The Land Rover Theft Epidemic.
The Land Rover Theft Epidemic
Despite their strong brand and great popularity, Land Rovers have begun to earn a less favourable reputation in the insurance industry due to how theft attractive they are. This issue has now led to many insurers declining to quote for Land Rovers and is making them increasingly difficult, and in some cases, almost impossible to insure.
Since the beginning of 2022, there has been a huge escalation in the theft of Land Rovers across the UK. A problem which initially began with thefts surging inside the M25 and surrounding areas which has now spread across the country with police forces issuing warnings in Staffordshire, Merseyside, Birmingham, Kent, Lancashire, South Yorkshire and Shropshire. It has been reported that thousands of Land Rovers have been stolen this year – mostly made up of Range Rovers in urban areas but also contributed to by an increase in thefts of Defenders & Discoverys in more rural areas too.
From Nov 1, 2022 Land Rover themselves have now ceased offering insurance (Land Rover insurance).
How and Why is this Happening?
It is believed that organised crime gangs are using sophisticated technology to clone smart keys, gain entry and then bypass the car’s security to drive away with the vehicle. The time it takes to do this can be as little as 1 minute which means the car has been stolen before its owner is even aware. The motivation behind this spike in thefts is being linked to the lack of Land Rover parts & cars available in the market. This means that once stolen, gangs strip the vehicles down for parts and illegally sell them on. In some cases, Land Rovers have been found within hours of being stolen and have already been dismantled – with the crime gang and the stolen car parts gone without trace.
What Can be Done to Prevent this?
To prevent being put in the awful situation where you leave your home to find that your car is not where you left it, there are a few things worth looking into. Firstly, where possible, keep your car parked behind a physical barrier and out of sight. This could include garaging the vehicle, parking it behind electric gates/bollards or renting a parking space within a secure compound/car park. As well as this, it is important to ensure that your car has the most up to date and effective tracker and immobiliser fitted – and most importantly, that these are active and subscribed to. Although these devices are not always 100% effective in preventing theft, they can sometimes make the difference once thieves have gained entry to your car. It is vital to remember that as theft prevention technology advances, unfortunately so does the gangs’ solutions to bypassing them. Therefore, keeping on top of what tracker and immobiliser you currently have fitted is key! The best tracker to have is a Thatcham S5/CAT5 combined with an engine deadlock immobiliser as with this, the car will not start unless the ADR tags and keys are inside the car.
Another measure which should be considered is where and how your keys are kept. Ensuring your keys are as far away as possible from the parked car is best as thieves clone the signal from them to unlock the car. You should also consider storing the keys in a faraday bag, which is a pouch lined with layers of metallic material designed to block the key’s signal from being reached and cloned.
If you own a Land Rover, or any other theft attractive vehicles such as performance cars or luxury SUV’s, we strongly advise that you take every measure possible to ensure you protect yourself and what is yours!
April 2023 Update
In December we shared our insights above and a lot of people have now engaged so we thought it was important to share the latest.
Things are getting worse for Land Rover & Range Rover owners. Police Scotland issued a warning to Glasgow Land Rover and Range Rover drivers to be vigilant after 28 vehicles were stolen in the first few weeks of 2023. St Helens Police said there has been a recent spate of thefts of Land Rovers. Shropshire Police have warned Land Rover Defender owners to improve their security after a spate of thefts this year. Latest estimates are 2000-3000 of these vehicles were stolen across London last year, over 5000 nationally.
These thefts are costing people £10,000’s through insurance excesses, insurance pay-outs below the replacement cost and insurance premiums skyrocketing after a theft. In London a Range Rover can now cost over £10,000 to insure.
The epidemic may be spreading. There is anecdotal evidence that the gangs are turning their attention to other vehicles, with the Bentley Bentayga being targeted. We have also been informed by multiple insurers that they’ve had 8+ Rolls Royce’s stolen in London over the past 6 months, which is unusual for this marque to be targeted.
Owners of all prestige cars should now consider themselves at risk.
Protect yourself! We strongly recommend using multilayer security with the improved S5 trackers alongside traditional devices like deadlocks, steering locks, pedal locks and hand brake locks. Some owners are also asking dealerships to deactivate keyless entry systems which seems very smart to us.
- Key management is very important, store your keys in a secure faraday pouch so your key cannot be cloned or used as a relay to enter the vehicle. If you need one of these please contact us.
- High value cars should also be parked securely in garages or behind electric gates or in a monitored car park. Insuring an expensive car parked on the road will soon be very expensive or impossible in some areas.
- Arrange an agreed value as part of your car insurance, then in the event of a theft you get paid out what you expect not what the insurance company determines. Elevate can help you with this.
- Consider security carefully when buying a new car. Looks and performance are great but not if it disappears. Large Range Rover dealerships have reported buyers now cancelling reservations that have been on order for months. Hopefully this encourages manufacturers improve security.
- Contact your Land Rover dealer and ask about the latest security software they are applying to cars to ensure yours is up to date. You don’t want to become another Land Rover Theft statistic!
You only have to google “Land Rover Theft” to see have serious the issue is.
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