Fresh Eurostat data show that Luxembourg has the highest rate of car theft per 100,000 inhabitants in the European Union - and it has increased markedly.

According to new data from Eurostat which look at police-recorded thefts of motorised vehicles between 2015 and 2017, Luxembourg reported an average 328 car thefts per 100,000 inhabitants.

This is by far the highest average in the Union, with Greece in second place (269), Italy in third (257), Sweden in fourth (256), and France fifth (247). As for our other neighbouring countries, Belgium's average stood at 123, and Germany at 69.

On the other end of the spectrum we find Denmark at 4 cars stolen per 100,000 inhabitants, Romania at 15, Croatia at 20, Estonia at 31, and Slovakia also at 31.

© Eurostat

While the EU average has decreased, Luxembourg's rate has gone up

Delving slightly deeper into the data, which ranges back to 2008, we can see that the EU average decreased by 29% as compared to between 2008 and 2010.

The opposite is true of Luxembourg, which recorded around 80 car thefts per 100,000 inhabitants between 2008-2010; which equals an increase of over 300% between 2008-10 and 2015-17.

In real numbers, Luxembourg's vehicle theft numbers between 2008 and 2016 were:

2008: 344
2009: 419
2010: 418
2011: 456
2012: 372
2013: 2,285
2014: 2,240
2015: 2,026
2016: 1,705

In that same period, the EU-28 recorded a real decrease from 1,040,295 vehicle thefts in 2008, to 698,478 in 2015 - the latest year for which complete data is available.

© Eurostat

A note on the data

As is often the case with international comparisons, Luxembourg's data may stand out in part due to our rather unusual set of circumstances. For one, the data looks at cars stolen in the country - which doesn't take into account the huge influx of cars from neighbouring countries every day. As such, if a French car is reported stolen in Luxembourg, that would count towards Luxembourg's per capita average, despite the owner not being a Luxembourg resident.