The stats are in and it’s bad news for Toyota, with its Aqua model becoming the most commonly stolen car in New Zealand over the course of last year.
Over 4000 residents across Auckland and Canterbury made an insurance claim for having their Aqua stolen, according to AMI data released this morning, making up 11 per cent of vehicle theft claims.
This is despite the Aqua only making up less than 2 per cent of the country’s fleet.
Japanese car brands Mazda, Nissan and Subaru also joined the list of the most commonly nicked cars across the country - with the Mazda Demio and Nissan Tiida among the top three.
Another Toyota brand, the MarkX, joined the top 10 list as theft claims soared from only 21 in 2020, to 441 last year - a 2000 per cent increase in only three years.
Wayne Tippet, AMI’s executive general manager, said the trend in increased car thefts made it more important to ensure New Zealanders kept their insurance details updated.
This is due to the fact the insurance provider received 8492 claims for vehicle thefts, which was 43 per cent more than the year prior and more than 50 per cent greater than in 2019.
“There are some things you can do to make your car less attractive to thieves, such as locking it, removing any valuables, and parking off-street or in a busy, well-lit area,” said Tippet.
“Immobilisers are good, but if your car doesn’t have one installed, steering locks are effective deterrents too.”
Tippet also urged Kiwis to check the sum insured on their insurance policy is up to date, as second-hand cars are generally holding their value better than they used to.
“[This is] due to supply chain delays, parts shortages, and other factors. So if the worst happens and your car is stolen and written off, you want to make sure that your sum insured is at an appropriate level for your car.”
Auckland was by far the most common source of vehicle theft claims across the country last year, with almost 3000 claims made.
Runner-up was Canterbury, which saw widely reported incidents of cars stolen across the region including a staggering 150 cars stolen in one week.
Recovery rates remain high, according to the data, with 94 per cent of all Aquas recovered, 93 per cent of Demios and 91 per cent of Vitzes.
This suggested the majority of cars are being stolen for joyrides.
“Virtually all of these cars are recovered, so it’s likely they’re being stolen for joy rides or to commit other crimes, such as burglaries,” said Tippet.
AMI’s top 10 most stolen vehicles for New Zealand (2022):
- Toyota Aqua
- Mazda Demio
- Nissan Tiida
- Mazda Atenza (Mazda 6)
- Toyota MarkX
- Toyota Vitz
- Subaru Legacy
- Toyota Corolla
- Subaru Impreza
- Mazda Familia