Land Rovers are not UK's most stolen cars, chief executive says

Adrian Mardell calls on insurers to do more after reported spate of Range Rover thefts sends premiums soaring

Concern has emerged about the theft rate for some Range Rover models, with drivers complaining of surging insurance costs. Reuters
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The chief executive of Jaguar Land Rover has called for an “urgent national conversation” about vehicle crime in Britain as he denied that the company's cars were the most stolen in Britain.

Concern has emerged about the theft rate for some Range Rover models, with drivers complaining of surging insurance costs.

In a call with journalists, Adrian Mardell said organised vehicle crime was “a serious issue in this country” that was having an impact on all car manufacturers, not only his own company.

Mr Mardell criticised “misinformation” about thefts of Range Rovers, which have been widely reported to have become a common target for criminals.

“It is not Britain’s most stolen vehicle,” he said, referring to government data for 2023, which showed a high theft rate for Range Rover and Land Rover Defender models.

Reports on the high theft rate of JLR vehicles were based on old or incomplete data that had been misinterpreted, he said.

Statistics from the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency suggested about one in every 100 Land Rovers in circulation was stolen in 2023.

Among the 896,948 licensed Land Rovers in the UK, 8,284 were reported as stolen during the period, equating to 924 thefts for every 100,000.

Mr Mardell said thefts of Range Rovers had fallen by more than a quarter compared with 2022, and new models were especially secure.

And of the latest Range Rover model, he said only 11 vehicles out of a total of 12,800 sold had been stolen, he said, citing police data.

He called on insurers to do more to provide coverage for owners of new Range Rovers, which have seen much lower levels of thefts than slightly older models.

His remarks come after a number of customers complained of high premiums or, in some cases, that they could not get coverage at all because of thefts.

“There is no reason whatsoever why any insurance company should not gladly and readily insure those new vehicles – zero reason,” Mr Mardell said. He added that JLR was having to help fund police security at ports to tackle the problem of cars being stolen and shipped abroad.

“The insurance industry clearly are not using the information and the data … they are very slow to respond to data,” he added.

Updated: February 03, 2024, 10:41 AM