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Thinking theft: 41% of Aussie drivers brace for car crime

Car under surveillance_Canva_1800x1000

Millions of Aussie motorists are taking precautions to reduce the risk of car theft, according to new research by Finder.

A Finder survey of 946 Australian drivers found almost half (41%) – equivalent to 3.5 million households – are taking additional measures to protect their vehicles.

The research found 1 in 6 (15%) are hiding their keys in their house, while installing surveillance cameras to curb car thefts (14%) was the second most popular method to prevent theft.

Gary Ross Hunter, car insurance expert at Finder, said people are taking steps to foil would-be thieves.

"Certain areas are witnessing a sharp increase in the rate of vehicle thefts, and fed up owners are doing what they can to deter thieves.

"There's a common misconception that car thieves only target new cars – but the statistics show the majority are a decade old or even older," Hunter said.

Finder's survey shows 1 in 10 (10%) motorists have installed a garage door or bollards to keep their car safe, while 9% have installed an alarm.

Nearly 1 in 10 (7%) have changed the location they park their car and 4% have resorted to a trusty club lock on the steering wheel.

Women are slightly more protective of their cars with 42% taking extra precautions, compared to 39% of men.

ABS data confirms motor vehicle theft in Australia soared for a second year in a row, increasing by 11% in 2022. Victims of motor vehicle theft reached 55,037 last year.

Not all car owners are concerned – 3 in 5 (59%) say they aren't taking any precautions to protect their ride.

Hunter urged drivers to check their car insurance policy.

"Not all car insurance is created equal – for example if your car is insured for 'market value' and it's stolen – the insurer decides on the day of the claim what they think it's worth.

"Whereas 'agreed value' is when you decide on a value at the time of taking out the policy.

"While premiums for 'agreed value' tend to be higher, if you shop around you might end up with a similarly priced policy."

According to recent data from Queensland Police, at least 55 cars are stolen each day across the state.

Finder's data shows Queenslanders (47%) and Victorians (47%) are most likely to be taking measures to reduce the chance of their car being stolen.

That's compared to just 39% of South Australians, 37% of those in New South Wales, and 29% of Western Australians.

Are you taking precautions to reduce the chances of your car being stolen?
Yes, hiding my car keys in my house15%
Yes, surveillance cameras14%
Yes, installed garage door/bollards10%
Yes, installed an alarm9%
Yes, changed where I parked it7%
Yes, installed a club lock on my steering wheel4%
Source: Finder survey of 946 respondents with a car, June 2023

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