Interviews with car thieves found that £2,000 is a typical price for a popular performance car valued at about £40,000, while a less popular car worth £20,000 would only generate £250 for the car thief.
According to Home Office figures, 108,542 vehicles were stolen between April 2021 and March 2022 in England and Wales, equivalent to an average of 279 thefts each day. This also represents a 22% increase from the previous 12 months.
Professor Rachel Armitage, Professor of Criminology, University of Huddersfield, said: "Our research shows that the money generated by car thieves is often a fraction of the value of the vehicle, even if it was being sold legitimately second hand. This in turn drives the need for a volume of thefts for criminals to generate large sums of money. People may be shocked to learn that criminal gangs have specifically targeted their vehicle for theft due to the model and colour of the car."
Lorraine Price, head of motor insurance at Direct Line, added: "People will be horrified to learn the distress car thieves are causing to secure just a fraction of the value of a vehicle when they sell it, or the parts on the black market. It is not just the victims that pay the price, it has an impact on all motorists in the cost of insurance premiums."