Vehicle taking, without consent (Revised 2017)

Theft Act 1968, s.12
Effective from: 24 April 2017

Triable only summarily:
Maximum: Unlimited fine and/or 6 months
Offence range: Band B fine – 26 weeks’ custody

User guide for this offence


Step 1 – Determining the offence category

The Court should determine the offence category using the table below.

Category 1      Higher culpability and greater harm

Category 2      Higher culpability and lesser harm or lower culpability and greater harm

Category 3      Lower culpability and lesser harm

The court should determine the offender’s culpability and the harm caused with reference only to the factors below. Where an offence does not fall squarely into a category, individual factors may require a degree of weighting before making an overall assessment and determining the appropriate offence category.

CULPABILITY demonstrated by one or more of the following:

Factors indicating higher culpability

  • A leading role where offending is part of a group activity
  • Involvement of others through coercion, intimidation or exploitation
  • Sophisticated nature of offence/significant planning
  • Abuse of position of power or trust or responsibility
  • Commission of offence in association with or to further other criminal activity

Factors indicating lower culpability

  • Performed limited function under direction
  • Involved through coercion, intimidation or exploitation
  • Limited awareness or understanding of offence
  • Exceeding authorised use of e.g. employer’s or relative’s vehicle
  • Retention of hire car for short period beyond return date

 HARM demonstrated by one or more of the following:

Factors indicating greater harm

  • Vehicle later burnt
  • Vehicle belonging to elderly/disabled person
  • Emergency services vehicle
  • Medium to large goods vehicle
  • Passengers carried
  • Damage to lock/ignition
  • Vehicle taken from private premises

Factors indicating lesser harm

  • All other cases