Mercedes-Benz Sprinter tops list of UK’s most stolen vans

The Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 313 CDI has been named as the UK’s most stolen van, with Ford vans the most likely to be stolen by brand according to a Freedom of Information request submitted by van experts Vanarama.

Using an FOI to the DVLA, the company revealed the most stolen vans of 2023 and the month that thieves targeted these vehicles the most.

A total of 12,950 vans were stolen across the UK in 2023, an 18% increase from 2022’s total. 1,262 were taken in March, which was the most prevalent month for van theft.

The Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 313 CDI was the van targeted the most in these crimes, with 938 of them stolen between January and December last year. This was 42% higher than the van ranked in second place which is another Mercedes model, the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 314 CDI, which was targeted 660 times. 

Rounding off the top three most stolen was the Ford Transit 350, with 601 reported as stolen last year according to the DVLA. 

Over 50% of the vans stolen in the UK were Ford models, but as the market leader there are more Ford vans on the road than any other brand.

Mercedes and Vauxhall had the next highest number of van thefts across the year, again both highly popular manufacturers in the van market. It seems thieves are targeting whatever van they can find, and ones with potential goods inside, as it was also revealed that nearly a quarter of tradespeople had tools stolen last year. 

Top 15 most stolen vans in the UK - March 2023

Rank Make/model No. of thefts
1 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 313 CDI 938
2 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 314 CDI 660
3 Ford Transit 350 601
4 Ford Transit Custom 290 eco-tech 344
5 Ford Transit 125 T350 rwd 264
6 Ford Transit Custom 270 eco-tech 251
7 Ford Transit 100 T280 fwd 230
8 Ford Transit 115 T350l rwd 200
9 Ford Transit 100 T260 fwd 177
10 Ford Transit 85 T280s fwd 170
11 Ford Transit 350 Leader Ecoblue 160
12 Ford Transit 85 T260m fwd 152
13 Peugeot Boxer 335 Pro L3H2 Blue hDi 146
14 Ford Transit Custom 290 Trend e-tec 126
15 Ford Transit 85 T280m fwd 115
Ask HJ

Is the Mercedes Sprinter a reliable van?

I am considering buying a 2020 Mercedes Sprinter. It has FSH and seems to run and drive ok. t is £14,000+VAT and has 99,995 miles on the clock. Are these vans reliable? Will I reach 300k miles if I service it every year?
Based on the quoted mileage and the age of the Sprinter, it has covered on average just over 30,000 miles a year which is quite normal for a big panel van of its type. We've seen similar-aged Sprinters with much higher mileages and it's the vehicle of choice for all of the supermarket delivery operators, often covering 100,000 miles a year. Keep on top of regular maintenance and there's no reason why it shouldn't see 300,000 miles - there are hundreds of older Sprinters on the road that have achieved and surpassed that but maintenance and regular servicing will be key. If we were looking for a reliable van to do that many miles with, we'd definitely be looking at the Mercedes along with its sister van, the Volkswagen Crafter and potentially the Iveco Daily. The one you mention sounds like a good buy and a fair price if it's in good order.
Answered by Craig Cheetham
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