Recent claims statistics from Norwich Union, the UK's largest insurer, have revealed an increase in thefts of older, less valuable cars.
Norwich Union's stats show that over 87% of car theft claims in 2007 were for vehicles worth less than £5,000 with cars 15-17 years old more than twice as likely to be stolen than newer cars.
The global rise in demand for steel and other metals has meant a sharp increase in the value of scrap metal, making even the most rusty old banger attractive to thieves.
Technical claims manager at Norwich Union, Martin Smith said: "Opportunist thieves are more inclined to target older cars that are not fitted with immobilisers, rather than take on modern day security systems. Cars most likely to be stolen are older cars that are still around in high volumes, like the Ford Escort for example and the Vauxhall Astra. Low income families are more vulnerable, especially those living in urban areas as they may not have a garage or driveway or may have to park away from their home".
The claims statistics from Norwich Union also revealed that:
- Cars are more likely to be stolen in the winter months, peaking around December and January when you are more than 25% more likely to have your car stolen than in June/July.
- If your car is a diesel, it is 16% more likely to be stolen.
- If you park your car on a road you have a 17% higher chance of it being stolen than if you parked on a drive.
- If you live in Yorkshire, you are twice as likely to have your car stolen than if you live in the West Country.
- There is around a 1/150,000 chance that you car will be stolen on any one day.