New data 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.

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 payout for theft-related claims since 2014 resulted in £3,360 per customer.

According to recent statistics, more than one in ten collisions result in a write-off and if a car is repairable, but the repair costs outweigh the value of the car, it can still be counted as a write-off.

For example: many new cars are packed with expensive technology, often placed in parts of a vehicle vulnerable to high impact or potential collisions. Not only this, but a lot of modern cars are manufactured from many different, costly types of materials. As such, it doesn’t always require a huge accident to cause considerable and costly damage which makes even a brand-new motor uneconomic to repair.

The bad state of road repairs can also lead to further write-off numbers and potholes are costing drivers around £684 million a year in repairs.

While these might seem extreme statistics, damage to suspension and exhausts on modern cars can be severe and extremely expensive to fix, which could mean the end for some vehicles. Car suspension is designed to absorb impacts and provide a smooth ride, but there’s a limit to how much it can handle. Sudden, jarring hits caused from poor road conditions can create a variety of issues, including broken ball joints, misalignment, and damaged shock absorbers.

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.”

James Ash


Content Marketing Executive at

January 25, 2018