Having your car stolen can be a huge setback that costs you time and money. Unfortunately, the car theft statistics in New Zealand aren’t good. A recent analysis of New Zealand Police data by global comparison website, Finder, shows that a car was vandalised or stolen every 21 minutes, based on 2019 statistics.

These figures reveal just how real the threat of vehicle crime is and why it’s important to plan ahead to avoid become a statistic.

The Finder report describes various car theft trends that vehicle owners should be aware of. The first is that there has been a 16% increase in incidents on weekends, compared with weekdays. The second is that – unlike the common perception that everything bad happens in the wee hours – 3pm is in fact the most common time for thieves to steal or damage your car.

Earlier this year, news website Stuff published a report on which cars were most commonly stolen. Topping the list is the Toyota Hilux. This may be due to the fact that these vehicles are both popular and therefor prevalent in New Zealand, plus the older models are considered easy to break into.

Second most favoured by thieves is the Holden Commodore, followed by the Subaru Legacy. Interestingly, thieves preferred the station wagon version of the Legacy, rather than the sedan! Fourth place on the list is the Ford Courier – possibly earning its place because of the high demand for its parts. Rounding out the top 5 is the Subaru Impreza.

Even though car theft is ramping up, you can make sure you don’t have sleepless nights (or stressed days) worrying about your car being stolen by having vehicle insurance. The key, however, is to carefully consider all aspects of your car insurance policy when taking it out and then make sure you review it regularly.

Finder NZ publisher, Kevin McHugh, stresses the importance of having adequate and up-to-date cover for your vehicle. “Some insurance policies won’t cover you if your car is stolen. If you’re living in a crime-prone suburb, review your policy and opt for something a little more comprehensive.”

A second step for vehicle peace of mind is to lower your insurance premiums by reducing your level of risk. This may include installing an alarm and parking in off street parking. These are both good ways to protect your car, reduce your risk profile and potentially lower your premiums.

Another tip is to review the sum insured on your car. This is important because your insurance policy should reflect the current market value of your vehicle. In the event of a claim, you can expect to only recover as much as the limit on your policy.