Not far behind Romford and Ilford is Birmingham in third place


According to analysis gathered by MoneySuperMarket, two towns in Essex are reportedly the worst places in the UK for car theft, with Birmingham not far behind in third place.

Romford and Essex have been named as the worst places in the UK for car theft by the comparison website after analysing 5 million car insurance enquiries over a 12 month period up until June this year.

Motorists in Essex were the most at risk of their car being stolen, with a reported rate of 13.5 per 1,000 in Romford, followed closely by the second town in Essex, Ilford, with a reported rate of 13.

Essex may possibly have been targeted by gangs in the past because they’ve known there’s a good number of high-end cars owned by people around the area which have links to the TV programme The Only Way Is Essex.

Two towns in Essex reportedly the worst places in the UK for car theft

Two towns in Essex reportedly the worst places in the UK for car theft – Romford and Ilford © Copyright Des Blenkinsopp and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.


Birmingham followed in third place with a reported rate of 9.5, much higher than the whole of the West Midlands on 6.1.

In fourth on a rate of 8.6 was Halifax, closely followed by Liverpool on 8.2 and another Essex town on 8.1 – Southend.

According to their analysis, Scotland appears to be the safest area in the UK when it comes to car theft, with Dumfries, Inverness, Kirkwall and Perth all showing small theft rates.

The safest places of all to keep a car with no reports last year of any car thefts was in Lerwick in the Shetlands Islands, Scotland, as well as Jersey and Guernsey.

“When it comes to car thieves, it turns out that the only way is Essex, as the county has three of the UK’s car theft hotspots,” said Kevin Pratt, a consumer affairs expert at MoneySuperMarket.

East London came seventh with a reported car theft rate of 7.2 per 1,000 – much higher than the whole of London on 6.1.

Bradford, Bromley in Kent and Stockport all shared the same theft rate as east London, whilst Exeter in Devon and Truro in Cornwall appear to be two of the safest places in England to leave your car.

The age group most likely to report the theft of a car is those aged 30-49, whereas drivers under the age of 19 are the least at risk of being targeted by thieves as they tend to drive cars that are less appealing to thieves.

Not only should motorists protect their vehicles by purchasing the right insurance policy but also avoid becoming a victim to car thieves by thinking about where they place their keys/fob at home and how best to protect their car, such as using a steering lock or going back to using the garage as it was intended and parking the car locked up inside.

Never leave your car keys close to the front door, as opportunist thieves could easily grab them. Keyless fobs are being targeted these days by gangs who use a device to intercept the signal and steal your car without even needing the keys, so a safe place to keep them is inside your microwave or wrapped up in kitchen foil and away from doors and windows – the metal acts as a protective barrier against the relay amplifier and relay transmitter used by car thieves.

Never leave valuable items inside your car as they could attract the attention of thieves. Remove your sat nav, dash cam and any other such items from your vehicle and take them inside with you.


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