And NZ's most stolen car of the past year is ...
Honda Torneo tops the list for the fourth consecutive year
The Honda Torneo could be considered the unluckiest car in the country, after topping the most frequently stolen car list for the fourth consecutive year, according to AA Insurance.
“It’s not that there are more Honda Torneos on the road than any other car,” said Amelia Macandrew, Customer Relations Manager, AA Insurance. “It’s the probability of them being stolen that’s far greater than any other car we insure.”
The Top 10 list, which is based on AA Insurance’s own claims data, shows the Subaru Impreza also remains a target, despite being bumped to third place by the Mazda Familia. Other Mazda models, Atenza and Premacy, clung to ninth and tenth places while the Mazda MPV didn’t feature at all this year. Nissan models continued to jostle, with new entries Safari and Stagea pushing Cefiro and Sunny off the list altogether. According to AA Insurance claims data, 92 per cent of theft claims for models in the top 10 list were for cars manufactured more than 10 years ago. The average value of a stolen vehicle claim from the top 10 list is $5,120.
Top 10 Stolen Cars (Source: AA Insurance claims data May 2011 – April 2015)
- Honda Torneo
- Mazda Familia
- Subaru Impreza
- Mitsubishi Libero
- Nissan Safari
- Honda Integra
- Subaru Forester
- Nissan Stagea
- Mazda Atenza
- Mazda Premacy
“If you own a newer model of car on the list though, don’t be unnecessarily alarmed,” explains Amelia. “Newer models tend to have more sophisticated security systems that help prevent theft; however owners should not be complacent.
"And while older cars can also be a potential target, there are things all owners can do to ramp up their car’s security to make them less attractive to thieves, regardless of the age or make,” said Amelia. “For example, installing an alarm, a steering lock, or considering a visible immobiliser. Thieves will always go for the easiest, fastest option, so if you make it just a little bit harder for them then chances are they’ll lose interest in your car and move on to an easier target.
“One of the simplest, most effective things you can do is lock your car before you leave it, even when it’s at home or parked in the garage,” said Amelia. “And while it’s up to you to take all reasonable steps to ensure the safety and security of your car, if you’ve mistakenly forgotten to lock it, you’ll generally still be covered by your insurance.”
Despite vehicle theft remaining a concern, numbers have been relatively consistent over the past three years. New Zealand Police crime statistics report that there were 49,121 motor vehicle thefts and related offences in 2014, compared to 48,375 in 2013, 49,935 in 2012.
Owners are reminded to make sure they take all security precautions, even if the car is parked in the driveway or in front of the house outside. This was highlighted for one AA Insurance customer who heard a strange noise one night, then a car being started. She woke the next morning to find her 2000 Subaru Impreza gone from the driveway. The thief had been on the run from police after a house break-in, and escaped through neighbouring backyards. Police later apprehended the thief and recovered the car, which had $1,100 worth of damage to the ignition and locks.
Another customer arrived home from a party to find her 2002 Mazda Atenza missing. Police soon notified her that it had been involved in a high speed chase. The thief was apprehended after crashing and severely damaging her car, causing an engine fire and all air bags to deploy. The total loss was over $12,000.
“The best chance of keeping your vehicle safe is to park it in a garage or carport, however if you’re going to park on the street then make sure it’s under a street light for better visibility,” said Amelia. “It’s in our customers’ interest to make their cars as difficult to steal as they can – not only to avoid the distress and inconvenience of a theft, but also help keep insurance as affordable as possible.”
AA Insurance tips for preventing car theft
- Always lock your car, even when parking at home
- Be extra vigilant over weekends and during warmer weather when there are more thefts reported
- Keep all valuables and your car keys out of sight, including away from your front and back doors
- Where possible try to park in a garage, carport or off-street
- If you have to park on the street make sure your car is under a street light or in a well-lit area
- If in a car park then use an attended, secure parking building and park close to the entrance or exit
- Install visible security such as an alarm light, immobiliser or steering lock
- Know where your keys are at all times, and never leave them in your car, even at home. Thieves are now stealing car keys to access new vehicles with sophisticated modern security systems