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Bike theft hotspots revealed by new Admiral Insurance claims data

As many will be dusting off the saddle ready for summer, Admiral issues advice to bicycle owners on how to keep them safe from thieves

Group of parked bikes bicycles cycles
  • Ahead of Bike Week 2024, Admiral Insurance has revealed the UK bicycle theft hotspots
  • Admiral’s data reports that 40% of bikes were stolen from a shed or garage, while 35% were stolen from a location away from home1
  • The average cost of a stolen bike reported to Admiral Claims last year was around £1,2002
  • For over 569,000 adults in Britain, cycling is the preferred method of travel3
  • Admiral warns cyclists to ensure their bikes are fully covered, as Head of Household, Noel Summerfield gives his top tips for bike security this summer

Admiral Home Insurance is warning Brits to protect their bicycles from thieves, as new claims data reveals the areas of the UK with the most claims for stolen bikes. Ahead of Bike Week 2024 (10th-16th June), and with more cyclists taking to their bikes as the weather improves, Admiral explains how bicycle owners can ensure they don’t fall foul of thieves.

According to Admiral’s data, over the last two years bicycle owners in the SW postcode area (South West London) made the most claims for stolen bikes, closely followed by those in the SE postcode area (South East London) - yet the risk of bike theft extends beyond the capital city. The BS postcode area (Bristol) experienced the third highest number of claims for bike thefts, followed by EH (Edinburgh) and BN (Brighton) at 4th and 5th place.

Below, Admiral’s data reveals the top 20 UK postcode areas where it has seen the most claims for bike theft in the last two years:






SW - Southwest London


NE - Newcastle


SE - Southeast London


BH - Bournemouth


BS - Bristol


OX - Oxford


EH - Edinburgh


N - North London


BN - Brighton


CF - Cardiff


KT -  Kingston Upon Thames


CB - Cambridge


E - East London


NW - Northwest London


RG - Reading 


GU - Guildford


SO - Southampton 


LS - Leeds


TW - Twickenham


PO - Portsmouth

Cyclists who keep their bikes in a shed, garage or outbuilding should ensure doors and windows are locked, and their bike is kept out of sight. Admiral’s data reports a significant number of thefts are from sheds and garages - with 40% of bike claims from these locations.

A further 35% of claims were made for bikes stolen from locations away from home, and with over 569,000 British adults using bicycles as their preferred method of transport, it’s important that cyclists secure their bikes whenever they’re not riding them. Those who store their bikes inside their property should also be vigilant, as 25% of bike claims are from homes.

Admiral’s Head of Household, Noel Summerfield, emphasises the importance of proper cover for your bicycle:

“As the weather improves and summer approaches, many people will be dusting off their bikes and opting to cycle more. And with transport strikes and high fuel costs, cycling will be a more attractive option for many – something that could be welcome news for bike thieves.

“The average value of a bike stolen and reported to our claims team in 2023 was around £1,200, however we insure bikes up to £5,500 and some stolen bikes reported to us over the last two years have been worth over £5,000. We’ve also had claims where multiple bikes belonging to one family have been stolen, which would no doubt be particularly upsetting.

“With summer on the way, it’s also a good time to make sure your bike is sufficiently protected on your home insurance policy. At Admiral, any pedal bike worth less than £350 is automatically covered, but many bikes cost more than this so need to be added as a specified item. It’s important to make sure your bike is insured for its accurate value as many insurers, including Admiral won’t pay over the amount the customer has insured it for. Many insurers will also have specific requirements for the type of lock you must use. Admiral, requires that any bike worth more than £1,000 is secured with a Sold Secure Gold rated lock.

“Whether you’ve been cycling for years or have just bought your first bike, be vigilant and use our jargon-free guide to help you step up your bike security and make sure you have the right level of cover.” 

Noel goes on to warn that while cyclists in the postcode areas it has seen the most stolen bike claims should be on high alert, it is crucial that all bicycle owners remain vigilant and know the most effective ways to secure their bikes. As well as proper insurance cover, he advises how cyclists can deter the thieves:

Tips for securing your bike and reducing risk of theft

  • Buy a good bike lock, for example, one that meets Sold Secure Gold Standard.
  • Always use a bike lock when leaving your bike unattended away from home – no matter for how long
  • Lock your bike to an immovable object, such as railings or a bike rack, and in a well-lit, preferably busy and covered by CCTV area
  • Never leave bikes unsecured, even at your own property, and make sure you use a strong lock if it’s in a shed or outbuilding 
  • Register your bike with national schemes such as Immobilise or the Bike Register Database
  • When registered, the database increases the chance of theft victims being reunited with their stolen bike
  • Take photographs or the bike, including any distinctive marks or features