AA Insurance has revealed its ten most frequently stolen cars and the regions they are most likely to be stolen from
Based on AA Insurance claims data, the Nissan Silvia, which topped the list for the past three years, has been replaced by the Honda Torneo, second in 2010.
The Nissan Elgrand, new to this year's top 10 list, was the second most frequently stolen car. Other models making their debut on the list include the Mitsubishi Libero and the Nissan Sunny.
The information is based on AA Insurance's highest theft claims incidence over the last four years for cars covered under comprehensive insurance. Sixty-six percent of the vehicles in this list were manufactured between 1990-1999 while 33 percent were manufactured between 2000 -2010.
Top 10 Stolen Cars
The theft incidence rate for older vehicles is much higher than newer models. For example, the three Subaru models on the list are older imports rather than new vehicles released in New Zealand with stronger security features.
According to AA Insurance claims data, a car manufactured between 2000 and 2004 is three times more likely to be stolen than a car manufactured between 2005 and 2010. The average cost of a stolen vehicle in this top ten is $5,101.
"New Zealand has a large fleet of ageing, second-hand imported cars so it's no surprise that these older models, which have few or no security features compared to newer vehicles, are easy targets for thieves," said Martin Fox, Head of Operations, AA Insurance. "Installing visible anti-theft devices such as a steering lock or flashing car alarm can reduce the risk of theft. Our claims data shows that a vehicle with no alarm is 1.3 times more likely to be stolen than a vehicle with an alarm."
Based on the theft incidence rates of all car claims made over the past five years, the Auckland region was found to have the highest rate of stolen cars, followed by the regions of Canterbury, Wellington, Waikato. Otago appears to have the lowest vehicle theft rate. Auckland's theft incidence rate of stolen cars was more than double that of Waikato and a vehicle is 28 times more likely to be stolen in Auckland than in Otago.
The data also revealed that parking your car in the street makes it five times more likely to be stolen than if it was parked in a garage. A car parked in a carport has almost the same theft incidence rate as a car parked on a driveway. Respondents to the 2011 AA Insurance Drivers Index, a poll of 3,550 Kiwi drivers, indicate that the majority have had their car stolen from a public car park, closely followed by their residential street or a street adjacent to where they live.
The survey also found that 50 percent of drivers regularly leave their cars unlocked when parked outside their house while 12.9 percent admitted to regularly leaving a vehicle unlocked no matter where it was parked.
"Motorists shouldn't give car thieves an easy ride," added Martin. "Make your car harder to steal by installing a security device like a car alarm, immobiliser or steering lock. Park in well-lit streets and lock your vehicle. Always know where your keys are and never leave them out in the open, even at home."
AA Insurance tips for preventing car theft
Always lock your car, even when parking at home
Keep all valuables and your car keys out of sight
Park in a well-lit street or secure car park
Install visible security such as an alarm light or steering lock
Never leave your car running when unattended