Why are Land Rovers stolen so much?

Why are Land Rovers stolen so much?

What a machine!

The Land Rover Defender is iconic.

Can you spend a day in the countryside without seeing one? Probably not.

Their ruggedness and shape make them perfect utility vehicles.

You can throw a couple of ewes in the back and whizz off to the vet.

Or you can cram your family in when you go out for a Friday night meal.

They’re such good functional vehicles, the military still use them.

Why wouldn’t you want one?

One reason is, they’re very, very popular with criminals.

According to a recent NFU report, the cost of Land Rover Defender thefts is up 87%.

But what makes them a favourite for theft?


Hard to get hold of

The day they stopped making the Classic Land Rover Defender in 2016 was a traumatic time for all Land Rover fans.

Inevitably, over the last 6 years, there are fewer and fewer Defenders on the road.

Not only are they harder to get hold of but they’re more expensive too.

And at the end of the day, it’s a defender.

Maybe it’s your dream car, maybe it’s what you’ve always driven. So, you’ll pay whatever it costs to get one … within reason.

As they’re not as easy to come by and the price of reselling them is higher, they’re a better target for criminals.

Not only are the vehicles not being made anymore, neither are their parts.

When a Defender gets lifted, it’s not necessarily being driven. It could be stripped and sold in pieces. A sickening thought.

There’s always someone who wants to repair a door or an exhaust.


Rugged, but low-tech

The Defender has come a long way since it was released in 1947.

A different driving position, bigger engines, longer wheelbases, and different bodywork made the Defender what it was in 2016.

It’s always remained low-tech.

Smart move.

More technology means more chance of a fault.

Driving down the motorway, what type of cars do you see stopped on the hard shoulder?

Big new BMWs and Audis.

Why? Because they’re filled with loads of tech that’ll stop the car if it detects a fault.

So it was a smart move to keep Land Rover Defenders basic. They get put through their paces far more than any road car.

But it came at a cost.

They’re very easy to nick.



Stolen to order

Rural communities are something of a gold mine for Land Rovers.

Not only do you get Classics that have either been renovated or held onto for decades.

You also have more luxury high-end urban models from people visiting for the weekend.

And everything in between.

So it’s no wonder criminals venture out into the sticks.

The likelihood is, your Land Rover Defender won’t be stolen at random.

Its size and model’s been ordered.

After it’s stolen, it’ll be shipped to eastern Europe or given false plates and sold within the UK.

We’re not saying this is the sole reason they’re stolen.

If you leave your Defender in a dodgy area, you’re asking for it.


What can be done about it?

There are loads of modifications you can make to your Defender to prevent it from being stolen.

Some take a little bit more time and effort when you get in and out of the car.

They’re worth it to keep it safe though.

  • Lock it away
  • Steering wheel lock
  • Kill Switch
  • Tracking device
  • Keep it under surveillance
  • Where are all the keys?
  • Try not to brag about it.

Lock It way

A simple option that, if available to you, is the most effective.

Use your garage, lock your gates, or park it behind lockable doors.

That way, it’s out of sight and very safe.

Steering Wheel Lock

A bit of an inconvenience but they will add an extra layer of protection if someone gets into your Defender.

Low tech and very sturdy. Even the most persistent thief will struggle to get one off without making loads of noise.

Install a Kill Switch

A well-hidden kill switch will make their life very difficult.

The switch, when turned on, prevents the electrical circuit from completing meaning the engine won’t start.

The most common types of kill switches available such as:

  • Fuel line shutoff valves
  • Car battery disconnect switches
  • Remote control car battery switches
  • Fuse box kill switches
  • Ignition wire kill switches

Using all of them would be overkill.

Although, flicking on so many switches before setting off could make you feel like a fighter pilot.

Keep track of your vehicle

You might think that a car thief will return home after stealing your car, park up and go to bed.

They’re more cunning than that. Many modern cars are fitted with tracking devices.

So, they’ll park up away from home and go back for it later.

As we already said, Land Rover Defenders are notoriously low-tech.

So, you’ll need to install a tracking device yourself.

If your defender is stolen, you can quickly alert the police to its whereabouts and increase the probability of recovery.

Keep it under surveillance

Normally we’d suggest keeping your Land Rover in a well-lit area.

But you probably don’t want to pay to keep the lights on all night.

A more affordable alternative is to install a security camera to keep an eye on it.

Take our own security cameras as an example.

You can get a static Wi-Fi camera for under £100, that’ll tell you when a human is too close to your prized possession.

With advances in technology, cameras will now automatically switch to night vision, track human movement, and live stream footage.

Adding a camera will give you an early warning allowing, you to act as soon as possible.

Do you know how many keys there are?

If you’ve got a Defender, the chances are it's 2nd hand.

This means there’s been an exchange of keys at some point.

Over time keys get lost and remade so it’s difficult to know whether you’ve got all of them.

The solution?

Replace the locking system for the vehicle to be sure you’re the only one with the right keys.

Don’t tell everyone you’ve got a Defender

You’ve got a defender and you want to tell the world

We don’t blame you, we’d probably do the same.

Just be careful how much info you give away.

Online forums and groups are hunting grounds for organised gangs.

Sharing your vehicle on them could make you a target.



As a proud Land Rover Defender owner you want to keep it.

The end of lockdowns and the rise in the cost of living has led many to believe that rural crime will rapidly return to 2019 levels.

50% of those in rural communities say they’re concerned about rural crime (according to an NFU poll).

And as we said at the start of the article, Land Rover Defender theft is up 87%!


If you don’t want to stop with just protecting your vehicle, read our blog on the most affordable methods for crime prevention.

And make your home a fortress.

It’s time to stand up to rural crime.


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