Black market value of stolen cars revealed

Black market value of stolen cars revealed

Motor thieves are stealing some of Britain's most in-demand cars and selling them on the black market for as little as £1,000, according to vehicle protection and management technology provider AX.

The most sought-after vehicles – usually those with a higher street value – include models from prestige brands such as Audi, BMW and Mercedes.

Despite costing from between £18-100,000 to buy new, the vehicles are stolen and quickly sold on for a fraction of their retail or used value – sometimes for just £1,000.

The investigation by AX further exposed the activities of car theft gangs as Home Office figures show the number of vehicles stolen in Britain has almost doubled in the last five years.

According to an AX source, criminals have put a black-market value of just £1,000 on an Audi A1, while a Land Rover Range Rover, which costs upwards of £80,000 when new, will go for £1,500-2,000. Once the theft has occurred, the vehicles are typically sold rapidly to a known network which then exports or dismantles them for parts.

Director of investigative services at AX, Neil Thomas, said: "The list is quite shocking, despite my 30 years working in the police force. We know how the criminals operate but, with the UK theft figures in mind, it's a sharp reminder of the problem car owners and the industry faces.

"Rather than the cars that are stolen most in the UK, this list represents the criminals' wish list of preferred targets. A typical, current Ford Fiesta, for example, would change hands for little more than £200.

"Business and private owners alike are affected by the increase in thefts, so it's paramount to take precautions to avoid being targeted, or ensure vehicles have robust covert technology so that they can be recovered. Most tracking devices are simply removed after being stolen."

"It is reassuring to see the Police Service now treating vehicle theft as part of organised crime and we will continue to support their work in any way we can."

The car thieves' 'shopping list' of vehicles

Make / model

Retail Cost (from)

Post-theft value

Audi A1



Audi A3



Audi A4



Audi A5



BMW 2 Series


£1.5- £1.8k

BMW 3 Series


£1.5- £1.8k

BMW 4 Series


£1.5- £1.8k

BMW 5 Series


£1.5- £1.8k




Land Rover Range Rover



Land Rover Range Rover SVR



Mercedes AMG


£2k- £3k

Mercedes C Class


£1k- £1.5k

Filed Under

We have placed cookies on your device to give you the best possible experience. By continuing to browse our site, you agree to our use of cookies. To find out more, please refer to our Privacy Policy


Find an Engineer

To find an engineer please enter your postcode below

Enter Postcode

Jan/Feb 2020
Assessor Logo

The members magazine of the IAEA.

Published bi-monthly, it covers news, features, case studies, interviews and reports from IAEA meetings across the country to keep members up-to-date with what's happening around the industry. You can read the latest issue online, and also access previous editions by clicking on the relevant links.

Assessor Magazine
Footer Logo

Subscribe to our mailing list


Terms & Conditions | Privacy Policy
copyright 2016 The Institute of Automotive Engineer Assessors