Older cars between 15-17 years old are almost twice as likely to be stolen as newer vehicles, according to research by insurer Norwich Union.
Company officials say the majority of claims it deals with are for cars worth less than 5000, and the bias towards older vehicles is because opportunist thieves are far more likely to target a car without an immobilizer or modern security system.
They also say that many car thieves don't steal to resell the cars, but merely because they need short-term transport, often to get home after a night out. As a result, they will target older cars which are easy to get into and start.
Data also showed that thefts are 25% more likely in December and January - probably due to the long hours of darkness - and diesel cars are 16% more likely to be stolen.
Cars parked on-street are 17% more likely to be stolen than a car on a driveway.