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Australia’s biggest car theft hotspots


Picture: GettyImages

In Australia, a car is stolen every 12 minutes.

And it looks like it's getting worse. Across the country 55,293 vehicles were stolen last year, up 5% on the previous year. Over 40,000 of these were your everyday cars.

Worried? Let's dive into what areas have the biggest victims and which cars you should avoid buying if you want to keep it in your hands.

Which state had the highest number of car thefts?

On average, 1 in every 400 cars were nicked across the country.

If you live in the Northern Territory, it's a good idea to keep your car under a watchful eye. Last year, 1 in 198 cars were stolen there.

The Australian Capital Territory came in second place, with 1 in 318 cars stolen last year.

We love to call Queensland the sunshine state, but it's also the car theft state, with 1 in 334 cars stolen.

Residents of New South Wales can sleep easy, being the safest state in the country. Even then, every 1 in 537 cars were stolen, showing just how common it can be.

States with the highest proportion of car thefts

StateNumber of carsNumber of theftsOne in every … cars is stolen

Source: Finder, ABS, CarSafe

Which local councils had the most car thefts?

Sorry again, Queenslanders. Even though Queensland came in as third for the highest proportion of car thefts, it turns out that Queensland local councils have the highest number of cars stolen.

Brisbane had a huge 2,195 cars stolen last year, followed by the Gold Coast with 1,562 and Logan at 1,176.

Local government areas (LGAs) with the highest number of car thefts

LGAStateNumber of cars stolen
Gold CoastQLD1,562
Moreton BayQLD992
Greater ACTACT885
Greater DandenongVIC631

Source: CarSafe

What kind of cars are most likely to be stolen?

You'd think the most stolen cars would be a Mercedes or a Porsche. Turns out our thieves are much more simple than that.

If you've got a Holden Commodore, hide your kids, hide your wives, because they're stealing all your cars out there.

The Holden Commodore VE was the most stolen car by far, with 1,011 being stolen last year. Its little sister, the Holden Commodore VY also made our top five list, showing that thieves aren't too fussy about what year your car is from.

The Toyota HiLux came in second on the list, showing that even thieves are hot on one of Australia's bestselling cars.

The Nissan Pulsar and Nissan Navara also made the list, so if you've got one in your driveway, it's a good idea to check if it's still there.

These top five makes and models account for a huge 8% of all cars stolen last year. At least thieves are predictable, right?

Make model series year rangeNumber of cars stolen
Holden Commodore VE MY06_131,011
Toyota HiLux MY05_11677
Nissan Pulsar N15 MY95_00664
Holden Commodore VY MY02_04494
Nissan Navara D40 MY05_15475

When are they most and least likely to be stolen?

The most likely time for your car to be taken is on Friday from 4pm to 8pm. When most working people are thinking about calling it a day, more thieves are thinking about nicking your car. Don't stay out too late for those post-work drinks - thieves could plotting to take your wheels back home.

The least likely time for a thief to drive off in your ride is Sunday from 4am to 8am. Even criminals don't like working on a Sunday morning – they mustn't be getting paid penalty rates. The 4–8am slot is the time of the fewest thefts across the week comparatively.

What are some top tips for protecting your car?

  1. Lock your car! No, we're serious. It might sound silly but with over 20% of Aussies not even locking their front door, we're going to say it just in case.
  2. Park in a driveway if possible. It's not feasible for everyone but if you have a choice, thieves might be more hesitant to steal a car out of a neighbourhood driveway than on the street.
  3. Install an alarm. Spending the dollars on installing an alarm could be worth it in the long run, especially if it stops your car from being nicked. Everyone should have one, but if your area has a higher rate of car theft, it's an especially good idea. Head to Carsafe to see how your area stacks up.
  4. Put your jewellery and coins away. Hide any valuables out of sight, even if you don't think they're very stealable. If it's something that might catch the eye of a thief, take it with you, put it in your glovebox or pop it in the boot.
  5. Review your insurance. Did you know that only two types of car insurance policies actually cover you if your car is stolen? To make sure you're covered, opt for a third party fire and theft policy or if you really want to make sure you're covered, get a comprehensive policy. You can compare some options with us here at Finder.

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