Newly released data unveils the top 10 electric vehicles most frequently targeted by thieves in the United Kingdom throughout the year 2023.
Conducted by the car leasing company, Leasing Options, the comprehensive study has been compiled with the use of Freedom of Information Requests (FOI) sent to the DVLA, and was prompted by the alarming surge in theft or unauthorised acquisition of motor vehicles, which saw an alarming 8% rise, reaching a staggering 132,489 offences.
KIA Niro named the most stolen EV in 2023
The study’s findings pinpoint KIA Niro owners as facing the highest risk of car theft today. In 2023, a staggering 199 instances of KIA Niro theft were documented, surpassing the next most targeted vehicle, the Hyundai Ioniq 5, by more than double, with 96 reported incidents.
Notably, the KIA Niro has experienced the most substantial surge in theft since 2022. In the year prior, Niro thefts amounted to a total of 36, marking a fivefold increase within a mere 12-month period.
Speaking of the Hyundai Ioniq 5, in 2022, a solitary Ioniq 5 was reported stolen. However, within the span of a year, this figure soared to 96, which equates to a 95,000% increase.
Remarkably, this escalation is even more striking when examining the latter half of 2023. By July of that year, just 13 instances of Ioniq 5 theft were recorded, escalating by a staggering 5,358% to reach a total of 83 by the conclusion of December.
Securing the third position in this ranking is another KIA model, the EV6, which fell victim to theft on 91 occasions. The absence of any recorded EV6 thefts in 2022 contrasts with the significant jump witnessed by July 2023, during which only 14 instances were documented. This surge, representing a remarkable 450% increase within a mere six-month period, outlines the alarming trend in electric vehicle thefts.
KIA and Hyundai are the most targeted car brands by thieves
When examining electric vehicles at a manufacturer level, it comes as little surprise that KIA emerges as the primary target for criminals, particularly evident as they boast two cars within the top three most stolen. In 2023, a total of 290 electric cars from KIA were stolen, with the KIA Niro, significantly contributing to KIA’s lead in stolen EVs, accounting for 69% of all KIA vehicles snatched during the year.
Second, Hyundai registered a concerning tally of 143 electric cars stolen in 2023, a figure that becomes even more alarming to KIA owners, considering it’s less than half of KIA’s stolen vehicles. The Hyundai Ioniq 5, comprises 67% of all Hyundai thefts with 96 stolen overall, with the Kona, Hyundai’s flagship SUV, the next highest at 47 thefts recorded.
Securing the third spot on the list is Nissan, with a total of 91 EVs pinched in 2023. Notably, the LEAF continues to be a prime target, with 88 instances recorded, representing a staggering 97% of all Nissan thefts. Meanwhile, the Ariya and the electric van E-NV200 faced two and one thefts, respectively.
Despite the Tesla Model Y and Tesla Model 3 clinching the top spots as the best-selling electric vehicles in the UK last year, it comes as a significant surprise that Tesla vehicles failed to secure a position within the top five most stolen EV brands. Remarkably, Tesla ranks eighth overall, trailing behind competitors such as BMW, Audi, and even MG.
In 2023, BMW saw 38 of its vehicles stolen, MG followed closely with 35 vehicles stolen and Audi recorded 32 thefts. In contrast, Tesla recorded a comparatively lower count of 29 thefts throughout the entire year. Specifically, the Model Y accounted for 11 thefts, while the Model 3 witnessed 10 thefts, and the Model S experienced only seven.
How to protect your EV
While these revelations may be startling, Leasing Options is stepping in to offer some advice on safeguarding your EV.
Mike Thompson, Chief Operating Officer at Leasing Options said, “It’s worrying to see the rise across the amount of EVs, and other vehicles, being stolen throughout the UK.
For drivers who own one of the manufacturers or models highlighted as being targeted by thieves, we urge them to take the steps to make their car as protected as best it can be.
Whether that be using padlocks or surveillance to keep an eye on the vehicle. Make sure your insurance is correct and up to date, and if your lease car is stolen, contact your provider as well as your insurer.”