AA Insurance reports car thefts increased by 36.5% nationally, encourages car owners to be vigilant

Person looking into car

AA Insurance, one of New Zealand’s largest motor vehicle insurers has today released data showing motor vehicle theft and attempted theft has increased by more than a third (36.5%) nationally and by 43% in Auckland for the year ending 30 June 2022, compared with the previous year.

While vehicle collisions reduced over lockdown, AA Insurance observed lockdowns did little to stop car thefts, with cars parked on the street increasingly being targeted by thieves and the number of claims relating to vehicle theft increasing by 50% year-on-year.

Beau Paparoa, Head of Motor Claims at AA Insurance says the numbers are a timely reminder for car owners to be extra vigilant about the security of their vehicle.

“With the number of ram raids increasing, particularly in Auckland, it’s important to know that vehicles targeted for this activity tend to be at the lower end of the value chain, more than five years old and often parked on the street,” Mr Paparoa said. “The increase in vehicle theft cannot solely be attributed to ram raids – we are also receiving reports about increased joyrides and cars apparently being stolen to get from A to B.

“While AA Insurance will always be there to help customers get back on the road if their vehicle is targeted, our claims data clearly shows that even simple security measures like a steering wheel lock can be an effective deterrent against thieves looking for a quick smash and dash.

“Security systems and immobilisers are more expensive security options but are well worth the investment to stop thieves from targeting your vehicle, especially if it is one of the more frequently targeted models.

“With theft and attempted theft clearly on the rise, AA Insurance is encouraging all Kiwis to be extra vigilant about car security, particularly if your car is routinely parked on the street.”

Top tips from AA Insurance to help prevent car theft:

  • Always lock your car, even when parking at home

  • Keep all valuables and your car keys out of sight, including away from your front and back doors at home. Thieves will now steal car keys to access new vehicles with sophisticated modern security systems

  • Where possible try to park in a garage, carport or off-street

  • If you have to park on the street make sure your car is under a street light or in a well-lit area

  • If in a car park then use an attended, secure parking building and park close to the entrance or exit

  • Install visible security such as an alarm light, immobiliser or steering wheel lock

  • Know where your keys are at all times, and never leave them in your car, even at home

  • Be extra vigilant over weekends and during warmer weather when there are more thefts reported.

Most frequently stolen cars according to AA Insurance claims data:

  • Nissan Tiida

  • Toyota Mark X

  • Toyota Aqua

  • Mazda Atenza

  • Mazda Demio.

About AA Insurance

AA Insurance is an independently operated, New Zealand-based joint venture between the New Zealand Automobile Association Limited (NZAA) and Vero Insurance New Zealand Limited (VINZL). Since 1994 we have demonstrated trusted expertise in home, contents and car insurance in New Zealand, and in 2018 introduced commercial small business insurance. We underwrite our own policies and sell direct to New Zealanders. Our 1000+ employees look after 500,000+ customers with more than 1,000,000 policies.

We proudly partner with Variety New Zealand – the Children’s Charity (as the lead partner of its Beds for Kids programme), Student Volunteer Army and support grassroot school sports via our Big Little Sponsorship sports grant in partnership with Eden Park. We are consistently recognised in industry awards and honours, including being voted the Reader’s Digest Most Trusted General Insurer for 13 years running, named Canstar’s 2023 Home and Contents Insurer of the Year and Outstanding Value Award winner, and currently ranked 7th amongst 100 of New Zealand’s most successful companies in the Kantar Corporate Reputation Index (since 2015).

Find out more at www.aainsurance.co.nz

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