2015 Germany: Most-Frequently Stolen Car Brands and Models

Range Rover in Geneva 2016Volkswagens 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.

Historic Car Theft Statistics for Germany

Car Theft Graphic in Germany 2006 - 2015In 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.

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:

  • The highest increases in car thefts in Germany in 2015 were for Mazda, Porsche and Renault.
  • The sharpest drop in car thefts in Germany in 2015 was for Toyota and Honda.
  • Although Opel is the second most common car brand on German roads (10%), it is only the ninth most stolen brand.

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).

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 GermanyIt 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.