The Most Commonly Stolen Car In Australia

Quick stats

  • A passenger/light commercial vehicle is stolen approximately every 13 minutes in Australia.
  • 39,400 passenger/light commercial vehicles were stolen in 2020
  • Half of all car thefts occur with the car at home (either in a driveway, car port or garage)
  • Over 50% of Australians keep their car keys within plain sight, making car thefts simpler for criminals.

Data sourced From Budget Direct:

Passenger/light commercial vehicle thefts in 2020

Total thefts

Data from the National Motor Vehicle Theft Reduction Council (NMVTRC) shows the amount of passenger/light commercial vehicle thefts in the 2020 calendar year, as well as the rate of thefts per 1,000 registrations.

Victoria and Queensland had the highest amount of individual car thefts, each with over 11,000 cases in 2020. Owing largely to their smaller populations, Tasmania, the Northern Territory, and the Australian Capital territory had the lowest totals of car theft.

However, the Northern Territory had the highest rate of car thefts, averaging 3.7 thefts per 1,000 registrations. New South Wales, Tasmania and South Australia were among the safest states across Australia, each with close to 1.6 thefts per 1,000 registrations

1.3 Top 10 motor vehicle theft targets in 2020

For the second consecutive year, data from the NMVTRC show that the Holden Commodore VE MY06_13 was the most stolen single model of car in Australia. As a collective model of car, the Toyota Hilux and Holden Commodore were two of the most targeted cars in 2020.

Causes of car theft

Easy-to-steal keys

One of the most common causes for car theft is the owner not adequately protecting their keys. Typically, the thief will sneak into a person’s home via an unlocked door or open window, take the keys, and simply drive away. The NMVTRC report that 70% of cars are stolen with their own keys, and half are stolen from their home.

Sneak thefts

A ‘sneak theft’ is when a criminal will steal a car while the owner is home. They will typically use the same method of stealing keys – accessing them through an open window or unguarded door. According to the NMVTRC[1], in 95% of ‘sneak theft’ attempts, there is no confrontation between the car’s owner and the thief.

Putting your details on your keyring

Far too many people put their name and address on their car keys. If you’re ever out and lose your keys, you risk providing a thief with not only an address, but a way into the property. Once they’re in, they can load your belongings into your own car, and simply drive away with it.…

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