If you own a Toyota Hilux, be extra vigilant because that model is the most frequently stolen vehicle in Northland.
Police statistics of vehicles stolen between June and December last year show Toyota Hilux was the most popular vehicle stolen in Northland and Bay of Plenty and that their owners could pay more for insurance.
Northland ranked second behind Canterbury in terms of stolen cars per 10,000 population during that period.
Stats show 12 cars were stolen in Northland per 10,000 people, second only to Canterbury with 13 per 10,000.
There were 187 cars of all makes and models stolen in Northland between June and December.
Whangārei car groomer Joseph Lister is among Northlanders who have had their vehicles stolen and said those responsible were ripping off the working class.
His 1993 Nissan Terrano was broken into and driven away from outside his Whau Valley home about 10pm on Friday and he was still waiting for word on its whereabouts yesterday.
Lister, who bought it only three months ago, heard his vehicle being driven away and gave chase in another car but lost track.
"It's a big inconvenience as I can't run errands and it's also a bit of a hassle getting to and from work. Those that steal cars are ripping off the working class.
"They just can't be bothered to go and look for a real job while some people just enjoy disrupting others' lives."
In his Nissan Terrano was a toolbox, speakers and an amplifier — all hard-wired.
The vehicle was insured.
Lister said some people who have had their uninsured cars stolen were worse off than him because, unlike him, they did not have a second car.
Financial comparison website MoneyHub, which analysed the police data on stolen cars, said Northland, Canterbury and Counties Manukau posed the highest risk to car owners when it came to stolen cars as a ratio of a region's population.
MoneyHub senior researcher Christopher Walsh said the desire for a stolen Toyota Hilux, Subaru Legacy and Subaru Impreza showed no signs of diminishing, with at least two reported stolen every day around the country.
Clive Matthew-Wilson, editor of the car review website dogandlemon.com, is not surprised that Toyota Hiluxes were stolen so often in Northland.
"Hiluxes are both practical and reliable. You can take them shopping, pig shooting and fishing, you can carry firewood and dogs. Unfortunately, this practicality also makes Hiluxes an ideal target for thieves.
"Older Hiluxes are easy to steal and there's a large market for Hilux spare parts, such as engines and trays."
Matthew-Wilson recommends Hilux owners fit an alarm and a "kill switch" to their vehicles, to make them harder to steal.
It was also worth fitting a hidden GPS tracking device such as Trackimo that would allow people to precisely pinpoint where their stolen vehicles were, even while they were being driven, he said.
"A GPS tracking device won't stop your ute being stolen, but it gives you your best chance of getting it back."
Car theft prevention tips
• Ensure you keep your car locked, even when parked at home and in the garage.
• Consider fitting immobilisers or a tracking device to your vehicle.
• Either take with you or lock valuables or attractive items like phones, laptops, and bags.
• Don't leave spare car keys in obvious places in the house.
• Where possible, park your vehicle under a streetlight or in a driveway with a security light. Security lighting deters thieves.