Crime: Old Vauxhalls head the theft index

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Fifteen-year-old Vauxhall Cavaliers are the cars most likely cars to be stolen, according to official Home Office figures published yesterday.

More than one in every 10 1980-82 model Cavaliers on the road last year was stolen. And the 1983-85 and the 1986-88 models fared almost as badly in the Home Office's Car Theft Index. The Cavalier's monopoly of the top places in the index was only broken by the 1986-88 model Austin Morris Metro MG, which was fourth on the list.

The good news for car buyers is that newer vehicles are much less likely to be stolen. Just two in every 1,000 cars registered last year was stolen, compared with 28 per thousand registered in 1985 - the peak vintage for thefts. Home Office Minister Alun Michael said the trend reflected improvements in security by manufacturers in recent years, although he warned against complacency.