Recent study data reveal the European countries ranked the worst for car theft

Image of a car thief in action. Credit: Africa Studio/

A recent study carried out by the website comparison company revealed the countries ranked worst for car theft in Europe.


A recent study carried out by the top website comparison company, revealed on Monday, August 22, that Italy has the highest car theft rate in Europe, averaging 276 thefts per 100,000 people each year. The figures produced represented annual averages from 2011-2019, using data from Eurostat.

When compared to countries with a similar population size, this is a staggering 80 per cent more than the United Kingdom, which has 153 thefts per 100,000 people,  5 per cent more than France’s 261 thefts per 100,000. Spain came well down the list, in 15th position, with 79 thefts per 100,000 people.

With an average of 274 thefts per 100,000 people, Czechia was found to be the second worst country in Europe for car theft. Despite having a population 84 per cent smaller than Italy, Czechia has just 0.7 per cent fewer 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 per cent more thefts per 100,000 people each year than Finland’s 139 per 100,000, and a staggering 138 per cent more thefts than Norway, which averages 112 per year.

Infographic showing car theft data in Europe.  Credit:

France came in fourth position, with 261 thefts per 100,000 people each year, in comparison to their central European neighbours. This figure is a shocking 267 per cent more thefts each year than in Germany, which had just 71 per 100,000 people. It was 205 per cent more than Switzerland, which placed 14th with 85 thefts per 100,000 people each year.

When broken down to the number of thefts per day, France topped 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, or three every minute.

Italy comes in second place with 455 thefts per day, followed by the United Kingdom’s 272 in third, and Germany in fourth place with 159.

Propping up the list, as the country where vehicle owners are least likely to experience vehicle theft amongst all Europeans was Denmark. The Scandinavian country revealed just five thefts per 100,000 people on average each year – 98 per cent lower than Italy’s 276.

All data was collected in November 2021 and is accurate as of then, as reported by


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Written by

Chris King

Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he 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 [email protected]


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