The most likely places in the UK to have your car stolen have been revealed, with London leading the way.
New analysis of more than five million car insurance inquiries released by price comparison website Moneysupermarket shows Romford to be the biggest hotspot for car thefts, with a reported rate of 13.5 cars stolen per 1,000 in the area.
In Ilford, drivers experienced 13 car thefts for every 1,000 people.
Birmingham came in third place with 9.5 followed by Halifax with 8.6 and Liverpool with 8.2.
Closely following were East London, Bromley, Bradford and Stockport, each at around 7 car thefts for every 1,000 people.
The third Essex town to break the top ten was Southend-on-Sea, which came in 6th place with 8.1 car thefts or every 1,000 people.
“When it comes to car thieves, it turns out that the only way is Essex, as the county has three o the UK’s car theft hotspots,” Moneysupermarket’s Kevin Pratt said of the results.
“Makin sure your vehicle is protected with the right insurance is key to minimising the financial impact a theft can have, but prevention is always better than cure.
“No matter where you are in the UK, it’s important to defend your property against planned and opportunistic theft, whether of the vehicle itself or belongings left inside.”
On the other end of the scale Lerwick in the Shetland Islands, Scotland, is officially one of the safest places to keep a car, alongside Jersey and neighbouring Guernsey, with no car thefts stated.
Kirkwall, Dumfries, Inverness and Perth follow suit, with low theft rates ranging from 0.3-0.7 per 1,000 capita.
This makes Scotland the safest areas in the UK with half of the top 10 belonging to the area.
Not far behind were Dumfries, Perth, Truro and Exeter, which were all found to have less than 1 car theft to every 1,000 people.
Mr Pratt said: “There are simple steps drivers can take to enhance security and thwart criminals.
“If you can avoid having to make a claim on your insurance, you will protect your no claims discount and dodge a nasty hike in your premiums.”
He recommended that car owners fit an alarm in their vehicle and consider an old-school device such as a steering lock if they have keyless entry.
Drivers were also warned not to leave valuables out on display and to try and park in a garage where possible.