Call us on 13 1000
Go
  • Large General Insurance Company of the Year 2013, 2012, 2011, 2009 L
  • General Insurance Company of the Year 2012, 2010,2007, 2006 G

Car Insurance News

Tips, reports and trends for Australian drivers

Subscribe to Feed Get a Quote Get a Quote or call us on 13 1000

Which car is the most stolen

Motor vehicle theft has had a dramatic decline in Australia over the last decade dropping by 57% between 2001 and 2009 (1). And in the 2009/2010 year alone, there was a groundbreaking 7 per cent decline (2).

Joy riders, getaway cars and more

Broadly speaking, car theft falls into one of two groups.
There are the opportunistic thieves who take cars for short term use. These include local joy riders and robbery getaway cars. It even includes vehicle theft where the primary motivation is to get from A-to-B. Unbelievably some people view stealing a car as a transport option just like catching a bus or a train.

This type of theft resulted in 35,257 passenger and light commercial vehicles (PLC) stolen in 2009/2010(2). While this was 75% of vehicle theft in Australia for that year, it is the group with the fastest rate of decline year-on-year.

So just which cars are most stolen? For opportunistic theft, the top contenders are Holden Commodore’s and Hyundai Excel’s. A range of other brands and models are represented at the top of the list including the popular Ford Falcon, Nissan Skyline and Toyota Camry.

Top passenger/light commercial short term theft targets, January - December 2010

Make/Model/SeriesNumber of thefts in 2010Number of thefts in 2009
Holden Commodore VN9751311
Hyundai Excel X3826984
Holden Commodore VT652692
Holden Commodore VL587800
Holden Commodore VP498604
Holden Commodore VS451521
Subaru Liberty 389503
Ford Falcon EA 377595
Nissan Skyline 364433
Toyota Camry SV22357419
Ford Falcon AU 356384
Source: National Motor Vehicle Theft Reduction Council


The Hyundai Excel X3 features as a target of both opportunistic thefts and thefts for profit (Source: Wikipedia)


Figure 1 Hyundai Excel X3 features as a target of both opportunistic thefts and thefts for profit (Image: Wikipedia)

Top passenger/light commercial short term theft targets, July 2009 - June 2010

Make/Model/YearNumber of thefts in 2009/10Number of thefts in 2008/09
Holden Commodore 1990413549
Holden Commodore 1992371433
Holden Commodore 1989369465
Holden Commodore 1991366474
Holden Commodore 1988253320
Holden Commodore 1993234285
Holden Commodore 1998232282
Hyundai Excel 1997232252
Holden Commodore 1986226331
Holden Commodore 1987222348
Source: National Motor Vehicle Theft Reduction Council


Chop shops and stealing for profit

More sinister are profit-motivated thefts with 11,514 thefts making up the remaining 25% of stolen PLC vehicle thefts in 2009/10 (2).

These criminals steal cars to either sell as whole vehicles or as parts. Processed in chop shops, stolen cars are disassembled and the individual parts are sold to replace parts on legitimate vehicles.

Stolen not recovered (SNR) vehicle numbers are used to give an indication of the size of this illegal spare parts and vehicle supply chain.

Top passenger/light commercial profit-motivated theft targets, January - December 2010

Make/Model/SeriesNumber of thefts in 2010Number of thefts in 2009
Holden Commodore VT289315
Nissan Skyline 204157
Holden Commodore VS177193
Holden Commodore VN175203
Hyundai Excel X3168133
Holden Commodore VL161247
Holden Commodore VX132137
Holden Commodore VR129138
Ford Falcon AU 116121
Ford Falcon EA 115238
Source: National Motor Vehicle Theft Reduction Council


For illegal parts traders, being able to sell the parts is a key driver. Consequently vehicle popularity is a significant factor in the models stolen.

The 1997-1999 Holden Commodore VT is a popular model and a target for illegal parts (Source: Wikipedia)


Figure 2 1997-1999 Holden Commodore VT is a popular model and a target for illegal parts (Image: Wikipedia)

This does not necessarily mean that these makes and models have poor security, but just that thieves know they can easily find a buyer for the parts. Naturally, a high level of thefts on a particular make and model of vehicle will have an impact on insurance premiums.

This also makes older cars more popular to steal as there is more likely to be a demand for replacement parts. It’s also important to note that newer model cars are more difficult to steal due to many improvements in the technology of vehicle security in the past ten years.

Top passenger/light commercial profit-motivated theft targets, July 2009 - June 2010

Make/Model/YearNumber of thefts in 2009Number of thefts in 2008
Holden Commodore 199887113
Holden Commodore 19998578
Holden Commodore 19948273
Holden Commodore 20008280
Holden Commodore 19967873
Holden Commodore 19877763
Holden Commodore 20017672
Holden Commodore 19957390
Holden Commodore 19976488
Holden Commodore 19906371
Holden Commodore 19936354
Source: National Motor Vehicle Theft Reduction Council


Avoiding car theft

The risk of having your car stolen can be reduced by making sure you always lock it when you leave it. Park your car in well-populated, well-lit areas or secure car parks, rather than leaving your vehicle on a dark street. Reduce the opportunity for thieves by engaging all security mechanisms you have available.

You can install a car alarm or an immobilizer on an older model car to increase the security of the vehicle. Increasing the security of any vehicle will reduce the risk of an opportunistic car theft and is a wise precaution.

Graph: Location of motor vehicle thefts in Australia in 2009 (Residential: 40%; Transport including public car parks: 7%; Street/footpath: 35%; Other community: 1%; Retail: 8%; recreation: 1%, Other location: 8%). Source: Australian Institute of Criminology, Australian Government

Figure 3 Location of vehicle thefts 2009 (Source: Australian Institute of Criminology, Australian Government) a: Includes ‎residential dwellings and other residential locations b: Includes public car parks c: Includes unspecified location


Allianz* may reduce your car insurance premium if you install additional security devices on your vehicle, as this makes your car less of a target for opportunistic thieves. Ask for a quotation to see how different security options could reduce your car insurance premium.



1Australian Institute of Criminology, Australian Government..
2National Motor Vehicle Theft Reduction Council.
*Contact us for a PDS so you can decide if the insurance is right for you.



More information

Social Sharing

More News

Awards

Need help?

Need help? Ask our virtual online assistant.

Ask our virtual online assistant.

Ask a question »