NZ’s most stolen cars – and how to stop car thieves

Once again the Honda Torneo takes the top spot as the most frequently stolen car. It has made an appearance on the list annually for the last 10 years.

Our claims data reveals which cars are the most tempting for thieves. But it also gives insights into how you can keep your car safe and secure. Read on to make sure you are up-to-date with car security.

Top 10 Stolen Cars

Ranked in order from most likely to be stolen

  1. Honda Torneo

  2. Mazda Atenza

  3. Subaru Impreza

  4. Mazda Demio

  5. Mazda Familla

  6. Nissan Terrano

  7. Ford Courier

  8. Subaru Legacy

  9. Nissan Sunny

  10. Subaru Forester

(Source: AA Insurance claims data 1 Jan 2018 – 31 Dec 2018) 

Who's in and who's out?

Honda Torneos are twice as likely to be stolen as any other vehicle on the list, including the second placed model: the Mazda Atenza.

The Mazda Familia has dropped from second place to fifth place.

Popular Mazda models, Atenza and Demio, have moved up in rank.

Newcomers to the most stolen list are the Subaru Legacy and Ford Courier. This is the first time any Ford model has made it on to the Top 10 list, since it began in 2013.

More car theft insights

If you are looking for a reason to upgrade your car or it’s security, here is it: according to our claims data, 97 per cent of theft claims for models in the Top 10 list are for cars manufactured more than 10 years ago. The average age of these stolen vehicles is 17 years old.

The average value of a stolen vehicle claim from the Top 10 list is $4,490, which has increased from $3,940 in 2017.

Don’t be too worried, however; The majority of car claims that we receive are for damage caused by accidents – both big and small.

8 tips for preventing theft

Thieves always take the easiest, fastest option, so make it extra hard for them to steal your car with these eight tips:

  1. Always lock Make it a habit to always lock your car, even when parking at home. This is the first barrier to stopping a thief from getting inside– and to whatever is inside your car or boot.

  2. Keys are the key Thieves will steal car keys to make it easier to take modern vehicles with sophisticated security systems. Always know where your keys are, and never leave them in your car, even at home. When you’re at home, keep your car keys out of sight, including away from your front and back doors.

  3. Hide your valuables If you have to keep anything valuable in the car, keep them out of sight in the boot or glove box.

  4. Find a safer park You know that old saying ‘Out of sight, out of mind’? It applies to car security too. Where possible try to park in a garage, carport or off-street. Data shows that these options are safer than on street.

  5. Let there be light If you must park on the street, make sure your car is under a street light or in a well-lit area.

  6. Steal o'clock Be extra vigilant over weekends and during warmer weather when there are more thefts reported.

  7. A+ parking buildings An attended, secure parking building is the safest option. By parking close to the entrance or exit, you increase the amount of people near your car – making it easier for a burglar to be seen or heard.

  8. Visible security Install visible security measures such as an alarm, immobiliser or steering lock. If the thief spots one though the car window, they’re less likely to even start breaking in. Which can save you a broken window or worse.

About AA Insurance

AA Insurance is an independently operated, New Zealand-based joint venture between the New Zealand Automobile Association (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 930+ staff look after over 480,000 customers with 970,000 policies.

We proudly partner with Variety NZ and Eden Park and have been consistently recognised by: Reader’s Digest Most Trusted Brands (since 2011) and Quality Service Awards for Car, and Home and Contents Insurance (since 2015), Kantar Customer Leadership Index (since 2019), Canstar Blue Most Satisfied Customers (2011-2018), and the Colmar Brunton Corporate Reputation Index (since 2015) that recognises New Zealand’s most successful companies. AA Insurance was also named Consumer NZ People’s Choice award winner for car, home and contents (2019 and 2020).

AA Insurance has an AA- (Very Strong) Insurer Financial Strength Rating given by Standard and Poor’s (Australia) Pty Ltd. For further information visit

For more information please contact:

Media Team, AA Insurance, 027 406 1787,