personal finance

Jaguar Land Rover to spend £1m to help police stop car thefts

Jaguar Land Rover is planning to invest more than £1m to support UK police to fight car thefts and fund intelligence gathering.

The luxury carmaker said the money would be used to target theft hotspots and provide police forces “with additional dedicated resources to respond to vehicle thefts across the country”.

The investment comes as the JLR chief executive, Adrian Mardell, called on ministers to increase spending on policing after the Range Rover maker was hit by a wave of thefts of its luxury vehicles.

JLR said it would work directly with forces across the UK, who would determine how to spend the money based on intelligence, the Guardian understands.

Insurance premiums for the company’s luxury vehicles have soared recently, prompting it to relaunch its own insurance cover last October. Some insurers have refused to cover Range Rovers.

The Jaguar Land Rover UK managing director, Patrick McGillycuddy, said: “We are constantly developing our systems and security features and through our close collaboration with police, we stay ahead of any emerging methods and quickly deploy anti-theft measures.

“This additional investment, coupled with our other ongoing and proactive action, shows our commitment to supporting the authorities in having a tangible impact on combating this issue in the UK.”

JLR said it was already working with police to share information, helping to recover stolen vehicles and providing training for 650 officers, as well as working to make its vehicles less vulnerable.

Of the 12,800 vehicles of the latest Range Rover sold since its launch in January 2022, only 11 were stolen during its first two years on the market.

But some customers are seeing the cost of insuring their Range Rovers skyrocketing. Meryl Cabellos told BBC News that the cost of insuring his car increased from £2,000 to £4,000 last year, before receiving a best quote of £10,000 this year.

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“We’ve been Range Rover customers for many years, and it really feels as though we’re being priced out now,” Cabellos said. “We’re just really disappointed. We loved the car but because of the insurance the experience of owning it went downhill so quick.”

According to Auto Trader data, the average price of a used Range Rover has fallen 9.3% since May to £35,224, compared with declines of 5.7% for all luxury SUVs and 2.8% for all cars.

JLR, which is owned by the Indian conglomerate Tata, says it is spending more than £15m updating 450,000 older vehicles with new security software, and has installed it on 80,000 so far.

It made a profit before tax and exceptional items of £627m in its third quarter, the three months to 31 December, up from £235m a year earlier. Sales rose to £7.4bn from £6bn, as wholesale revenues of its Range Rover – vehicles sold through dealerships – hit a quarterly record.


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