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2015 Germany: Most-Frequently Stolen Car Brands and Models

by Henk Bekker

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Range Rover in Geneva 2016

Volkswagens are the most often stolen car brand in Germany but Land Rover is the highest risk marque with the Range Rover the highest risk model for theft. In 2015, a total of 18,659 insured cars were stolen in Germany at a cost of €291 million to the insurance industry. Volkswagen, Audi and BMW were the most frequently stolen car brands in Germany in 2015. However, the highest risk brands were Land Rover, Audi and Porsche. The highest risk models were again the Range Rover, BMW X6 and Toyota Lexus RX350. In Germany, 0.5 out of every 1000 insured cars were stolen in 2015.

Car Theft in Germany in 2015

Car theft in Germany in 2015 increased by 4% from a year ago to 18,659 insured cars stolen according to statistics released by the Gesamtverband der Deutschen Versicherungswirtschaft (GDV), a German insurance industry body. The total damage to the insurance industry was €291 million while the average cost per stolen car in Germany in 2015 increased to a new record €15,611. The overall risk of an insured car being stolen in Germany remained relatively low at 0.5 per 1000 insured cars.

As before, Berlin remains the car theft capital of Germany. In 2015, the largest total number of cars stolen in any Germany city was 3,223 in Berlin with a risk of 3.5 thefts per 1000 cars insured. Hamburg was a distant second with 1,078 cars stolen, or 1.8 per 1000 cars insured. In Munich, Germany’s third largest city, car theft remained remarkably rare with only 131 cars stolen in 2015, or 0.3 per 1000 cars. In Berlin, the average cost per stolen car was €15,781 while in Frankfurt am Main the damage was a more substantial €26,226.

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Historic Car Theft Statistics for Germany

Car Theft Graphic in Germany 2006 - 2015

In recent years, car theft in Germany has been relatively stable at around 18,000 cars per year with a relative risk of 0.5 per 1000 cars insured. This is noticeably lower than during the 1990s.

The two record years for car theft in Germany were in 1994 and 1993 when more than 105,000 cars were stolen with a risk of 3.6 per 1000 cars – very close to the current risk for car owners in Berlin!

The historic figures below take only insured cars into consideration – figures for 1990 and earlier are for West Germany only. (Car theft in East Germany was very low.) Actual figures for stolen cars are higher, as many older cars are not insured against theft despite being easier to steal than newer vehicles.

Insured Cars Stolen in Germany

Total Cost in € million

Cars Stolen Per 1000 Insured

2015

18,659

291.3

0.5

2014

17,895

262

0.5

2013

18,805

263.9

0.5

2012

18,063

242.2

0.5

2011

19,658

259.6

0.6

2010

19,503

257.2

0.6

2009

18,215

219

0.5

2008

16,134

175.7

0.5

2007

16,502

178.3

0.5

2006

18,965

211.4

0.6

2005

23,771

253

2004

28,674

284

2003

31,707

293

2002

34,775

300.9

1.1

2001

37,549

308

2000

42,560

316

1999

48,742

333

1998

58,646

378

1997

65,861

427

1996

76,392

497

1995

89,254

589

1994

105,248

769

1993

105,543

800

3.6

1990

40,079

261

West Germany

1985

34,511

153

West Germany

Car Theft in Germany by Most Often Stolen Brands in 2015

The following 20 car brands were the most often stolen in Germany in 2015 according to the GDV:

2014

2015

Brand

in 2015

in 2014

% Change

1

1

Volkswagen

5,032

5,308

-5

2

2

Audi

3,192

2,940

9

3

3

BMW

2,760

2,556

8

4

4

Mercedes

1,223

1,067

15

5

5

Toyota

650

881

-26

6

6

Skoda

634

693

-9

8

7

Ford

623

494

26

9

8

Mazda

611

356

72

7

9

Opel

549

512

7

11

10

Renault

432

308

40

12

11

Land Rover

380

305

25

10

12

Honda

241

312

-23

13

13

Peugeot

230

225

2

15

14

Citroen

229

215

7

18

15

Porsche

221

149

48

14

16

Seat

201

217

-7

17

17

Mitsubishi

190

183

4

16

18

Fiat

177

184

-4

19

19

Nissan

126

123

2

20

20

Hyundai

118

103

15

Volkswagens are not surprisingly the most often stolen cars in Germany. This is not surprising as more than a fifth of all cars registered in Germany wears a VW badge. However, in recent years the popularity of Volkswagens with car thieves in Germany has generally been in decline. In 2015, VW thefts have been down 5% following an 11% decline the year before. In terms of the number of Volkswagens insured, VW is only the sixth riskiest car marque for theft in Germany.

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More Audi, BMW and Mercedes Benz cars were stolen in Germany in 2015 than the year before. Although Mercedes Benz thefts increased by the highest percentage, Audi and BMW cars are noticeably more popular with thieves (or easier to steal?).

