UK Car theft easy pickings

With the likes of BMW X5, Range Rover Sport and Mercedes-Benz consistently making the yearly list of 'most likely cars to be stolen,' one thing is clear: thieves have gone upmarket.

Unfortunately, those of us who choose to invest in an Audi RS4 over a Volvo must be aware that we become prime targets for opportunists, meaning we are more likely to return to an empty space in the car park.

It will probably come as no shock that the worst places to take your eyes off your beloved vehicle are the UK's biggest cities: Manchester, London and Liverpool. Of those, Greater Manchester fared the worst, with Salford in particular being named and shamed as the car theft capital of the UK. Statistics show that in Salford, an average of one in every 499 people is affected by car theft over the course of a year.

Don't worry - it's not all doom and gloom and a fast get away. The latest crime figures show that vehicle theft is actually on the decrease, in fact in 2015 it was the lowest in 48 years. And if that's not enough to put your mind at ease you might want to consider moving to Cambridgeshire. Cambridgeshire along with Cleveland and Devon have extremely low crime rates; if you leave your keys in the ignition you might even get away with it!

So why is car theft on the downturn?

It's not that criminals don't appreciate the beauty of your BMW, they just find it much harder to get into the drivers seat. Thanks to sophisticated technology, most car manufacturers now design vehicles with complex security systems; electronic locking systems, car alarms and immobilisers definitely deter the common thief. Older methods of prizing open car doors and smashing in windows don't work anymore.

Don't go honking your horn for joy just yet though. Not only do thieves now have a more refined taste in vehicles, they're also becoming more sophisticated; forget the stereotypical joyriding teenagers those days are gone. Vehicle theft is usually the work of organised gangs, who target luxury brands and make profit by selling them on to the black market. In an age of keyless cars, high-tech criminals have found new ways to hack cars electronically, bypassing security systems and disappearing out of sight. High-end cars that fall victim to such crime are more often than not shipped over to places such as Cyprus, Dubai and the Far East, where there is an increasing appetite for expensive brands.

Once your 4X4 has been shipped out of the UK, the chances of your vehicle being recovered decreases dramatically.

However, a rise in the number of vehicles that employ a GPS tracking system means that many thieves use the pinch and park method. After driving off with your car they are likely to randomly park it and wait for a few days to see if the cars location is being tracked. This means that essentially, there is a three day window where your car can potentially be found and returned.

Phantom Tracking Systems ITRACK uses the latest GPS technology and communication; install one of these and you can track the whereabouts of your vehicle 24 hours a day just by looking at an app on your phone. Our superior service offers a round the clock team who are on hand to help. If you do fall victim to car theft, they will alert you and the relevant authorities within a very short timeframe maximising the chances of recovery.

Hopefully, car manufacturers will find a way to get one step ahead of the organised gangs that target their customers. In the meantime however, don't let high-tech thieves deter you from buying that Range Rover Sport.