Surge in car crime prompts RAA warning for motorists

29 August, 2022

Car crime is increasing with thieves lured by the rising value of used cars, according to RAA Insurance.

The number of cars stolen soared by 34 per cent last financial year, RAA Insurance claims records revealed.

And the total value of the vehicles broken into last financial year jumped by 53 per cent per compared to 2020/21, reflecting the increasing value of used cars created by a shortage of new car supplies.

RAA Insurance Claims spokeswoman Kimberley Bolton said car thefts had decreased when Covid-19 first spread because many people stayed at home.

“However, the easing of restrictions mean more people are heading out to sporting and cultural events, resulting in more cars being left in car parks and in the street,’’ she said.

“This has provided more opportunities for thieves to strike.’’

Ms Bolton said the increase in used car values had also made them a more of a target for robbers.

“People avoided public transport as the pandemic continued, which drove up demand and price of used cars, as did the reduction in supply of new cars due to the pandemic,’’ she said.

“And this price rise has made used cars a more tempting target for opportunist thieves.’’

RAA recommends parking your vehicle in a garage or carport if possible. You should also install sensor lights in your driveway to deter thieves.

If you must park on the road, leave your car in a well-lit area, and always lock your vehicle.

Motorists should also remove such valuables from their vehicles, including house keys and important documents which may reveal where they live, rather than keeping them stashed out of view.

RAA Insurance claims data shows the cars most popular with criminals were four door sedans and wagons.

Ms Bolton said the claims data also showed the most popular makes of car stolen were Toyota, Holden, Ford, Nissan and Mazda, which reflected the most common make of cars on our roads.