The 20 top car theft claim hotspots

Do you live in one of the UK’s car theft hotspots? We’ve analysed data from millions of motor insurance queries and identified the 20 hotspots where people are more likely to have been victims of car-related theft.

Did you know that motorists living in Chislehurst, Kent, are three times more likely to make a car insurance claim for theft than the national average?

Or that Manchester, Sheffield and Bradford all make the top ten when it comes to the number of people claiming because their vehicle has been broken into or stolen?

Well, we’ve analysed 3.8million applications for car insurance quotes made through our site over the last year and identified the top 20 places where thieves have caused people to claim.

Here’s the list:

Postcode area

City/Town

District

Percentage*

BR7

Chislehurst

Bromley

3.82%

TS28

Wingate

County Durham

3.72%

IG4

Redbridge

Ilford

3.39%

DN7

Hatfield

Doncaster

3.38%

M3

Manchester city centre

Manchester

3.34%

BS29

Banwell

Somerset

3.16%

BD1

Bradford city centre

Bradford

3.16%

S2

Arbourthorne

Sheffield

3.15%

NP24

New Tredegar

Newport

3.14%

RM7

Romford centre

Romford

3.10%

IG9

Buckhurst Hill

Ilford

3.08%

IG8

Woodford Green

Ilford

2.99%

M4

Ancoats

Manchester

2.95%

CF34 

Cathays

Cardiff

2.95%

S13

Handsworth

Sheffield

2.95%

LS15

Barwick in Elmet & Crossgates

Leeds

2.95%

NR23

Wells-Next-the-Sea

Norfolk

2.94%

DN8

Thorne

Doncaster

2.86%

RM11

Hornchurch

Romford

2.85%

RM13

Rainham

Romford

2.83%

Results based on 3.8 million motor insurance quotes on moneysupermarket.com for twelve months (September 2008-August 2009)
*Percentage related to motorists affected by theft from their car or theft of their car in that postcode district.

Steve Sweeney, moneysupermarket.com’s head of motor insurance, said: “What the research does reveal is a broad mix of places across the country are at risk, highlighting the issue that no matter where you live, there is always a chance you could become a victim of theft and motorists should take this risk seriously.”

Driving down the risk

How can drivers limit the risk to their cars? Steve urged drivers to park in safe places and always secure their vehicle properly.

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Leaving costly possessions on display, like SatNav systems or mobile phones, encourages thieves to single out your car, he continued.

However, installing an alarm or steering wheel lock will often deter anyone looking for an easy target.

Cutting the cost

Of course, even if you protect yourself from falling victim to break-ins and vehicle theft, living in a high-risk area will mean your premiums rise.

There are ways to bring down what you pay for car insurance, though. Here’s a quick list of measures you can take to cut what you pay for cover.

Compare policies

This really is the best and easiest way to reduce what you pay in car insurance. Don’t assume that your existing provider will offer you the best deal when you renew because they very often won’t.

Use our car insurance comparison tool to find the cheapest price for the cover you need and save an average of £140 a year.

Whatever you do, don’t try to cut the price by going without cover you need or increasing your excess. If you have to make a claim, that would be a false economy.

Drive onto a drive

An insurer is looking at the level of risk you present and if you keep your car off the road at night then you’re at less of a risk of theft or vandalism.

So, if you have access to a garage or drive then use it.

Bigger isn’t best

The bigger your engine, the greater risk you present to a prospective insurer. If you’re looking for a new car, a smaller engine will cost less.

If you’re considering a car but aren’t sure how much it will cost to insure then don’t worry – you can use our comparison tool to look at the different premiums you’d be charged for different models.

Car share

If you can cut your annual mileage, your insurance premium will fall. So, if you agree to car share with a colleague then you can give your provider a lower estimate – bringing your premiums down still further.

You’ll save on fuel too – so it’s a win-win situation.

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Add some experience

If you’re an inexperienced driver, your premiums are probably through the roof. Sometimes, adding someone to the policy who has more experience and a good record on the road will bring down the price.

Don’t try to secure a cheaper deal by making them the named driver, however, as that’s considered fraud and could invalidate your policy.

Pass Plus

New drivers can sit their Pass Plus – a post-test driving course that teaches them more advanced skills such as motorway driving.

This not only makes you safer, it gives insurers much more confidence in you and has been shown to reduce what you pay by as much as 36%.

Agree an excess

If you agree to a higher excess – that’s the amount you pay before the insurer stumps up – your premiums could well fall.

Don’t forget that you will need to come up with that cash in the event of a claim, so don’t agree anything you can’t afford.

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