Nearly one in five UK car owners has been a victim of theft from their vehicle, research into car break-ins has revealed.
With 831,000 incidents of vehicle related crime reported in the UK last year, car leasing company UK Carline researched car crime to find out the most common things UK car owners have had stolen from their vehicle.
Car radios proved the most desirable items amongst thieves, with 31% of car owners who had their vehicle broken having one stolen, followed by shopping bags (17%) and Sat Navs (13%).
|However, it wasn’t just high value items that Brits have had stolen. A Simpsons air freshener, sweets, a case of beer and a snooker cue were among the haul of things taken from vehicles, with one hapless thief even swiping an empty laptop bag after its owner took the laptop into a store to be repaired.
Despite the research discovering that 19% of car owners have had something stolen from their car, 40% of people still leave valuables in their car, with 26% believing this to be safe if they aren’t on display.
However, as the research shows, an item doesn’t have to be considered highly valuable to be appealing to thieves, with clothes and shoes the fifth most likely item to be stolen from vehicles.
|Top ten items stolen from cars in the UK:
Car insurance premiums are set to rise by up to 29% by January 2018 as factors including tax increases, higher repair bills and a European court ruling converge to increase the cost of motoring for private and commercial drivers, analysis by ERS, the UK’s largest specialist motor insurer shows.
ERS expects the average premium for a standard car driver to rise by £60 to £360, while a taxi driver, carrying multiple passengers throughout the day, could see their insurance premium increase by £720 a year to over £3000. This equates to a 20% increase for a standard driver and a 29% rise for a commercial driver.
A key factor influencing premiums is the cut to the ‘Discount Rate’ – an adjustment that is applied to lump sum compensation payments for people who suffer life-changing injuries. In March this year the Ministry of Justice slashed the rate from 2.5% to -0.75%, catching the industry by surprise and costing it hundreds of millions of pounds. ERS’s analysis shows the change will make premiums £21 higher for the average driver and £330 higher for a taxi driver.
Other looming shocks include a further hike in Insurance Premium Tax, which the Chancellor announced in March would increase from 10% to 12% on 1 June 2017. ERS says the increase will result in an extra £5 for standard drivers and £45 more for commercial drivers.
An expected rise in reinsurance, which insurers take out to protect themselves from large, unexpected claims, is expected to add over £15 to a standard policy and nearly £200 to an average taxi driver’s policy over the next year. Higher repair costs are also expected to add another £15 to a standard policy while a taxi driver will fork out another £127.
This is all before the impact of the European Court of Justice’s ruling in the case of Slovenian Damijan Vnuk, who was injured by a tractor on private land in 2007. The ECJ ruling could mean compulsory insurance must cover accidents involving a vehicle’s ‘normal function’ – including cars driven on private property. ERS estimates this will drive a further 1% increase in motorist’s policies – an extra £3 for a car driver and £25 more for a taxi driver.