The rise in classic car theft: is your car at risk?

Recent statistics show that thieves are increasingly targeting classic cars. Already, hundreds of vintage cars are stolen across the UK every year, but only 5% of these are reportedly recovered.1

As many as 27 rare classics cars are reported stolen every month in the UK.

Unlike modern cars, vintage classics retain, and in some cases, increase their value over time. This, along with their outdated security features make them a prime target to potential thieves. But this isn’t all that makes classic cars a greater risk.

While modern cars are most often stolen for their parts, classic cars tend to be stolen to sell on as a whole. You might think that this would make the car easier to track. However, the easily manipulated VINs and identification markers on classic vehicles means this ironically, is not the case.2 With no shell to discard of and pre-arranged buyers lined up, classic car theft can be a lucrative business.

The market for classic cars grew 8% in 2017, making an increase of 179% in the last decade.

Which cars are most at risk?

Over the last few years, vehicles built between the 1950s and 1980s have been favourites for car thieves across the UK. Cars with the most investment to be made naturally pose a higher risk of theft, so it’s always worth keeping an eye on how the value of your classic car is rising.

Classic cars currently listed by GQ Magazine as the best investments include:4

  • Fiat 500 Original
  • Alfa Spider
  • Special Edition E46 BMW M3
  • Porsche 993 Carrera 2
  • Mercedes SL W113 ‘Pagoda’
  • Aston Martin V8 Vantage
  • Ferrari Daytona

However, in addition to these more vintage cars, modern classics such as the Porsche Boxster 986 and the Porsche 997 Gen II are now proving to be just as desirable.5 In fact, the car to have seen the biggest increase in value over 2018 was the MK1 Mazda MX-5, with models between 1989 to 1994 up by as much as 8.5%. Another hot target was seen in the epidemic of Land Rover Defender thefts, which went out of production only a couple of years ago.7

How to protect your classic car

Lack of sophisticated security in both their software and their physical framework is what makes classic cars so vulnerable. Easy to break into and easy to start up, older cars are far easier to drive away than modern vehicles.8

So, what can you do to protect your classic car?
Classic car theft infographic
Find out more about insuring your classic car at www.jelf.com/prestige-car-insurance


[1][2][3] moveyourmoney.org.uk/2018/safety-upgrades-for-classic-cars

[4][5] gq-magazine.co.uk/classic-car-investment

[6] thisismoney.co.uk/Is-classic-car-market-stalling-prices

[7] telegraph.co.uk/cars/land-rover-defender-target-criminal

[8] classiccarsforsale.co.uk/protect-your-classic-car-from-theft

[9][10] telegraph.co.uk/classic-cars-targeted-highly