Spain – 37,000 vehicles stolen a year

Spain - 37,000 vehicles stolen a year, seat, citroen, ford, peugeot

Image - National Police

The Ministry of the Interior has released data that shows an average of 37,000 vehicles are stolen every year, although the country is not in the top ten for car thefts in the European Union.
The European average is 150,000 cars stolen each year with Greece topping that list with over 180,000 or 500 a day. Other countries where car theft is high may surprise you Sweden, Czechia (the Czech Republic), France, Italy and of course Greece.
Perhaps the worst aspect of the high rate of car thefts is that less than 10 percent of the cars stolen are recovered, with police saying that the chances of finding the vehicle are the best within the first 48 hours. After that the chances of recovering the vehicle drop dramatically.
This they say is down to the speed of the organised car theft rings who move swiftly to remove from Spain or to break them up and to sell the parts.
The most stolen vehicles
Understandably the most sought after vehicles are those that are easiest to sell intact or as parts. Cars that are also easier to steal are more likely to be stolen, in particular older models with less sophisticated anti-theft systems.
What is interesting though is that many of the more sophisticated key driven systems are also stolen and thieves have gained access to hacking technology that allows them to do so.
The most stolen cars in 2021 were:

  1. Seat Ibiza
  2. Seat León
  3. Volkswagen Golf
  4. Ford Focus
  5. Peugeot 206
  6. Citroen Xsara

The Seat’s and the Citroen are said to be particularly easy to move once stolen.
Efforts by police to recover the 37,000 vehicles stolen each year, while getting smarter have done little to reduce the number stolen annually.

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Written by

Peter McLaren-Kennedy

Originally from South Africa, Peter is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at