Thieves in the UK are using increasingly high-tech methods to steal cars, according to a recent report by The Guardian newspaper.
The most common way of stealing a car is hacking its electronic systems, according to the Met Police. The method involves gaining entry by blocking the radio signals from an electronic key or by smashing a window. Once a thief has access, they download the car's electronic information onto a blank key, which can then be used to start the car.
Experts claim that many car thefts are carried out by organised gangs who steal expensive cars to order. Steve Launchbury of Thatham Research told The Guardian: “These thefts are carried out by organised gangs who have invested in specialist tools to reverse engineer the vehicle’s security systems, as opposed to your opportunist thief.”
Car dealerships can be a target for organised thieves, so it's vital that dealership owners remain savvy about the modern methods of vehicle theft and keep their motor trade insurance up to date to cover them for losses and thefts.
The Guardian report also outlined the top 10 most stolen vehicles, according to new figures from the National Vehicle Crime Intelligence unit. The top three are all popular luxury brands: the Audi S3, the Land Rover Defender and the Land Rover Range Rover. However, the humble Ford Escort makes it to number five on the list.
Many of the brands featured on the top 10 list are always working to try to protect their vehicles from more high-tech methods of theft. But insurers are also keen to ensure that owners are aware of the modern threats to vehicle security to protect themselves from being a victim of vehicle theft.