A few further salient points from the statistics:

Riskiest Car Brands for Thefts in Germany in 2015

The following 20 car brands carried the highest theft risk per 1000 cars insured in Germany in 2015 according to the GDV:

2014

2015

Brand

2015

2014

2013

1

1

Land Rover

5.2

4.5

3.1

2

2

Audi

1.3

1.2

1.2

4

3

Porsche

1.2

0.9

0.8

3

4

BMW

1

0.9

1

9

5

Mazda

0.9

0.5

0.6

7

6

VW

0.6

0.7

0.8

5

7

Honda

0.6

0.8

0.9

6

8

Toyota

0.6

0.7

0.6

8

9

Mitsubishi

0.5

0.5

0.4

10

10

Skoda

0.4

0.5

0.6

11

11

Citroen

0.3

0.3

0.3

12

12

Mercedes

0.3

0.3

0.3

15

13

Renault

0.3

0.2

0.2

13

14

Seat

0.3

0.3

0.4

17

15

Ford

0.2

0.2

NA

14

16

Peugeot

0.2

0.2

NA

16

17

Fiat

0.2

0.2

NA

18

18

Nissan

0.2

0.2

NA

19

19

Hyundai

0.1

0.1

NA

20

20

Opel

0.1

0.1

NA

For the third consecutive year, Land Rover was the car most often stolen in Germany per 1000 cars insured by brand. In 2015, a high 5.2 of every 1000 Land Rovers in Germany insured were stolen compared to 4.5 in 2014 and 3.1 in 2013. In 2011, the risk was a below average 0.4.

For the fourth consecutive year Audi was the second riskiest car brand to own in terms of possible theft and the riskiest of the larger brands. Porsche moved back into third. Porsche was the most stolen brand per 1000 cars insured in 2010 (1.7) but a concerted effort to make Porsches more secure saw it in fifth and fourth place in subsequent years. BMW, the riskiest car in 2012 (1.1), slipped back to fifth from fourth last year.

The sharp increase in thefts of Mazdas in Germany in 2015 saw the brand moving up from ninth riskiest to fifth. As a result, Volkswagen, Honda, Toyota and Mitsubishi all became relatively less risky.

Skoda, Citroen and Mercedes Benz all maintained their positions from a year ago. Although Mercedes Benz is the third most common car on German roads (9.4%), it is only the 12th riskiest brand to own per number of cars insured. Opel’s 20th position on this list is even more impressive (although it could also be interpreted in a range of unflattering ways).

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Riskiest Car Models for Theft in Germany in 2015

The most riskiest car models types for theft in Germany in 2015 per 1,000 car insured according to the GDV were:

2014

2015

Brand

Model

2015

2015: € / Car

2014

2014: € / car

1

1

Land Rover

Range Rover 3.0 TD

40.2

65,815

57.4

73,096

2

2

BMW

X6 Xdrive 40D

16.6

37,856

27

42,477

3

3

Toyota

Lexus RX350

14.8

37,823

17.2

45,974

4

4

Toyota

Land Cruiser 3.0 D

11.7

36,033

13.9

37,290

5

Audi

Q7 3.0 TDI

11.5

35,528

6

Audi

Q7 4.2 TDI

10.5

43,310

12

7

BMW

M390 (M3 Coupe)

10.2

34,305

8.5

37,320

6

8

BMW

X5/X6 3.0 SD (X70)

10.1

32,106

11.3

37,948

8

9

Audi

S4 Avant 3.0

9.4

29,696

9.6

29,434

7

10

Audi

RS5 4.2

9.4

39,412

10

50,841

14

11

BMW

335D

8.4

21,202

7.5

22,533

11

12

Land Rover

Range Rover Sport 2.7 TD

8

33,082

8.8

41,825

13

Mazda

3 FLH 2.2 CRD

7.4

23,185

13

14

Peugeot

508 2.2 HDI

7.1

23,847

8.2

23,660

5

15

Audi

S5 4.2 FSI

7.1

29,579

11.3

32,842

Top 50 Cars Stolen in Germany

It is important to note that this list is based on per 1000 car insured for the specific insurance model type. This split models into smaller units, e.g. the Audi Q7 3.0 TDI and Q7 4.2 TDI are treated separately. As a result, car model types registered in small numbers are more strongly affected by a few thefts than more common models. This is relevant to most cars on the top 15 list but also for example the Jetta 2.0 TDI at 21 and Jetta 1.9 TDI at 49 – Jettas are sold in very low numbers in Germany so each one stolen will affect the relative position more than a stolen Golf. Unfortunately, the GDV did not release the actual numbers of the cars per models stolen.

The four riskiest car models in Germany for theft were the same in 2015 as a year ago. Although the Range Rover 3.0TD remained by far the most often stolen car per 1,000 insured in Germany in 2015, the theft risk slipped from 57 per 1000 in 2014 to 40 in 2015. In 2015, almost 200, or 4%, of these Range Rovers were stolen in Germany. Although claims per car were smaller than a year ago, the Range Rover is still by far the priciest of the cars on the top 50 list.

For the four most popular car models with car thieves in Germany in 2015, the theft risk in 2015 were lower than a year ago and the average cost per car also slipped noticeably from the year before. This is largely due to more older cars of these models being on German roads – the theft risk for cars older than three years are actually much higher than for brand new vehicles.

The Audi Q7 SUVs are two new model types on the list of popular cars with thieves and confirms the high risk of large SUVs getting stolen in Germany. Last year’s fifth most popular car with car thieves in Germany – the Audi S5 4.2 FSI – slipped down to 15th.

The other new entry on the list of thieves’ favorite cars in Germany is perhaps more surprisingly the Mazda 3 and largely contributed to the sharp rise in Mazda’s being stolen in Germany. Although at the higher end for these specific models, the Mazda 3 and Peugeot 508 are the only cars on the top 15 list that are not expensive SUVs or high performance sedans.

NOTE: All car theft statics used in this article are from GDV sources and only take cars insured against theft into consideration.

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