Compact executive cars and 4x4s are the most likely models to be targeted by car thieves, according to new research.

The list of "most-stolen vehicles" was compiled from vehicle thefts uncovered in the last 12 months by British firm HPI, and suggests that high-end vehicles make up nearly a quarter of all vehicles stolen in the UK. Roadsters and family cars are the next most common, making up a total of 16 percent of stolen cars.

The most common age for a stolen car is between four and eight years old, with brand new models making up only five percent of stolen vehicles.

"The age of vehicle appears to be a big factor in the type of cars stolen," said Nicola Johnson, Consumer Services manager for HPI. "This age of vehicle ... can be sold on relatively easily and usually for cash, making it even easier for criminals to make a quick buck."

Interestingly, supercars account for onlyone percent of cars that are stolen.

Earlier this year, the American National Crime Insurance Bureau reported that the 1994 Honda Accord and the 1995 Honda Civic were the most stolen vehicles in the United States. Four of the top ten were compact or midsize, roughly equivalent to the British "compact executive" classification, whilst three were SUVs (four-wheel drive vehicles).

The Most Stolen Cars - US
1. 1994 Honda Accor
2. 1995 Honda Civic
3. 1989 Toyota Camry
4. 1997 Ford F-150 Pickup
5. 2004 Dodge Ram Pickup
2008 Data from the US National Insurance Crime Bureau

The Most Stolen Cars - Australi a
1. Holden Commodore VN, VL, VT, VP, VS, VX, VR, VY
2. Ford Falcon EA, BA, AU, EF, XF
3. Toyota Camry SV22, SV21 322
4. Hyundai Excel X3 268
5. Toyota Corolla AE82, AE92 223
September 2009 Data from Australian National Motor Vehicle Theft Reduction Bureau

The Most Stolen Cars - UK
1. Vauxhall Belmont
2. Vauxhall Astra Mk2
3. Ford Escort Mk3
4. Austin/Morris Metro
5. Vauxhall Nova
2005 Data from UK Home Office

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