Car Theft is on the Rise and Your Car Might be at Risk
You have to be vigilant when purchasing a popular, used car from a private partyby Robert Moore, on
There was a time when stealing a vehicle was as easy as breaking out the ignition, and touching together a couple of wires under the dash. But, as automotive technology has evolved, it has become increasingly harder or thieves to make away with your investment on four wheels. Over the years, we’ve seen various types of anti-theft systems that use anything from resistor built into keys, to intelligent lock cylinders, to keys with special chips that tell the onboard computer that it’s okay for the engine to start. As technology gets smarter, however, so do thieves. And, a recent British Crime Survey has found that between April of 2015 and March of 2016, there was a rise in car theft by eight percent, with 80,047 vehicles reported stolen – a figure that doesn’t include cars stolen as home burglary or asset fraud.
A service known as MyCarCheck.com obtains and maintains data for every car on U.K. roads with the help of local police departments, the DVLA, financers, and insurance companies. As such, it has a pretty good bearing on what cars are the at the highest risk of being stolen in the U.K. Models like the Honda Jazz SE CVT and the Ford Fiesta Zetec take up fourth and fifth place on the list with 1.33- and 0.26-percent of registration checks, respectively, coming back as being reported stolen. Moving up the list, and those numbers start to grow at alarming rates.
No. 3 on the top-five list is the Range Rover Evoque Dynamics D4A at 5.26 percent of models coming back stolen, while the No. 2 slot is reserved for the Mercedes-Benz CLC 220 Cdi Sport Auto at a shocking 9.09 percent. Finally, the most popular car and the one to be marked as the model with the highest percentage of stolen warnings for 2016, is the gorgeous and powerful Porsche 911 Carrera 4S at a shocking 16.67 percent. That computes to an average of one out of every six registrations coming back with a stolen warning!
Roger Powell, the head of MyCarCheck.com, said, “It should come as no surprise that the cars most at risk of being stolen in 2016 are prestige models: a Porsche 911 sports car, Mercedes-Benz CLC220 coupe, and Land Rover Evoque SUV. They are desirable to used car buyers and targeted by car thieves due to the profit potential.” And, he’s right, there is a lot of profit potential there, but that’s exactly why it’s important to make sure the car you’re buying is legitimate – It’s hard to imagine much worse than getting pulled over and finding out that your new “used” car is due to be seized and returned to the rightful owner. In the case of models like the 911 Carrera 4S and the CLC 220, that’s a pretty expensive mistake to make.
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Why it Matters
Car theft isn’t a new thing, and it’ not going to go away anytime soon. Things have gotten better in recent years, but if history has taught us anything, it’s that there is always a workaround to get past even the most advanced anti-theft systems. And, with the plethora of information on the internet, it is easier than ever to learn every trick in the book.
With that said, always be sure to perform your own registration checks before purchasing a used vehicle and, if you notice anything suspicious at all, it might be best to look elsewhere. It might cost you a few bucks to run a full registration check but, in the end, that’s much better than finding out you just spent thousands on a car that wasn’t the seller’s to begin with.