Recent insurance data has disclosed a startling statistic for New Zealand’s automobile landscape: the Toyota Aqua, a popular compact hybrid car, was the most frequently stolen vehicle in 2023. In a year marked by a dramatic rise in vehicle thefts, the Aqua found itself at the top of a list no car model wishes to be on.
In total, an alarming 17,000 vehicles were reported stolen in 2023. This figure marks a 43 percent increase from 2022 and positions last year as the second highest for vehicle theft in the past five years.
Among the most targeted vehicles were those manufactured in 2005, 2006, and 2014. Despite seeming relatively modern, many cars from these years, including the Toyota Aqua, lacked sufficient anti-theft features, making them prime targets for thieves.
Following the Aqua, the Nissan Tiida and the Toyota Corolla were the second and third most stolen cars, respectively, in New Zealand last year. The Corolla’s leap to the third position, climbing five places from the previous year, indicates a growing preference among thieves for this model. In contrast, the Mazda Demio, previously a common target, dropped to the fourth spot in the ranking.
Other models frequently stolen included various Mazda and Toyota models, along with the Subaru Impreza and Legacy.
Regionally, Auckland maintained its dubious title as New Zealand’s hotbed for vehicle theft, with over a third of the country’s thefts occurring there. Christchurch and the Waikato followed, accounting for 17 and 12 percent of thefts, respectively.
According to local insurer AMI, the general profile of a vehicle targeted by thieves includes those easy to steal, lacking features like keyless ignitions, immobilisers, or alarms. Additionally, the data indicated that most car thefts occur at night, between 10 pm and 5 am.
To mitigate the risk of theft, car owners are advised to park in secure, well-lit areas, ensure their vehicles are always locked, use car covers, keep valuables out of sight, and avoid leaving windows open when the car is unattended.
Top 10 Most Stolen Cars in New Zealand for 2023:
- Toyota Aqua
- Nissan Tiida
- Toyota Corolla
- Mazda Demio
- Mazda Atenza
- Toyota Mark X
- Toyota Vitz
- Subaru Impreza
- Subaru Legacy
- Toyota Hilux