Latest Trends in Car Theft


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Latest Trends in Car Theft

In the 2011 calendar year, 57,540 Australian registered vehicles, encompassing 46,980 passenger/ light commercial (PLC) vehiclesi were stolen for short term and profit motivated purposesii. Findings from the latest CARS (Comprehensive Auto Theft Research System) report released by the National Motor Vehicle Theft Reduction Council show an overall increase in the total number of short-term and profit-motivated motor vehicle thefts nationwide from 2010 to 2011iii. Yet short-term and profit-motivated theft rates for the nation have remained unchanged between 2010 and 2011 and at 2.34 per 1,000 registrationsiv.

The top three most stolen cars for short term benefit in 2011 were the Hyundai Excel X3, Holden Commodore VN and the Toyota Camry SV21v. The top three vehicles that were stolen for profit in 2011 were the Holden Commodore VT, Holden Commodore VS and the Toyota Camry SV21v.

Although having your car stolen may happen, you can minimise the financial strain and stress involved with losing your car by taking out comprehensive car insurance today.

Short Term Theft

Vehicles that are stolen for short term theft are categorised as opportunistic. They are used for purposes such as joyriding, transport or assisting in the commission of other crimes. In 2011, 71% (40,698) of all motor vehicle theft in Australia was categorised as short termii.

Passenger/ light carrier (PLC) vehicles were recorded as the most popular vehicle type to be stolen for short term purposes, making up just over 88% of short term theftsvi. Despite the general high representation of PLC thefts, these figures do not come as a shock when over 50% of these vehicles are not fitted with an Australian Standard immobilizervii. In 2011, the Hyundai Excel X3 had the highest number of thefts (942)viii for the small cars category, the Toyota Camry SV21 (736) was ranked first among medium cars, and the Holden Commodore VN was the most stolen large passenger vehicles (756)viii.

Apart from factors such as a vehicle's type, model and security level, timing is another aspect that can determine whether a car is at risk of theft. According to NMVTR, in 2011, most short term thefts occur between 8pm and midnight on any day of the week but peaks on Fridays and Saturdaysix.

Short term thefts by quarter, Jan-Dec 2010 and Jan-Dec 2011 (Source:National Motor Vehicle Theft Reduction Council, 2011, Comprehensive Auto-Theft Research System (CARS) Quarterly Report).

Profit Motivated Theft

A vehicle that has been stolen with the intention of being converted to profit is categorised as a profit motivated theft. Unlike short term thefts, vehicles stolen for profit are usually not recovered as they are more likely to be taken apart for spare parts and disposed of through a number of transactions. In 2011, profit motivated theft comprised of 29% (16,842) of all motor vehicle theft in Australiaxi. In contrast to the trends seen in short term theft where the number of small sized passenger vehicles stolen were significantly higher than all other categories, large passenger vehicles are most at risk of being stolen for profit-motivated purposes. Of the top three most stolen cars for profit, two fell under the category of large cars. These were the Holden Commodore VT and the Holden Commodore VSxii.

Almost 60% of motorcycle theft in Australia is profit motivated, making it the only vehicle type that has higher rates of being stolen for profit, rather than for short term purposesxiii. In the last quarter of 2011, almost 40% of motorcycle thefts in Australia were of vehicles that were between 0-4 years of agexiv.

Profit motivated thefts by quarter, Jan-Dec 2010 and Jan-Dec 2011 (Source: National Motor Vehicle Theft Reduction Council, 2011, Comprehensive Auto-Theft Research System (CARS) Quarterly Report: Profit Motivated theft).

Vehicle theft like all other criminal offences is unpredictable. If you're considering buying a car or already own one, it's important that you secure your investment with car insurance. Get online and get a quote from Allianz today to see what we can do for you and your car.


i National Motor Vehicle Theft Reduction Council, 2011, Quick Stats: Calendar year ending 31 December 2011, http://ncars.on.net/docs/quick/aus.pdf, p.3

ii National Motor Vehicle Theft Reduction Council, 2011, Comprehensive Auto-Theft Research System (CARS) Quarterly Report: Short term theft, http://ncars.on.net/docs/quarterly/aus.pdf, p.3

iii National Motor Vehicle Theft Reduction Council, 2011, Comprehensive Auto-Theft Research System (CARS) Quarterly Report: Short term theft, http://ncars.on.net/docs/quarterly/aus.pdf, p.3, National Motor Vehicle Theft Reduction Council, 2011, Comprehensive Auto-Theft Research System (CARS) Quarterly Report: Profit Motivated theft, http://ncars.on.net/docs/quarterly/aus.pdf, p.3

iv National Motor Vehicle Theft Reduction Council, 2011, Quick Stats: Calendar year ending 31 December 2011, http://ncars.on.net/docs/quick/aus.pdf, p.2

v National Motor Vehicle Theft Reduction Council, 2011, Quick Stats: Calendar year ending 31 December 2011, http://ncars.on.net/docs/quick/aus.pdf, p.4

vi National Motor Vehicle Theft Reduction Council, 2011, Comprehensive Auto-Theft Research System (CARS) Quarterly Report: Short term theft, http://ncars.on.net/docs/quarterly/aus.pdf, p.2

vii National Motor Vehicle Theft Reduction Council, 2011, Comprehensive Auto-Theft Research System (CARS) Quarterly Report: Short term theft, http://ncars.on.net/docs/quarterly/aus.pdf, p.8

viii National Motor Vehicle Theft Reduction Council, 2011, Comprehensive Auto-Theft Research System (CARS) Quarterly Report: Short term theft, http://ncars.on.net/docs/quarterly/aus.pdf, p.9

ix National Motor Vehicle Theft Reduction Council, 2011, Comprehensive Auto-Theft Research System (CARS) Quarterly Report: Short term theft, http://ncars.on.net/docs/quarterly/aus.pdf, p.11

x National Motor Vehicle Theft Reduction Council, 2011, Comprehensive Auto-Theft Research System (CARS) Quarterly Report, http://ncars.on.net/docs/quarterly/aus.pdf, p.4

xi National Motor Vehicle Theft Reduction Council, 2011, Comprehensive Auto-Theft Research System (CARS) Quarterly Report: Profit Motivated theft http://ncars.on.net/docs/quarterly/aus.pdf, p.4

xii National Motor Vehicle Theft Reduction Council, 2011, Comprehensive Auto-Theft Research System (CARS) Quarterly Report: Profit Motivated theft http://ncars.on.net/docs/quarterly/aus.pdf, p.9

xiii National Motor Vehicle Theft Reduction Council, 2011, Comprehensive Auto-Theft Research System (CARS) Quarterly Report: Profit Motivated theft http://ncars.on.net/docs/quarterly/aus.pdf, p.3

xiv National Motor Vehicle Theft Reduction Council, 2011, Comprehensive Auto-Theft Research System (CARS) Quarterly Report: Profit Motivated theft http://ncars.on.net/docs/quarterly/aus.pdf, p.7