Manchester is a hotbed of car theft activity, but high theft rates don’t just affect motorists whose cars have been stolen. When car insurers pay out astronomical sums to compensate for theft claims in a certain area, all local motorists end up paying higher premiums because the area is deemed more risky. Here’s how you may be impacted if you live in Greater Manchester.
Manchester Car Theft Statistics
With a 1.22% car theft rate based on population, the odds your car being stolen are greater in Greater Manchester than in any other area of the UK, and recovery of stolen vehicles is unlikely. In 2018, a shocking 92% car thefts in Greater Manchester didn’t result in court action, either because the police couldn’t identify a suspect or there was insufficient evidence.
And the number of car thefts in Greater Manchester rose 80% to 7,755 vehicles between 2014 to 2018. With statistics like these translating into insurance claims for stolen cars, car insurers deem Manchester as riskier. As a result, Greater Manchester motorists end up paying higher premiums.
Manchester Motorists Pay the Most for Car Insurance
Manchester motorists pay the highest car insurance rates in England. According to analysis from consumer research site NimbleFins, Manchester drivers pay around 50% more for cheap car insurance than the average across Sunderland, Newcastle, Bristol, Sheffield, Leeds, London, Bradford, Birmingham and Liverpool.
For their sample 50-year-old driver of a 2015 Ford Fiesta, they found a driver living in M20 would pay over £900 for comprehensive cover, compared to an average of £635 across all the metropolitan areas in their study.
Within Greater Manchester, insurance rates vary significantly depending on where a motorist lives. For example, Wigan, Tameside and Trafford post codes came out around 50% cheaper than Salford, Bolton and Rochdale postcodes.
How to Lower the Risk Your Car is Stolen
Rising car thefts are due in part to vulnerabilities of some cars to keyless car theft. With a passive keyless car entry system, drivers can unlock and start their cars without removing the key fob from their pocket.
The ‘Relay Attack’ is used by thieves to boost the signal between your car and a key fob in your home. By tricking the car into thinking the fob is next to the car, a thief is able to open and start the car.
To help combat keyless car crime, here are some steps to reduce the risk that your car is stolen:
- Park in a well-lit area
- Store car keys far from external doors or windows
- Turn off the signal overnight or keep the keys in a signal-block pouch.
How to Lower Your Car Insurance Rates
In high-theft areas, taking steps to secure your car may result in a lower premium. For example, by parking in a garage instead of on the street your car is less likely to be stolen.
Also, the car you drive can have a significant bearing on your car insurance premium, even more so than where you live. The next time you’re in the market for a car, check the cost of insurance for the particular make, model and spec before you make your purchase.
For example, Fords are the most popular car in England, but they’re also prone to theft. In fact, AutoExpress has reported that the ever-popular Ford Focus was the UK’s most frequently stolen car in the UK in 2018. Car insurers take into account the likelihood your car will be stolen so models with higher theft rates will cost more to insure.