2014 Germany: Most-Frequently Stolen Car Brands and Models

Range Rover at Geneva Auto Salon
Better keep an eye on that one!

Volkswagens and Land Rover Range Rover were the cars most often stolen in Germany in 2014. German car thieves’ preferred brands were VW, Audi or BMW. In Germany, 17,895 insured cars were stolen in 2014 – 4.8% less than the year before. In absolute numbers, the most-often stolen marques were VW, Audi and BMW but in relative terms Land Rover, Audi and BMW are the most often stolen. The Land Rover Range Rover 3.0TD was the car most-often stolen in Germany per thousand cars insured in 2014.

Car Theft in Germany in 2014

According to car theft statistics released by the Gesamtverband der Deutschen Versicherungswirtschaft (GDV /an insurance industry umbrella organization) in 2014, an insured car was stolen in Germany every half hour.

A total of 17,895 insured cars were stolen in Germany in 2014. This is a decline of 4.8% compared to 2013. The risk of having car stolen remained unchanged at around 0.5 per 1,000 cars insured. The relative risk has been stable the past three years and relatively low – in 1994 the risk was 3.6 per 1,000 insured. The actual number of cars stolen was higher with older, and less valuable cars that are not insured against theft not covered by the statistics.

As previously, the highest risk of having a car stolen in Germany in 2014 was in Berlin where 3,319 cars were stolen or 3.5 out of every 1,000 cars insured. In contrast, only 800 cars were stolen in Bavaria – 0.5 per thousand insured.

Despite the decline in the number of cars stolen in Germany in 2014, the insurance payout decreased only by 0.7% to around €262 million. The average claimed paid out increased by 4.3% to a new record €14,650 per car.

Most Popular Brands with Car Thieves in Germany in 2014

In absolute terms, the highest number of cars stolen per marque in Germany in 2014 according to the GDV were:

2014 Brand 2014 % Change 2013
1 Volkswagen 5,308 -10.8 5,949
2 Audi 2,940 3.5 2,841
3 BMW 2,556 -7 2,748
4 Mercedes 1,067 0.2 1,065
5 Toyota 881 16.2 758
6 Skoda 693 -8.6 758
7 Opel 512 -19.6 637
8 Ford 494 -13.3 570
9 Mazda 356 -24.3 470
10 Honda 312 -18.5 383
11 Renault 308 -19.8 384
12 Land Rover 305 58.9 192
13 Peugeot 225 14.8 196
14 Seat 217 -17.5 263
15 Citroen 215 17.5 183
16 Fiat 184 -2.6 189
17 Mitsubishi 183 7.6 170
18 Porsche 149 19.2 125
19 Nissan 123 38.2 89
20 Hyundai 103 43.1 72

Compared to 2013, the rank order of car brands most often stolen in Germany remained mostly unchanged in 2014.

Volkswagen at the top of the list of most often stolen cars in Germany in 2014 should come as no surprise – according to the statistics of registered cars on German roads in 2015, every fifth car in Germany is a VW. Volkswagen’s relative risk position actually improved in 2014 – see below – with a 10.8% decline in the number of cars stolen.

The bigger surprise was again the low popularity (or success rate) with German car thieves of Mercedes-Benz and Opel cars. Opel has the second largest number of registered cars in Germany and Mercedes-Benz a close third but both marques were relatively unattractive for car thieves.

Audi was for the second year running the second most-popular brand with car thieves in Germany in 2014. Thefts of Audis increased while BMWs were less often stolen. BMW was the second-most popular brand with German car thieves in 2012 and 2011.

The same number of Toyotas and Skodas were stolen in Germany in 2013 but in 2014 car thieves clearly preferred Toyota over the Czech brand of the VW Group. The Prius actually entered the top-15 list of most risky car models.

Opel, Ford, Mazda, Honda, Renault and Seat all saw a double-digit percentage decline in the number of cars stolen in Germany in 2014. Honda and Renault swapped rank positions but the actual numbers are small.

Land Rover continued to rise in popularity with car thieves in Germany with an increase in theft of nearly 60%. In 2012, only 30 Land Rovers were stolen in Germany – a tenth of the number on 2014.

Riskiest Car Brands for Theft in Germany in 2014

The riskiest car brands to own in Germany for theft in 2014 – number of cars stolen per 1,000 insured – according to the GDV were:

2012 2013 2014 Brand 2014 2013 2012
1 1 Land Rover 4.5 3.1 x
2 2 2 Audi 1.2 1.2 1
1 3 3 BMW 0.9 1 1.1
3 5 4 Porsche 0.9 0.8 0.9
4 4 5 Honda 0.8 0.9 0.8
7 9 6 Toyota 0.7 0.6 0.6
5 6 7 VW 0.7 0.8 0.8
10 13 8 Mitsubishi 0.5 0.4 0.3
8 8 9 Mazda 0.5 0.6 0.5
6 12 10 Skoda 0.5 0.6 0.7
13 17 11 Citroen 0.3 0.3 0.2
12 16 12 Mercedes 0.3 0.3 0.3
9 14 13 Seat 0.3 0.4 0.4
18 14 Peugeot 0.2 0.2
11 18 15 Renault 0.2 0.2 0.3
15 16 Fiat 0.2 0.2
14 17 Ford (Europa) 0.2 0.2
18 Nissan 0.2
19 Hyundai 0.1
17 20 Opel 0.1 0.2

In 2014, Land Rover was again the car brand most likely to be stolen in Germany per 1,000 cars insured. Land Rover not only topped the list for a second successive year but the risk even increased in 2014 to 4.5 cars stolen per 1,000 insured from 3.1 in 2013. In 2012, and before, Land Rover did not even warrant a mention in the car theft statistics – in a sense a compliment to the popularity of the car design but less so to the designer of its security systems.

