AA Insurance offers security tips as it reveals the top five models targeted by thieves.
The number of vehicle thefts and attempted thefts in New Zealand has increased by 36.5 per cent in the year to the end of June, when compared with the previous year, according to AA Insurance.
The company’s data shows Nissan’s Tiida, pictured, was the most commonly stolen car, followed by Toyota’s Mark X and Aqua. Mazda’s Atenza and Demio completed the top five.
AA Insurance reveals the increase in car crime was particularly bad for Auckland where the figures rose 43 per cent year on year.
It notes vehicle collisions fell during Covid-19 lockdowns but pandemic restrictions did little to stop car thefts, with vehicles parked on the street increasingly being targeted by criminals.
Beau Paparoa, head of motor claims, says the numbers are a reminder for car owners to be vigilant about the security of their vehicle.
“With the number of ram raids increasing, particularly in Auckland, it’s important to know that vehicles targeted for this activity tend to be at the lower end of the value chain, more than five years old and often parked on the street,” he explains.
“The increase in vehicle theft cannot solely be attributed to ram raids – we are also receiving reports about increased joyrides and cars apparently being stolen to get from A to B.
“Our claims data clearly shows that even simple security measures like a steering wheel lock can be an effective deterrent against thieves looking for a quick smash and dash.”
Paparoa adds security systems and immobilisers are more expensive security options but are worth the investment to stop thieves from targeting vehicles.
Top tips to prevent car theft
• Always lock your car, even when parking at home • Keep all valuables and your car keys out of sight, including away from doors at home • 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 wheel lock