MADRID – Car thefts in Spain increased by 17% in 2022, with a total of 31,000 vehicles stolen. Moreover, it is striking that only one in four cars is recovered.
The rest are either stripped for parts and sold, or shipped to other countries where the stolen car trade is more common. This is evident from data from the Spanish Ministry of the Interior. These criminal activities cost insurance companies hundreds of millions of euros every year, costs that are ultimately passed on to policyholders.
Top 3 cities in Spain for car theft
In terms of regions, Madrid, Catalonia and Andalucia lead the way in the number of thefts. Looking specifically at cities, the ranking is topped by Madrid, followed by Barcelona and Seville.
The 5 most stolen cars in Spain
Automotive enthusiast and influencer @georgesmithgoodoficial recently shared in a video that according to a lesser-known but reliable ranking, the most stolen cars in Spain are the Renault Mégane, BMW X5, BMW Series 3, VW Golf and Seat León. This list is very similar to the official data from the Ministry of the Interior. He mentions the Seat Ibiza and León, the Volkswagen Golf, the Ford Focus and the BMW Series 3 as the most stolen cars.
On a global level, the most stolen car matches one of the best-selling cars in the world: the Honda Accord. This model is less known in Europe but is particularly popular in countries such as the United States.
Tips from the police
The Spanish police periodically provide advice to prevent car theft. One of the most important tips is to park in high traffic areas and in a straight line if possible. This makes it more difficult for thieves to force a door unnoticed. Although modern cars are often stolen electronically, without breaking the windows, police emphasise that the best anti-theft system is still a good mechanical one, such as a traditional steering wheel lock.