LONDON, August 21, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --
- Three of the top five stolen car brands are in the luxury category
- Cars worth between £10k and £25k are least likely to be recovered as many are shipped abroad
- Essex is the unrecovered stolen car capital of the UK
65,000 stolen vehicles - worth an estimated £300 million* - were stolen and never recovered in 2011 alone, according to data released by car insurance provider swiftcover.com following analysis of thousands of theft claims.
The work highlighted that more than two thirds (71 per cent) of stolen cars disappear, never to be seen again. Those that aren't recovered are either stripped for parts or shipped out of the country, according to swiftcover.com experts, while the brand of vehicle stolen has a significant part to play in whether the car is recovered or not. More expensive stolen cars worth up to £25,000 are more likely to disappear without a trace.
Furthermore, swiftcover.com's data revealed that recovery rates vary between manufacturers with Land Rovers and Audis among the least likely vehicles to be recovered: 79 and 80 per cent respectively disappearing from our streets. However, niche, high-end vehicles are more vulnerable: of the seven Porsches stolen in 2011, none were recovered, while five of the six Subarus stolen in the same period were never seen again.
On the other hand, mainstream brands' cars were more likely to be recovered following a theft, with Renault (72.8%), Rover (72.7%) and Fiat (69%) all reporting high percentages of recovery.
Robin Reames, chief claims officer at swiftcover.com, commented: "Our analysis suggests that an increasing number of cars worth between £10,000 and £25,000 are being stolen and shipped out of the country, slipping through the net and disappearing from the UK completely. We know from our experience that Land Rovers are very popular oversees and so it's of no surprise to see this car ranks as one of the most likely to disappear without trace following theft."
Of the cars stolen and valued between £1,000 and £10,000, 69 per cent were never seen again however this figure increases dramatically for higher value stolen cars. For stolen vehicles valued between £10,000 and £25,000, the proportion unrecovered rose to 85 per cent. As cars increase beyond £25,000, the likelihood of them being fitted with sophisticated security measures such as a tracker device increases, which leads to a higher recovery rate.
Reames continued: "We've also seen a clear distinction when it comes to stolen cars and their value. Cars worth less than £10,000 are stolen either by opportunist thieves or as a result of household burglaries whereby keys and therefore the car is also stolen as a means to transport any stolen items. Invariably, the cars involved in such activity are recovered; however, the more expensive or luxury cars worth up to £25,000 are being stripped for parts or shipped abroad as quickly as possible. As the value of a car increases beyond £25,000, it's much more likely that they will be fitted with trackers and therefore recovery rates improve."
In the past few years, swiftcover.com's car insurance investigation team has recovered stolen vehicles from a variety of countries from around the world. From European destinations such as Poland, Holland and Spain, to many African states such as Uganda and Kenya, to as far away as Australia.
Finally, the swiftcover.com data was also cut by region. It revealed that Essex (86 per cent), Nottinghamshire (82 per cent), Greater London (80.7 per cent) and the West Midlands (80.6 per cent had the highest proportion of unrecovered cars across the UK.
swiftcover.com analysis revealed the top five targeted vehicles and locations:
Unrecovered vehicles by manufacturer Unrecovered vehicles by region 1 Land Rover (79.5 per cent) Essex (85 per cent) 2 Audi (79.1 per cent) Nottinghamshire (82 per cent) 3 Seat (76 per cent) Greater London (80.7 per cent) 4 Mercedes (74 per cent) West Midlands (80.6 per cent) 5 Toyota (71 per cent) North Yorkshire (78 per cent)
Motorists should consider the following to minimise the risk of their car being stolen:
- If you have a garage, use it and lock the doors
- If you live on a street and park your car on the road, do so in a well lit area and make sure you remember to lock your doors
- Do not leave anything valuable in view when leaving your car - a theft of an item could lead to the theft of the vehicle
- Don't leave your car unlocked and unattended - whether that's to nip in to the house for something or to pay at a petrol station
- Consider adding extra anti-theft devices such as steering wheel locks, even if your vehicle already has an alarm
- Consider fitting your vehicle with a tracker, which will increase the likelihood of recovering your vehicle if it is stolen
- Keep your keys securely, preferably out of reach of would-be thieves, who have been known to burgle houses specifically to steal car keys
Notes to Editors
Analysis based on 3,000 reported thefts in 2011 to swiftcover.com
When collating data for the top five brands, only brands with more than 25 counts of theft throughout 2011 have been considered
*According to the Office of National Statistics, there were 92,000 cars stolen in 2011/12 (financial year). Using data of 3,000 claims from swiftcover.com claims department, the average value of a stolen car is £4,600
Based in Cobham, Surrey and employing more than 1,000 people, swiftcover.com started trading in June 2005 and was born out of a desire to revolutionise the general insurance market by making insurance quick and easy to use.
swiftcover.com offers car, home, travel and pet insurance online, and is the only insurance provider in Britain not to use call centre's, which provides cost savings that can be passed directly onto the customer, keeping premiums low. swiftcover.com was named Best Value for Money Car Insurer in the UK in the 2010 Lovemoney.com awards.
This powerful operating model combined with successful marketing and competitive pricing has proven to be a tremendous success. In 2008 swiftcover.com achieved over half a million live policies and in May 2009 sold its millionth policy. swiftcover.com is considered to be one of the fastest-growing online insurance providers in the UK and, as of February 2011, has more than 800,000 policy holders.
In 2007, AXA UK acquired swiftcover.com. It is now a wholly owned subsidiary of AXA Insurance UK PLC which forms part of AXA Group.
AXA UK is a part of the AXA Group. The AXA Group is a worldwide leader in insurance and asset management, with 163,000 employees serving 101 million clients in 57 countries. In 2011, IFRS revenues amounted to Euro 86.1 billion and IFRS Underlying Earnings to Euro 3.9 billion. AXA had Euro 1,065 billion in assets under management as of December 31, 2011.
In the UK AXA operates through a number of business units including: AXA Wealth; AXA Commercial Lines, AXA Personal Lines, AXA PPP healthcare, AXA Ireland and an independent distribution business Bluefin. AXA employs over 12,000 staff in the UK.
The AXA ordinary share is listed on compartment A of Euronext Paris under the ticker symbol CS (ISN FR 0000120628 - Bloomberg: CS FP - Reuters: AXAF.PA). AXA's American Depository Share is also quoted on the OTC QX platform under the ticker symbol AXAHY.
The AXA Group is included in the main international SRI indexes, such as Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI) and FTSE4GOOD, and is a founding member of the UN Environment Programme's Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) Principles for Sustainable Insurance.
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