Motorists have been advised to be extra vigilant when the clocks go back as extra hours of darkness during the winter months will give car thieves more opportunities to steal.
Figures released by Tracker show that 20% more stolen vehicles are recovered during winter.
Stuart Chapman, the firm's police relationships manager, said: "Our figures confirm that the winter's extra hours of darkness allow more time for thieves to break into vehicles unseen, with November, January and February being the worst months.
"In 2010, 84% of all the stolen cars recovered by Tracker were taken using the owner's keys and this danger increases during the winter.
"Added to this, on frosty mornings many people leave their car unattended with the engine on to defrost the windscreen, making their cars a prime target for thieves. We urge motorists to keep their keys safe at all times and think twice to avoid 'frost jackers'."
Motorists who do not carry their belongings with them after leaving their cars have been advised to lock them in the boot of their vehicles.
Drivers should also ensure that their vehicles are parked in busy or well-lit and attended parking areas.
It might also be a good idea for them to take out a comprehensivecar insurance policy.
Copyright © Press Association 2011