The Honda Torneo has topped a list of New Zealand's most stolen cars for the second year in a row, according to AA Insurance.

Subaru models continue to be popular with thieves, with the Impreza moving up one spot this year to second position, tailed by the Forester and Legacy. Nissan models also prove popular, with the Skyline, Cefiro and Sunny making the list, based on AA Insurance claims data, once again.

New entries include the Mazda MPV and Mazda Atenza.

The average value of a stolen vehicle in the top 10 list is $5360.


Owners of newer models of cars on the list should not be unnecessarily alarmed, as thieves prefer older vehicles as they tend to have less sophisticated security features and are often easier to steal.

AA Insurance has found that 89 per cent of theft claims relating to models in the top 10 list were for cars manufactured more than 10 years ago.

Sixty-six per cent of the vehicles on the list were manufactured before 2000.

According to AA Insurance claims data, a car manufactured before 1997 is twice as likely to be stolen as a car manufactured from 2005 onwards.

"We have a large fleet of ageing, second-hand, imported cars in New Zealand, so it's no surprise that older models, which have less-advanced or no security features than newer vehicles, are easy targets for thieves,'' said Suzanne Wolton, Head of Customer Relations, AA Insurance.

While vehicle theft remains a concern, rates have been decreasing over the last three years.

According to New Zealand Police crime statistics on motor vehicle theft and related offences, there were 55,618 reported offences in 2011/2012, compared to 58,299 in 2010/2011, and 61,363 in 2009/2010.

Based on the theft incidence rate of all AA Insurance car claims made over the past four years, the Auckland region had the highest rate of stolen cars, followed by Wellington, Waikato and Christchurch.


South Island regions - excluding Christchurch - appear to have the lowest vehicle theft rate.

"Our claims data has revealed that vehicles are most commonly stolen when parked on the street or in the driveway at the owner's home at night. So the best chance of keeping your vehicle safe is to park it in a garage or carport,'' Ms Wolton said.

"It's in everyone's interest, apart from the thieves', to make our cars as difficult to steal as we can, so that insurance remains as affordable as possible.''

Top 10 Stolen Cars

Honda Torneo

Subaru Impreza

Subaru Forester

Subaru Legacy

Nissan Skyline

Nissan Cefiro

Nissan Sunny

Mazda MPV

Honda Integra

Mazda Atenza

Source: AA Insurance claims data Jan 2009 - Dec 2012