The UK's car industry, led by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, has called on the police to improve how it tracks car thefts.
The number of vehicles stolen in the UK has fallen by 70% in the past decade, according to data released today by the Office for National Statistics.
However the SMMT is concerned that there is little nationwide understanding of trends in the types of vehicle theft because only a small number of police forces collect and analyse this data. It said that public perception about the types of vehicles often stolen is being skewed.
The ONS data shows 69,547 vehicles were stolen in the UK last year, compared to 231,323 in 2004, and and the crime is now at its lowest point since 1968.
The SMMT said the continued reduction in vehicle theft follows a tireless effort by manufacturers to help make vehicles ever more secure.
Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said: “Thanks to significant investments by car manufacturers in the latest security systems, vehicle thefts across the UK are at the lowest levels for decades. We are, however, calling for better tracking of how different vehicles are stolen so that we have an accurate understanding of how criminals are operating and can develop future technology to eradicate vehicle crime.”