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New figures show stolen vehicle recovery rate down from 80% to 28%

In 2006, the percentage of recovered stolen vehicles was 80%; as of 2021, that percentage has dropped to 28%, according to Home Office statistics.

As recovery rates have plummeted, vehicle thefts in England and Wales are now costing insurers almost £1.5 billion per year.

Back in 2006, the average value of a stolen vehicle was £10,000. By 2021, this figure had doubled to £20,000.

Research from LV= reveals that keyless car theft accounts for a large amount of stolen vehicle claims.

An increasing number of cars are now fitted with keyless entry, allowing drivers to unlock and start their vehicles without having to use a physical key. While in theory this is a strong method to deter thieves, keyless cars can actually be more vulnerable to increasingly technologically sophisticated criminals.

Car thieves rely on a method known as a ‘relay attack’, which uses widely available signal relay devices. These amplify the correct keyless device’s signal, thus ‘tricking’ the car into thinking it is present, even if it is safely stored inside the driver’s home.

In order to combat keyless car theft in the UK, vehicle safety and security experts Thatcham Research awarded ‘poor’ ratings to the following keyless car models, after security engineers were able to access and start the cars with relay attack tools:

  • Mazda CX-30
  • MG HS Excite T-GDI
  • Subaru Forester e-Boxer XE Premium
  • Vauxhall Corsa Ultimate Turbo 100

In addition, consumer group Which? has called for stronger security on keyless cars and recently got in touch with the manufacturers of more than 30 car models to gain information about their security measures. It reported that just two brands had implemented security fixes across their entire range.


How AX Track can support the recovery of stolen vehicles and valuable assets

AX has developed a bespoke, covert tracing solution that is fully Thatcham approved and can be fitted to any type of vehicle or valuable asset (caravans, motorhomes, farming equipment and machinery, marine assets etc).

This intelligent technology is supported by AX Track’s expert asset recovery team who are notified in the event of a theft, but is clever enough to wait for a safe opportunity to do so if contact could compromise the vehicle’s security.

With over 60 years’ of police investigatory experience, AX Track’s asset recovery team has been responsible for some of the UK’s biggest vehicle recoveries, helping to locate stolen vehicles as far away as Uganda. Our current recovery rate stands at 99.1%.

AX Track stat sheet

See the impact of vehicle tracking