Croatian drivers are among the Europeans least likely to have their vehicle stolen, with an average of 22 thefts per 100,000 people each year.
That's according to Confused.com (Q2 2022), which reveals the European countries with the highest car theft rate. To do this, Confused.com has evaluated theft reports across the continent, and compared this to each country’s population to find an average number of thefts per 100,000 people.
|#||Country||Population||Total average car thefts per day||Total average car thefts per 100,000 people (per year) *|
*All figures represent annual averages from 2011-2019
Croatia is the fourth safest country for vehicle security
Croatia has the fourth lowest amount of car thefts each year on average, with just 22 per 100,000 people. This is 12 times fewer thefts than Italy (276), which sees the most thefts on average each year.
The worst countries in Europe for car theft
Confused.com can reveal that Italy has the highest car theft rate in Europe, averaging 276 thefts per 100,000 people each year. When compared to countries with a similar population size, this is a staggering 80% more than the United Kingdom (153 thefts per 100,000 people), and 5% more than France (261 thefts per 100,000 people.)
With an average of 274 thefts per 100,000 people, Czechia has been revealed as the second worst country in Europe for car theft. Despite having a population 84% smaller than Italy who rank first (276 thefts per 100,000), Czechia has just 0.7% less car thefts per 100,000 people each year.
Sweden follows behind Czechia as the third worst country for car theft, with 266 thefts per 100,000 people on average each year. When compared to their Scandinavian neighbours, Sweden experiences 91% more thefts per 100,000 people each year than Finland (139 per 100,000), and a staggering 138% more thefts than Norway, who average 112 per year.
France comes in fourth with 261 thefts per 100,000 people each year. In comparison to their central European neighbours – this is a shocking 267% more thefts each year than Germany (71 per 100,000 people), and 205% more than Switzerland, who place 14th with 85 thefts per 100,000 people each year.
France has the highest number of thefts per day
When broken down to thefts per day, it is France that tops the list. According to the data, there are 474 reports of car theft per day, on average. This breaks down to 20 thefts each hour, and three every minute.
Italy comes in second place with 455 thefts per day, followed by the United Kingdom in third (272) and Germany in fourth (159).
Denmark ranked best country for vehicle safety
Danish car owners are the least likely to experience vehicle theft amongst all Europeans, with just five thefts per 100,000 people on average each year – 98% lower than Italy’s 276 thefts per 100,000 people.
Alex Kindred, Car Insurance expert at Confused.com, comments:
"Unfortunately car theft takes place every day throughout Europe, therefore it's important that we ensure our cars are safe. By safeguarding our cars with effective security measures, such as steering wheel locks and alarms, we may decrease the risk of theft and a potential claim that may follow.
“Our guide to car safety outlines some of the most effective ways of keeping your car secure. One of our top recommendations is having your car vehicle identification number (VIN) etched on each of the windows, as this means thieves will have to pay to replace the glass. Additionally, when parking your car, leave it in gear with the wheels turned toward the curb. This makes it more difficult for thieves to tow your vehicle. Having these measures in place will not only reduce the risk of your car being stolen, but could help in keeping your car insurance costs low too.”