The study by consumer motoring website HonestJohn.co.uk used police data obtained via Freedom of Information requests to pinpoint car crime down to locations. The crimes covered include theft of a motor vehicle, theft from a motor vehicle, criminal damage or interfering with a motor vehicle.
Manchester was highlighted as the worst city in the UK for car crime, with 505 incidents per 10,000 vehicles. The M2 postcode, which covers Manchester city centre, was revealed as the worst postcode with almost one in three cars (3,180 per 10,000 vehicles) affected by crime.
The census found that Bradford came in as the second-worst, with 457 offences per 10,000 vehicles, ahead of London in third with 443 per 10,000. The North dominated the top spots in the crime stats, as Leeds and Sheffield came fourth and fifth respectively.
Daniel Harrison, editor of HonestJohn.co.uk, said: “This data is the first of its kind because it’s based on the actual police force records from across the UK. What it highlights is a shocking north-south divide, with London representing the only southern district listed in the top 10.”
The census found that theft from a vehicle was the most common crime, accounting for 41 per cent of all offences, followed by criminal damage (39 per cent) and theft of a car (16 per cent).
Outer suburbs have a significantly smaller crime rate compared to city centres, with the researchers claiming the rates can drop by as much as 50 per cent a few miles outside the city centre.
Harrison added: “The worst areas for car crime are, predictably, city centres where there are pubs, bars and restaurants.
“As with many cities, vehicles left in on-street parking zones tend to be more vulnerable to being broken into and suffering criminal damage.”
Worst cities (number of offences per 10,000 vehicles)
Worst postcodes (number of offences per 10,000 vehicles)