The car most likely to be stolen in Britain is the Land Rover Defender.

Insurance risk and premium calculations are based on a super-accurate form of statistics called actuarial science. If insurance companies don't keep ultra-accurate records, they don't survive - it's that simple.

So when UK insurers Swiftcover release a list of the 10 vehicles most likely to be stolen, there are lessons to be learned.

The company analysed more than 2300 car-theft claims submitted from February 2011 and February 2012, immediately weefing out the oddballs and anomalies by not taking into account models of which less than 10 were stolen.

Then they looked not at how many of a given model were stolen, but what percentage of the number registered in the UK were ripped off.

And the answers were distinctly unexpected.

According to the Swiftcover statistics, the car most likely to be stolen in Britain is the Land Rover Defender, with a index score of four percent - which means that four out of every 100 Defenders insured by Swiftcover were stolen in just one calendar year.

Not only that, but seven of the top 10 targets were German luxury vehicles, making a mockery of the common perception that car thieves go for popular models that are quick and easy to sell or break up for spares

The Ford Focus - the top selling car in the UK - was rated 46th with an index of 0.63 percent, meaning that only 6 of every 1000 examples on the road were likely to be stolen in any given year, while the VW Golf scored 1.01 percent (10 in every 1000).


The top three were the Defender (40 in every 1000), the BMW 7 Series (33 in every 1000) and the Audi A5 (30 in every thousand).

Swiftcover's chief claims officer, Robin Reames, commented: “Given that luxury vehicles are usually alarmed, well protected and parked in upmarket neighbourhoods, it's surprising that they're still so likely to be targeted.

“It seems no car is immune from theft, and the best security system in the world won't help if the keys are stolen, as is so often the case.”

“Stolen luxury cars are often immediately shipped out of the country to places where they can be easily sold or stripped for parts. Cars which are popular internationally - such as Land Rovers - are easier to sell, which makes them worth stealing.”