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Vehicle thefts in 2020

Vehicle thefts down 22% in 2020

Date Published: 2nd March 2021
Author: David James, CEO


Here at Total Car Check we are receive and process daily data containing information on the stolen vehicles recorded by the UK Police forces, for use in our vehicle history checks (p.s. you can find our for free if a registration is recorded as stolen for free with our free check). In this analysis we see how the stolen vehicle volumes have changed in 2020 as compared with the previous year.


When comparing the period of January 1st to December 31st 2020 there were 25,735 fewer vehicles recorded as stolen by the UK Police.

This represents a 22.2% reduction in recorded vehicle thefts year-on-year.

In our data we saw that in 2019 there were 115,827 records of vehicles being reported as stolen (note: some vehicles were stolen more than once) and in 2020 this reduced to 90,092. This is confirmed by the Office For National Statistics who record the data from October to September and saw a decrease from 114,783 (“Oct 2018 to Sep 2019) to 99,179 (Oct 2019 to Sep 2020) (Source: ONS Crime in England and Wales: Appendix tables)


Opportunities for criminals to steal vehicles were reduced in 2020 as the effect of several national restrictions on movement undoubtedly disrupted criminal activity. People did not leave their homes unattended during the day, reduced holidays meant more people at home during periods they would normally not be, and reductions in travel meant that people were not leaving their vehicles overnight in unfamiliar places.

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