vehicles. These security devices will minimise damage and increase the chance of recovery.
- It’s important to keep your keys out of reach of thieves, so make sure they’re not easily accessible or in view at home. It’s possible for thieves to steal your keys from inside your home through the letterbox, so avoid leaving them near your front door.
- Ensure that expensive technology isn’t left in sight of any passers-by as you leave the vehicle. By removing valuables from your car such as your sat nav, it's less likely to attract opportunistic thieves