posted 2 years ago

BMW X5 Reclaims Top Spot As Most Stolen And Recovered Vehicle

2016's most stolen and recovered vehicles revealed as fashionable, expensive, sports-utility models prove most prolific.

Prestigious brands most frequently targeted

The BMW X5 was the vehicle most often stolen, then recovered, throughout the United Kingdom in 2016. TRACKER – a company that produces systems that enable stolen vehicles to be traced - confirmed that this large, prestigious, sports-utility model also claimed top spot in 2014, 2013, 2012 and 2011 – and second in 2015.

The Top 10 included several of its siblings, too. The BMW M3 is a high performance saloon/coupé, for example. It came third having fallen out of the list the previous year. The BMW 3 Series (saloon and estate) came sixth, and the 5 Series tenth (saloon and estate). 

Top 10 most stolen and recovered cars in UK

The Top 10 is revealed in its entirety via the table below, for 2016 and 2015.

PositionMost Stolen/Recovered In 2016Most Stolen/Recovered In 2015
1BMW X5Range Rover Sport
2Range Rover SportBMW X5
3BMW M3Range Rover Vogue
4Mercedes C ClassMercedes C220
5Mercedes E ClassBMW 3 Series
6BMW 3 SeriesMercedes C63
7Range Rover AutobiographyBMW 5 Series
8Range Rover VogueAudi RS4
9Land Rover DefenderRange Rover Biography
10BMW 5 SeriesAudi Q7

The Top 10 for 2016 exclusively included premium brands. All entries come via BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Range Rover and Land Rover. Sports-utility class vehicles were the most prolifically featured rather than (say) sports cars, executive saloons or family estates. 

The Land Rover Defender was a particularly noteworthy entry, in ninth. Despite its long production run, it only entered the Top 10 once production ceased. As many premium vehicles are stolen to order, it is possible criminals took their last chance to acquire new examples of this fashionable, prestigious, utilitarian machine.

Most expensive recovered vehicles

A Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG was the most expensive vehicle recovered throughout 2016, at £120,000. It was followed by a Range Rover Autobiography and Porsche 993; both worth £100,000. The average value, however, was £16,436 compared to £19,000 during 2015 (-£2,564). 27% of the recovered vehicles were worth less than £5,000.


  • Whereas the Top 10 exclusively included prestigious vehicles popular, but less prestigious, alternatives from brands such as Vauxhall and Volkswagen were increasingly targeted in 2016
  • 1 in 3 vehicles were stolen via the owner's key
  • A Volkswagen Golf worth £400 was the lowest value recovered vehicle
  • The total value of the recovered vehicles was £11.5 million
  • In 2016, 86 vehicles not fitted with a tracking system were recovered alongside their better-equipped counterparts