PROUD owners of expensive cars can rest easy.
The most popular model with thieves remains the humble Vauxhall Belmont, it was revealed.
The Belmont may have been rated 38 in a recent poll of worst cars, but 1,978 were taken last year - or 99 out of every 1,000 registered.
Vauxhall also took the second and third slots in the most- stolen list with the Astra Mark 2 and Nova. The Austin/Morris Metro and the Ford Escort Mk3 were fourth and fifth respectively.
While owners of those models are more likely than most to be counting their losses, car thefts dropped to a 20-year low.
A total of 282,816 cars were taken last year, a 10.1% fall on 2002.
Home Office minister Hazel Blears said the fall was the result of a concerted effort by the Government, police and industry.
"Motorists - private owners and fleet buyers - have a key role to play.
"I hope they will take account of the results of these figures when making their purchasing decisions," she said.
"I would urge all drivers to take simple precautions to prevent car crime, such as always locking doors even if the car is only left for a few minutes, and not leaving valuables on show."