Over the last six months (to 31/05/22), over 4500 cars, motorbikes, trucks, trailers and utes were stolen in NZ. Discard the bikes and trailers and the number is approximately 3100 vehicles, which averages out to about 17 cars and utes nicked every day. But which are the most stolen cars in New Zealand, and how can you stop becoming a car crime victim? Canstar explores:
Most stolen cars in NZ
On the lists of most stolen cars there are always the perennial popular family runabouts. Think the Mazda Atenza and Demio models and the Nissan Tiida. And, looking at the latest NZ Police figures, family cars are the most stolen. The most commonly stolen types of car are station wagons, hatchbacks and saloons:
|No. Thefts||Type of vehicle|
Most stolen car brands in NZ
And of the brands stolen, it’s no surprise that the big names dominate:
|Car Brand||No. Stolen|
Other brands stolen:
- Volkswagen (50 stolen)
- Audi (40 stolen)
- Isuzu (26 stolen)
- Mercedes-Benz (25 stolen)
- Hyundai (19 stolen)
- Daihatsu (10 stolen)
- Lexus | Peugeot (8 stolen)
- Jeep (7 stolen)
- Jaguar | Kia (6 stolen)
- Chrysler | Foton | Land Rover (5 stolen)
- Chery | Chevrolet | Dodge | Great Wall | Mini | Ssangyong | Volvo (3 stolen)
- Citroen | Porsche (2 stolen)
- Cadillac | Fiat | Geely | Haval | Maserati | MG | Saab | Skoda (1 stolen)
Most stolen car models in NZ
Tradies’ vehicles are a magnet for thieves, who target tools and work gear. But since utes are usually considered work vehicles, they’re often left off many lists of most stolen passenger vehicles. This is despite the number of utes (especially twin cabs) being used as family wagons. However, looking at the statistics, the top two stolen vehicles in NZ this year are both utes, and by a good measure.
The top 15 makes and models targeted by thieves in the six months to the end of May 2022:
|Car Brand/Model||No. Stolen|
|Toyota Mark X||58|
But before you despair about car crime, one important factor links all the car thefts listed above: the age of the cars taken. Pretty much all of the 3100 cars and utes stolen were pre-2010 models: 86%.
Just 10.5% were 2010-2015 models and only a handful (3.5%) were recent 2018+ models.
What this says about the nature of car crime is that new cars with sophisticated security systems are a lot harder to steal, and therefore less of a target for young joyriders.
How to deter car thieves
Of course, if you’re a criminal looking to break into cars, you are going to target places where there are lots of unattended automobiles, and where your presence isn’t going to attract too much attention: think busy car parks. But while the average motorist can’t avoid parking in such places, there are steps you can take to avoid becoming a victim of car crime:
- If you’ve an older car without an immobiliser or alarm use a steering-wheel lock. In fact, a steering-wheel lock is a good deterrent for modern cars, too. As keyless entry systems can be hacked by tech-savvy car thieves
- Always ensure your car is locked
- Try to park in a busy area, with surveillance cameras if possible
- Park in a secure garage overnight, instead of on the street
- Don’t leave valuables in your car
- Don’t leave worthless items in your car that could attract thieves – for example, an empty bag or briefcase
Compare Car Insurance With Canstar
Whatever make or model of car you drive, wherever you live, work or park your car, there is always the risk of accident or theft. That’s why it’s so important to ensure you’ve the right level of cover at the right cost.
And this is where Canstar can help. Each year we score and rate all the major car insurance companies and their products. Categories rated include Overall Satisfaction, Value for Money and Quality of Service. The grid below shows some of the 5-Star winners in the +50-year-old driver profile from our latest car insurance awards and ratings.
NZ +50-year-old Driver
See here for our ratings methodology. The table above is an abridged version of our research. For the full results of our latest Car Insurance Ratings and Award, click here.
About the author of this page
This report was written by Canstar’s Editor, Bruce Pitchers. Bruce began his career writing about pop culture, and spent a decade in sports journalism. More recently, he’s applied his editing and writing skills to the world of finance and property. Prior to Canstar, he worked as a freelancer, including for The Australian Financial Review, the NZ Financial Markets Authority, and for real estate companies on both sides of the Tasman.
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