RAC Cars News


BMWs And Smart Cars Prime Targets For Thieves

By raccars Published

High end, luxury motors are the favourites for car thieves, according to research by the insurance industry. Along with BMWs, Maseratis, Bentleys and Mercedes are popular targets for theft and vandalism.

Smart cars are top of the list of cars likely to have items stolen from them, a list which also features Bentleys, Land Rovers, SsangYong and Peugeot. The funky Nissan Figaro is a prime target for theft of this kind when it comes to model specific statistics, perhaps due to its retro styling. Frameless windows look the part but make the car easier to break into, along with a lack of modern security features, such as alarms and immobilisers.

BMWs top the list of cars most likely to be stolen, specifically the X6 sports coupe. Data was analysed from 700,000 auto insurance claims, to show that Bentley was once again second in the list, followed by Audi, Land Rover and then Mercedes.

A third category was cars most likely to be vandalised, with Maserati coming top of the list here, followed yet again by Bentley in second place, then Ferrari, Dodge and Porsche. Model specific vandalism surprisingly put the Kia Soul, a budget compact SUV, most at risk. Speculation suggests that jealousy is at the root of most vandalism, which would explain why prestige autos suffer most, but gives no clue why the humble Kia Soul is a target.

At second place in all three lists, Bentleys sound like rather a liability, with Land Rovers also showing up twice. Car insurers recommend the fitting of alarms and immobilisers as basic protection against theft and remind drivers never to leave anything valuable in view in your car, as this could give thieves a reason to break in. Vans, for example, are at high risk of theft as they often contain tools and equipment.

Make sure your car shows visible signs of protection, such as 'this car has a tracker' or alarm warning stickers. Portable satellite navigation systems should never be left in the car and the dirty ring the holder leaves should be cleaned, so a thief is not tempted to break in looking for the device.

While modern, memory-chip car keys make theft more difficult, a determined thief will go letterbox fishing or even enter your property to find keys, knowing they are often left easily accessible near a door, so be security conscious in your home too.

For all round protection, keep your car fully locked, clean and tidy, fit locking wheel nuts, alarm advisory stickers and a GPS tracking system.

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