Three-year-old cars are stolen remarkably often

Fortunately, considerably fewer cars were stolen last year than a year earlier. The National Vehicle Crime Information Center calculates a decrease of 9.5 percent. When it does happen, three-year-old cars are relatively often out of order.

Figures from insurance company Interpolis recently showed that around five percent fewer cars were stolen in 2020 than in 2019. The LIV comes with a somewhat rosier picture. Yet it is not all positive. For example, according to the authority, the theft of light commercial vehicles increased by 19 percent to 1,579 units and with 599 stolen units, no less than 69 percent more (partly) electric cars were stolen. Another notable increase has been noted among three year old cars. They were stolen 51 percent more often in 2020 than in 2019, making it the ‘most popular’ category of cars among thieves. 761 cars of that age were stolen.

The Toyota C-HR (154), Toyota RAV4 (75), Fiat 500 (54) and Mazda CX-5 (45) disappeared the most in that category. If age is not specifically looked at, Volkswagens are most often the loser. For example, the Golf and Polo previously turned out to be the two most stolen models of 2020.

The LIV also found out what happens to the stolen cars. The three-year-old cars are not only the most frequently stolen, but also the least recovered. Only 30 percent reappear. Some of the stolen cars are put on a false license plate in their own country, but many disappear to other countries in Europe. The stolen Toyotas often go further from home. According to the LIV, these are especially popular in Africa.

Digital Buyers Register

Then of course there are the stolen cars that do not go anywhere in their entirety. According to the LIV, cars four years or older are often intended for dismantling. Then the parts are offered everywhere and nowhere via the illegal circuit. The LIV states that no fewer than 3,500 cars have been ‘recovered’ since 2018 because parts of them turned up at rogue dealers. In order to prevent such trade, traders must register their purchased parts in the Digital Buyers Register from this year. It is hoped that this will quell this trade.

In that case, it is still possible that these parts will be traded less in the Netherlands. The LIV is therefore of the opinion that closer cooperation with other countries is needed to combat it more widely. “Vehicle crime has been professionalizing for years. Stolen vehicles and parts are traded worldwide. We are doing well nationally, but the next step is to intensify international cooperation. Being able to share information with each other is one of the most important points of attention, ”says Hendrik Steller, manager of the National Vehicle Crime Information Center.

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