There’s a Range Rover Theft Situation Happening in London

  • Range Rovers are the second most stolen vehicle in the UK, with most thefts occurring in London.
  • Insurance brokers responded by refusing to insure the London-based Range Rovers, or raising rates by as much as double.
  • Apparently there have been no thefts of new-look Range Rovers yet.

The Range Rover is a common sight in the metropolises of the world, built to handle mud and gravel, but more usually seen sliding up to the waiter at a fancy restaurant. Even in London’s busy and sometimes narrow streets, a wafting Rover is a popular choice, whether for real royalty or just the very well-heeled. But in the UK’s capital, Range Rovers have become popular with a more sinister set.

Thieves. (Or, as a London bobby might call them, the criminal element.) According to recent reports from UK magazine Autocar, Range Rovers have become the second most popular vehicle to steal in the UK, with 5,200 of them rejected in 2022. The vast majority of these thefts happened in London, and insurance companies took notice. (We know you’ll ask: the UK’s number one most stolen car in 2022 was the Ford Fiesta.)

This situation is not like the recent spate of thefts from Hyundais and Kias. Instead of pranksters on TikTok, many of these Range Rovers are said to be stolen by networks of professional thieves who take advantage of keyless entry technology. Apparently it’s too easy to fence off a hot Range Rover, either locally or by shipping it overseas, never to be seen again. According to one investigator interviewed by Autocar, the problem is not with some security flaw, but simply because a Range Rover is a fat and valuable target. Crime pays.

Insurance companies, on the other hand, don’t enjoy paying out. Premiums for Range Rovers have reportedly skyrocketed in the UK, doubling in some cases. This assumes you can get cover at all, as some insurers will not cover a Range Rover. Autocar did his homework here and requested quotes on a current full size Range Rover versus a similarly priced Bentley Bentayga. Quotes on the Rover reached the equivalent of $7200, double to triple the prices quoted for the Bentayga.

Thefts reported are from older Range Rover models, not the current one. JLR representatives took note of Autocar that they were working on solutions to the insurance issue and further pointed to the advanced security features available via the company’s Remote app. C/D also reached out to the automaker for additional comment.

Back in the day, a Jaguar was a hot target

For fun, this isn’t Jaguar Land Rover’s first experience as the choice of criminals. In the 1960s, Jaguar’s Mk II sedans were the vehicle of choice for the likes of Roy “The Weasel” James, a getaway driver in a number of brutal heists. In those cases, the Jag was chosen for its ability to outbid the buyers. Here the Range Rover itself is the bad profit.

In the US, the Ford F-150 is the most commonly stolen vehicle, a result of its ubiquity. But there are also periodic hotspots of Range Rover theft—one brief spate occurred just north of the border in Edmonton, Alberta, where thieves made off with six 2017–2021 model Land Rover products.

So if you own a Range Rover, maybe invest in the best immobilizer and vehicle tracking technology you can afford. And if you see a bunch of sleazy figures with Cockney accents hanging around, it’s best to lock the garage extra tight.

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Contributing Editor

Brendan McAleer is a freelance writer and photographer based in North Vancouver, BC, Canada. He grew up with his knuckles on British cars, came of age in the golden age of Japanese sport-compact performance, and started writing about cars and people in 2008. His particular interest is the intersection between humanity and machinery, be it the races. career of Walter Cronkite or the Japanese animator Hayao Miyazaki’s half-century obsession with the Citroën 2CV. He taught both of his young daughters how to shift a manual transmission and is grateful for the excuse they provide to constantly buy Hot Wheels.