Jan 262018

Analysis of the latest figures from Warranty Direct’s GAP insurance division has revealed an alarming increase in claims for car thefts and write-offs over the past three years.

Warranty Direct’s findings show claims for write-offs have proportionally risen by 55% since 2014. This has resulted in a considerable cost to both the insurer and consumer.

The average individual claim value for vehicles written-off over the three-year period was £3,765 with some of the highest individual claims being over £15,000.

Manufacturer Percentage of overall claims Average claim value Highest claim
1. BMW 17% £4,286 £15,364
2. FORD 17% £2,377 £6,200
3. MERCEDES-BENZ 11% £5,165 £13,320
4. VAUXHALL 11% £2,347 £6,895
5. AUDI 4% £4,905 £9,740


When analysing manufacturer trends, the brands most likely to be written off or subject to theft were BMWs and Fords, which made up 17% of total overall GAP claims. This was closely followed by Mercedes-Benz and Vauxhall in second place (11%) and Audis in third place (4%).

While BMW and Ford took the lead when it came to the highest percentages of overall claims for vehicles written off or stolen, the highest costing average claims were made by Mercedes-Benz drivers at £5,165 per person, closely followed by Audi drivers, whose claims averaged at £4,905.

Advances in immobiliser and keyless technologies resulted in a decline in vehicle crime throughout the 2000s. However, it seems criminals are now finding ways to counter the latest safety innovations and technology as vehicle-related theft has risen 30% since 2014.

Warranty Direct’s data has shown the average individual pay out for theft-related claims since 2014 resulted in £3,360 per customer.

Simon Ackers, Warranty Direct’s Chief Executive Officer commented on the results: “It’s clear from the recent steep rise in vehicle-related thefts and write-offs, advances in vehicle manufacturing and technology cannot always prevent irreparable damage. The motoring industry must continue to adapt and encourage consumers to guard against potential loss with GAP insurance and visual deterrents such as steering wheel locks and alarms, which could help protect vehicles from theft.”

  4 Responses to “A Total Write Off”

  1. My daughters car was hit by a car whose driver crossed a “give way” sign. The drivers door was damaged and the wing was dented and the airbag deployed. The insurance company – Hastings – have written it off and we cannot understand why.
    It is a Ford Bmax – Ecoboost 63 plate

  2. Since you have made a comment regarding cars with immobiliser and keyless technologies, can we know please the data regarding car thefts, specifically what percentage of the overall car theft claims is from owners of cars with keyless entry/immobilisers?

  3. It would be useful to know separate figures for write-offs and vehicle thefts. that would make it clearer as to which manufacturers do best at making their cars secure and which ones are good (or not) at surviving crashes without too much damage. I would expect, for example, that the BMW figures relate more to their cars being targeted for theft than for accidental damage claims, but I could be wrong!

  4. Just like to say that just recently I have started using an old style steering lock again. A visible deterrent whilst old fashioned may deter criminals to move on to the next vehicle as they have to carry more tools to steal the car in question. Going equipped to steal is a crime in itself.

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