For Londoners, Range Rovers Are Like Those "TikTok-Ed" American Hyundai and Kia Models

Range Rover makes some of the nicest vehicles on Earth. The Indian-owned British manufacturer puts luxury, ride comfort, high-quality cabin materials, the latest technologies, and enhanced off-road capability at the core of all its products. Even though some models are a little cooler than others, no Range Rover is left lacking. And that attracts (unwanted) attention, as Range Rover owners based in the United Kingdom’s capital city found out recently.
2021 Land Rover Range Rover 7 photos
Photo: Land Rover / autoevolution edit
2021 Land Rover Range Rover2021 Land Rover Range Rover2021 Land Rover Range Rover2021 Land Rover Range Rover2021 Land Rover Range Rover2021 Land Rover Range Rover
Since last year’s summer, many Kia and Hyundai owners from the U.S. have been facing a major issue – protecting their easily stealable cars from nefarious actors that love following social media trends, even those that are promoting blatantly illegal activities. A TikTok video showing that you can steal some of the South Korean manufacturers’ vehicles with a simple USB cable became viral unexpectedly fast.

In a couple of months, this turned from a slightly dangerous internet craze into a nationwide problem. It has gotten so bad that even public officials announced they were going to start lawsuits against Hyundai and Kia because they were forced to spend too much on fighting or finding the thieves. It didn’t take long before some of America’s most important insurers started announcing that they were dropping or barring from contracting new policies over 100 of the companies’ units.

Recently, a fix that includes a software update and a window sticker has been announced. Surprisingly, even though it took a while, the solution appears to be working. Soon, insurers might also start to change their policies for the better as well.

Unfortunately for London-based Land Rover Range Rover owners, a way out of their troubles doesn’t seem to be anywhere close. The posh SUV has become a major target for thieves, and that’s not because of an engine immobilizer missing. Some people just have a preference for stealing these vehicles. While Ford’s Fiesta leads the top 10 of the most stolen vehicles in the UK, Land Rover’s Range Rover and Discovery models with keyless entry are the unfortunate champions in the nation’s capital.

Insurers aren’t saying that they won’t cover Range Rover owners, but they quote absurd premiums. Someone, for example, received was told that £20,000 ($23,887) would be an acceptable price. Another Land Rover customer who just took delivery of their brand-new Range Rover learned that their insurer, with who they have been doing business for quite some time now, is reluctant to provide coverage. Another entity said it would be willing to accept but asked for £6,000 ($7,166) more than the previously known average price.

2021 Land Rover Range Rover
Photo: Land Rover
One anonymous broker quoted by Autocar said that insurers are reluctant to insure Range Rovers whose owners live in London because these SUVs are very popular in other countries, and thieves make a pretty penny by selling them or by ripping them apart and providing spares for a network of questionable shops. The same source confirmed that Volvo or Porsche models are not as targeted.

Curiously enough, the latest Range Rover isn’t affected by the thefts, but companies expect the stealing to begin any minute now because the nefarious actors are known to be capable of catching up with virtually any technology.

Land Rover said that it’s working to inform stakeholders and partners about the security measures they implemented, but the automaker also announced last year that it cut ties with its preferred insurance provider in November last year. Since then, no other company has been named as a replacement, but the brand promises a renewed offer will come soon.

Currently, it’s cheaper to insure a pricier Bentley Bentayga than a Range Rover. Comparing premiums that do not imply a binding agreement to cover the marque’s posh SUV reveals that initial prices are almost double those quoted for the Crewe-made unit.

Finally, if you plan on owning a Land Rover Range Rover soon, make sure you don’t live in London. Also, read the fine print when signing a document because the coverage providers might sneak in some new provisions.
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About the author: Florin Amariei
Florin Amariei profile photo

Car shows on TV and his father's Fiat Tempra may have been Florin's early influences, but nowadays he favors different things, like the power of an F-150 Raptor. He'll never be able to ignore the shape of a Ferrari though, especially a yellow one.
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