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Insurer identifies clear favourite for car thieves

The Toyota Aqua was followed by the Nissan Tiida and Toyota Corolla as a target for thieves. Photo: 123RF

The Toyota Aqua is once again holding the unwanted title of New Zealand's most stolen car.

Insurer AMI received nearly 17,000 claims for stolen cars last year, with the Toyota Aqua topping the list for the second year in a row, followed by Nissan Tiida and Toyota Corolla.

AMI recorded a 43 percent spike in car theft claims in 2022 while the number of theft claims in 2023 made it the second biggest year for vehicle theft in the past five years.

"It's concerning to see another year of elevated vehicle theft claims and, unfortunately, the data highlights that we all need to adopt a security-minded approach when leaving our cars unattended," AMI executive general manager Wayne Tippet said.

"We are seeing a consistent similarity in the price of commonly stolen vehicles too, usually no more than $5000 in value. These seemingly cost-friendly cars are typically 10 years or older."

Auckland accounted for more than a third of all vehicle theft, followed by Canterbury (17 percent) and Waikato (12 percent).

"Cars without advanced security features such as keyless ignitions, immobilisers, or alarms, or parked where a swift getaway is possible, have a higher risk of being stolen," Tippet said.

Peak time for vehicle thefts was between 10pm and 5am.

"With theft increasing after dark, those who can, should always park their cars in the driveway, lock the gate if they have one, or opt for a well-lit area if on-street parking is the only option," he said.

"Steering locks still remain a cost-friendly security measure and effective deterrent for thieves."

The AMI top 10 stolen cars list*

  • 1 Toyota Aqua (=)
  • 2 Nissan Tiida (+1)
  • 3 Toyota Corolla (+5)
  • 4 Mazda Demio (-2)
  • 5 Mazda Atenza (-1)
  • 6 Toyota Mark X (-1)
  • 7 Toyota Vitz (-1)
  • 8 Subaru Impreza (+1)
  • 9 Subaru Legacy (-2)
  • 10 Toyota Hilux (+1)

The most frequently stolen vehicle in each region

  • 1 Auckland - Toyota Aqua
  • 2 Canterbury - Toyota Aqua
  • 3 Waikato - Nissan Tiida
  • 4 Wellington - Toyota Aqua
  • 5 Bay of Plenty - Nissan Tiida
  • 6 Manawatū - Mazda Atenza
  • 7 Northland - Nissan Tiida
  • 8 Hawke's Bay - Nissan Tiida
  • 9 Otago - Mazda Demio
  • 10 Southland - Mazda Demio
  • 11 Gisborne - Mazda Demio
  • 12 Taranaki - Mazda Atenza
  • 13 Nelson - Nissan Tiida
  • 14 Tasman - Mazda Atenza
  • 15 Marlborough - Mazda Demio
  • 16 West Coast - Holden Commodore

*All data is based on AMI Insurance motor claims data from 2023. Cars are ranked from highest frequency of theft to lowest. Symbols indicate rank movement compared to 2022.

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