Recovery rates of stolen cars plummet to 5%

New figures have revealed that just 65 of the 1,169 cars stolen in Kent last year were recovered.

This represents just 5.6% of vehicle thefts compared to the average of 50% that are from recovered from neighbouring areas.

These figures have been revealed by specialist motor insurance loss adjuster Claims Management & Adjusting (CMA) following a Freedom of Information request to Kent Police.

Philip Swift, technical director at CMA, said: “These new figures show that 2,429 vehicles were stolen in Kent in 2023, up again on the previous year. Around half were cars, and the other half were vans, trucks, motorcycles and scooters. In terms of the most stolen models, it was the usual suspects, including Ford Fiesta, Ford Transit and Land Rover Discovery.

“One trend which deserves far more attention is the plummeting recovery rate – down from 80% nationwide in 2006 to just over five per cent in Kent today. That’s atrocious, seemingly 10 times worse than the Met. It is across the board, affecting all makes and models, and it plays a significant role in increasing insurance premiums.

“From an insurance perspective, the lack of detail in the data is also hugely frustrating. For example, we cannot tell the condition of recovered vehicles – whether they were intact and returned to their owners, or crashed, burnt-out or stripped for parts – or whether there was any suspicion of fraud.

“We have been calling for more concerted action from all interested parties for a while now because keyless thefts by arch villains is not always a convincing explanation.”