Audi was again the second riskiest brand – a relative position it held for the past three years. BMW was the riskiest brand for car theft in Germany in 2012 but the number of cars stolen has dropped by 0.1 per 1,000 each of the previous three years.

The risk of having a Porsche stolen again increased to higher than a Honda. However, Toyota shot up three rank positions with VW dropping from sixth to seventh.

The risk for owner of all other brands are market average or lower. Mercedes-Benz remained noticeably unpopular with car thieves (or have better security?) while Opels 20th place said a lot about the decline in popularity of a brand once very respected in Germany.

A noticeable new entry on the list is Peugeot at 14th. The Peugeot 508 2.2 HDI was the thirteenth most-popular car with German car thieves in 2014 – a rank sales position the car newer attained with the German new car buying public.

Riskiest Car Models for Theft in Germany in 2014

The car models with the highest of being stolen per 1,000 insured in Germany in 2014 according to the GDV:

2013 2014 Brand Model 2014: Stolen per 1000 insured 2014: Average Claim in € 2013: Stolen per 1000 2013: Average Claim in €
7 1 Land Rover Range Rover 3.0 TD 57.4 73,096 10.2 52,695
1 2 BMW X6 Xdrive 40D 27 42,477 21.9 47,404
2 3 Toyota Lexus RX350 17.2 45,974 15.2 49,006
6 4 Toyota Land Cruiser 3.0 D 13.9 37,290 10.4 39,678
5 Audi S5 4.2 FSI 11.3 32,842
3 6 BMW X70 (X5/X6 3.0 SD) 11.3 37,948 14.9 39,093
7 Audi RS5 4.2 10 50,841
8 8 Audi S4 Avant 3.0 9.6 29,434 9.5 38,420
9 9 Volkswagen T4 Caravelle, Multivan 2.5 TDI 9.1 12,800 8.4 13,887
10 BMW 535D 8.9 18,276
5 11 Land Rover Range Rover Sport 2.7 TD 8.8 41,825 11.4 43,252
4 12 BMW M390 (M3 Coupe) 8.5 37,320 13.1 37,101
13 Peugeot 508 2.2 HDI 8.2 23,660
11 14 BMW 335D 7.5 22,533 7.2 26,147
15 Toyota Prius Hybrid 1.8 6.2 19,554

The GDV does not release the absolute numbers of cars stolen by model – it is almost certainly a Golf – but the list of car models most at risk given the number of cars on the road makes for interesting reading. Also for German drivers, this number directly influences the cost of insurance as in Germany every single car model is evaluated separately to determine the cost of the premium.

The Land Rover Range Rover 3.0 TD was the most-often stolen car model in Germany in 2014 per thousand cars insured. This model “improved” from seventh a year ago and set new records: a high 57.4 of each 1,000 insured in Germany in 2014 were stolen with the expense of each payout a record €73,096 per car. This represented an increase of over €20,000 per Range Rover stolen over the 2013 claims, when the risk was only 1.02%.

For the first time since 2010, the list was not led by a BMW X6, which dropped to second in 2014. The risk of theft for the X6 Xdrive 40D increased from 21.9 to 27 per 1,000 insured but the average claim was €5,000 lower. Two other perennial favorites at the top of the list of the car models most-often stolen in Germany had similar numbers: the risk for the Lexus RX350 and Toyota Land Cruiser 3.0 D increased but the value of each claim were lower.

The most popular car models with car thieves remained relatively constant in recent years with large SUVs and expensive sporty sedan cars particular favorites. Model changes are also reflected in changes in the list: two new entrants are the Audi S5 and RS5 models while an S3 and S6 dropped off the list. BMW similarly benefited from the X70 model X5 and X6 cars being replaced by more desirable vehicles.

2014 Most popular car models with thieves in Germany
50 Models Most Popular with German Car Thieves in 2014

A new entrant is the Peugeot 508 2.2 HDI. This practical family vehicle hardly sat new car sales figures on fire in Germany , which partly explain why a small number of these cars stolen will reflect strongly on the relative list.

The entry of the Toyota Prius more likely reflected a new trend. Not only are more green cars increasingly popular in Europe but these cars have some very expensive components ideally suited for the business model of a chop shop.

Noticeably absent from the list of the 50 riskiest car models for theft in Germany are Mercedes-Benz models. The only car from Mercedes-Benz on the list is a Smart at 37th and as the Brabus Model a fairly rare car too.

See Also German Car Theft Statistics from Previous Years: