2011 Germany: Most Often Stolen Cars

Audi, BMW, and Porsche cars are the automobiles most likely to be stolen in Germany during 2011. Car thieves’ favorite model is the BMW X5/X6.

Photo: BMW Group

Car theft in Germany remained fairly stable between 2010 and 2011. However, Audi and BMW leapfrogged Porsche to become the car makes most likely to be stolen given the number of cars on the road. BMW X5 / X6 is the car model most likely to be stolen in Germany during 2011. In absolute terms, more Volkswagens are stolen than any other brand, while thieves took more BMWs in 2011 than Audis. In contrast, the risk of a Mercedes-Benz car being stolen in Germany remains remarkably low.

Most-Often Stolen Car Statistics in Germany in 2011

In 2011, 19,658 insured passenger cars were stolen in Germany according to the Gesamtverband der Deutschen Versicherungswirtschaft (GDV). This is a slight increase from the 19,503 cars stolen in 2010. This represents 0.6 cars per 1000 insured cars in Germany.

The average damage per stolen car in Germany in 2011 was €13,208, or a total cost to the insurance industry of €260 million. The cost per vehicle, of the two car models most at risk, is over €45,000.

As before, cars are the most likely to be stolen in cities and the eastern German states. In Berlin, 3.6 out of every 1000 insured cars were stolen in 2011, while the figure was only 0.2 in southern German states such as Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg.

Most-Popular Car Brands with Car Thieves in Germany in 2011

In absolute terms, Volkswagens were the most-often stolen cars in Germany, which is not a surprise as over a fifth of all cars in Germany are Volkswagens. Auto thieves are a lot less keen on Opels, which is the second most common car on German roads.

Audis are the most likely to be stolen in Germany given the number of insured cars on the road. BMW is second although in absolute terms more BMW cars were stolen in 2011 than Audis.

Mercedes remains remarkably unpopular with car thieves (or their clients) both in absolute and especially relative terms. Far fewer Porsches were stolen in 2011 than the year before, moving Porsche down from the most likely target of car thieves to third place.

It is not obvious what the new attraction of French cars is for German auto thieves. In 2011, sales of new Renault, Peugeot, and Citroen cars were flat and sharply down in 2012.

Only BMW and Seat had the same position in absolute and relative terms. Of the major brands, Mercedes owners have the least to worry about.

Car Theft Statistics for Germany in 2011

According to the GVA, car theft by car brand in Germany in 2011 was as follows:

Car Brands Most Often Stolen in Germany in 2011
 Absolute Number of Cars Stolen Relative – Cars Stolen per 1,000
 Brand20112010% Ch Brand20112010
5Toyota7787188.4Ford USA0.80.5
8Ford Europe6656482.6Skoda0.70.8
Source: GDV

Most Popular Car Models with Car Thieves in Germany in 2011

The most popular model types with car thieves in Germany in 2011 were as follows:

Car Models Most At Risk of Auto Theft in Germany in 2011
 MakeModelStolen per 1000€ Damage per Car
1BMWX5 / X6 3.0  D (X70)16.745,007
2BMWX5 / X6 3.0 SD (X70)16.449,064
3ToyotaLexus RX400, Hybrid (HXU3(A))14.127,957
4ToyotaLandcruiser 3.0 D-4D (J12 EU)13.727,267
5VWT4 Caravelle, Multivan 2.5 TDI (7DZ)13.614,598
6BMWM3 Coupe (M390)10.950,077
7BMW535 D (560L)8.524,792
8ToyotaLandcruiser 3.0 D-4D (J12)8.221,062
9BMW730 D (765)7.924,104
10VWT5 Multivan California 2.5 TDI (7HM)7.122,715
11VWGolf IV 1.9 TDI (1J)6.48,697
12BMW335 D (390L)6.324,036
13ToyotaRAV4 2.0 (XA3(A))6.318,038
14AudiA4 2.0 TDI (8E)6.213,145
15BMW525 D (560L)6.225,492
All Insured Cars Stolen in Germany in 20110.613,208
Source: GDV

The BMW X5 / X6 3.0 D and SD were the two car models most popular with auto thieves in Germany in 2011 relative to the actual number of cars of these specific model types insured. As a kind of backhanded compliment, BMW took seven of the top 15 spots of cars most likely to be stolen in Germany. The BMW M3 Coupe was also the most expensive car on the top 15 list.

Last year’s thieves-favorite, the Lexus RX400 Hybrid, slipped to third place. In 2010, three Porsche Cayenne models were on the list but none this year. Thieves similarly seem to have little appetite for Mercedes-Benz cars. Toyota 4×4 vehicles are popular, whether the expensive Lexus hybrid, the large Landcruiser or smaller RAV4.

The changes of a car being stolen in Germany remain relatively low. However, owners of cars on the high-risk list can expect steep increases in insurance cost, as insurance premiums in Germany are calculated with the specific car model type in mind.

Unfortunately, the GVA figures do not include the damage caused by insurance claims other than total vehicle theft. A growing concern in Germany is the increase in the theft of built-in navigation systems, where the total damaged caused to the vehicle can easily exceed €5000 per case.

The GVA figures only include cars insured against theft. According to Autobild (Nr 48/2012) the German police figures for stolen cars in Germany in 2011 were a substantially higher 41,057 vehicles.

About the author:

Henk Bekker

Henk Bekker is a freelance writer with over 20 years of experience in online writing. His best-selling cars website has been reporting car sales statistics since 2008 with classic car auction prices focusing on the most expensive automobiles sold at public auctions in the past decade. He also owns the travel websites European-Traveler.com and Lake Geneva Switzerland. Henk holds an MBA from Edinburgh Business School and an MSc in Finance from the University of London.