The Honda Torneo remains parked up in the number one spot as the most frequently stolen car, since its debut on the list in 2010, according to AA Insurance.
"Despite a short hiatus for the Top 10 Stolen Car list, the Honda Torneo remains at number one and is the only Honda this year," says Amelia Macandrew, Customer Relations Manager, AA Insurance. "It's ranked number one because the probability of it being stolen is far greater than any other car we insure. It's not because there are more of them on the road than any other car.
"Honda Torneos were almost twice as likely to be stolen as all other vehicles on the list, including the Mazda Demio, of which there are significantly more on the roads but are only third on our list," she says.
The Top 10 list, which is based on AA Insurance's own claims data, does show some jostling by other makes and models. The Mazda Familia remains in second position; however, the Subaru Impreza has been bumped from third place by the Mazda Demio. Mitsubishi models have dropped from the list altogether, while the Nissan Sunny, Cefiro and Terrano have made a return, replacing other Nissan models, Safari and Stagea.
According to AA Insurance claims data, 96 per cent of theft claims for models in the Top 10 list were for cars manufactured more than 10 years ago. The average value of a stolen vehicle claim from the Top 10 list is $3,940, which has dropped from $5,120 in 2015, as cars age.
Top 10 Stolen Cars (Source: AA Insurance claims data 1 Jan 2016 – 31 Dec 2017:
"There's less cause for concern if you own a newer model of the cars on the list though," says Amelia. "Newer models tend to have more sophisticated security systems, so fewer are stolen. However, owners should never be complacent; thieves will always go for the easiest, fastest option, so it pays to make it harder for them, so they're not tempted."
You can make your car less attractive to thieves by installing an alarm, using a steering lock, or a visible immobiliser. One of the easiest and most cost effective deterrents is to lock your car before you leave it, even while at home or parked in the garage, and to keep your keys in a safe place.
One customer discovered thieves had taken the opportunity to help themselves to her car keys and the garage opener when they broke into her house. She arrived home to discover not only the burglary, but also the theft of her Mazda Demio, worth $6,250, from a separate locked garage.
Another AA lnsurance customer left his Honda Torneo, worth $3,700, parked in the driveway before heading out at 9pm. When he returned home in the early hours of the morning, all that remained was some smashed glass.
"Our claims statistics show that a car is safer from theft when it's parked in a garage or carport, but if you're going to park on the street then make sure it's under a street light for better visibility," says Amelia.
"It's in everyone's interests to make our cars as difficult to steal as we can – not only to avoid the stress and disruption of a theft, but also help keep car insurance as affordable as possible."
AA Insurance tips for preventing car theft:
Always lock your car, even when parking at home
Keep all valuables and your car keys out of sight, including away from your front and back doors
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 possible use an attended, secure parking building and park close to the entrance or exit
Install visible security measures such as an alarm light, immobiliser or steering lock
Know where your keys are at all times, and never leave them in your car, even at home. Thieves will steal car keys so they can take modern vehicles with sophisticated security systems
Be extra vigilant over weekends and during warmer weather when there are more thefts reported.
To calculate theft incidence rates, AA Insurance measures the number of claims made for each model of car for which 20 or more claims have been made, as a percentage of the total number of policies it holds for that model. The information is based on AA Insurance's highest theft claims incidence rates over the last two years for cars covered under comprehensive insurance.