Top tips to protect your car from theft

Top tips to protect your car from theft

Car thefts have risen by more than 40% in Auckland in the past year, and now the Automobile Association has put out its top tips for keeping your vehicle from becoming part of the stats.

It comes as the AA released its list of the most stolen cars in the country on Monday.

It says car thefts across the country are up 36.5% for the year ending June 30, 2022.

The most stolen cars are the Nissan Tiida, Toyota Mark X, Toyota Aqua, Mazda Atenza and the Mazda Demio.

Beau Paparoa, AA Insurance’s head of motor damage claims, told Breakfast they see about 1,500 to 2,000 more claims a year, “so it’s been quite a jump.”

He attributed the increase in car thefts in part to the increase in ram raids in recent months.

“But we’re also seeing a lot more joyriding and people just stealing things to get from A to B,” he said.

READ MORE: Inside Ram Raids: Why NZ Teens Crash Cars In Stores

Paparoa said the vehicles that are stolen “are mostly your vehicles that tend towards the lower end of the value chain, but also tend to have fewer security features that make it easier for people to break into.”

The vehicles are also often parked on the street instead of in a carport.

Paparoa advised people to park on the street if possible, or “try to keep it in a well-lit area” if you can’t.

He also said people should make sure “anything of value is well hidden or, preferably, out of your car”.

Installing an immobilizer — a device that stops the engine from running unless the correct key or key fob is present — or a steering wheel lock will also deter would-be car thieves, he said.

However, if your car is stolen, Paparoa said it will “pay to make sure you have the right level of insurance coverage.”

“But it’s about making sure you’re doing what you can to protect your assets.”