News Releases

New Zealand’s top 10 stolen cars – AMI Insurance data

29 March 2022

The Mazda Demio takes the dubious honour of being New Zealand's most stolen car

The Mazda Demio takes the dubious honours of being New Zealand’s most stolen car, AMI can reveal.

Of the 12,000 insurance claims AMI received for vehicle thefts over the past three years, the humble Demio accounted for 10% of claims, despite only making up 1.5% of the country’s fleet.

Rounding out the top 10 of New Zealand’s most stolen cars are the Mazda Atenza (Mazda 6), Nissan Tiida, Subaru Legacy, Mazda Familia, Subaru Impreza, Toyota Hilux, Ford Courier, Subaru Forester and Honda Civic.

Regionally, Auckland had the highest number of vehicle thefts with 39% of all claims, despite holding only 31% of the national vehicle fleet. With 4,489 claims over the past three years, Auckland experienced almost double the amount of vehicle thefts as the runner up region, Canterbury, which had 2,074 claims.

AMI’s Executive General Manager Claims, Wayne Tippet says the data serves as a reminder to take security precautions and check your insurance details are up to date.

“While we’ll always be here to assist our customers, it’s good to be aware of some simple things you can do to reduce your risk, particularly if you own one of the models more likely to be stolen.

“Our claims data shows that many cars are parked out on the street or outside someone else’s property for the night when they are stolen. Where possible, park down a driveway or inside a garage, and double check your car is locked. If there isn’t any off-street parking available, try to park your car in a well-lit area, like under a streetlamp.”

Mr Tippet also strongly recommends vehicle owners check if their car has a factory-fitted immobiliser, or if they can install other preventative security measures.

“Here in New Zealand, our vehicle fleet has a high proportion of imported, second-hand cars and many of them aren’t fitted with immobilisers. If your vehicle can’t, or doesn’t have an immobiliser fitted, a steering wheel lock is also an effective and affordable option that will help deter thieves.

“Recently, we have seen an increase in stolen cars being used for criminal activity like ram raids. Vehicles used for these purposes are often viewed as easy targets by thieves, reinforcing the need for security deterrents like immobilisers, alarms, and steering wheel locks.”

The new data comes as the cost of second-hand cars trends upwards, meaning some car owners could find they are unable to replace their car like-for-like if it is stolen or severely damaged.

“Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have seen an increase in the value of second-hand cars due to supply-chain disruptions and shortages of parts, amongst other factors,” Mr Tippet says. 

“We’re strongly encouraging car owners to check whether the value they have insured their car for still matches its current market value, in the event that it is stolen and never recovered or is recovered but is a total loss. There are a number of free online tools which make calculating your car’s value quick and easy.” 

Despite having had consistently high rates of theft for several years, AMI claims data shows the Mazda Demio is the most likely to be recovered. Over the past three years, 94% of stolen Demio cars were recovered – the highest rate out of the top 10 stolen vehicles and well above the average of 70% across all vehicle models. 

The Toyota Hilux has the lowest rates of recovery at 30%, followed by the Ford Courier at 47%.     

Top 10 most stolen vehicles across New Zealand*: 

  1. Mazda Demio – 1,176 claims
  2. Mazda Atenza (also known as Mazda6) – 774 claims
  3. Nissan Tiida – 700 claims
  4. Subaru Legacy – 458 claims 
  5. Mazda Familia – 456 claims
  6. Subaru Impreza – 387 claims
  7. Toyota Hilux – 384 claims
  8. Ford Courier – 264 claims
  9. Subaru Forester – 237 claims
  10. Honda Civic – 187 claims 

* Based on AMI Insurance motor claims data from 2019-2021. Cars are ranked from highest frequency of theft to lowest.     

The most frequently stolen vehicle in each region: 

  • Northland – Toyota Hilux
  • Auckland – Nissan Tiida
  • Waikato – Mazda Atenza
  • Taranaki – Mazda Demio
  • Bay of Plenty – Mazda Demio
  • East Coast – Mazda Atenza
  • Manawatu – Mazda Atenza
  • Hawkes Bay – Mazda Demio
  • Wairarapa – Ford Courier
  • Wellington – Mazda Demio
  • Nelson – Mazda Demio
  • West Coast – Toyota Hilux
  • Canterbury – Toyota Hilux
  • Otago – Mazda Demio
  • Southland – Mazda Demio

Tips to help prevent your vehicle being stolen:

  • Where possible, park down a driveway or inside a garage.
  • If there isn’t any off-street parking available, try to park your car in a well-lit area.
  • Consider using anti-theft protection measures, such as a car alarm system, immobiliser, steering wheel lock, fuel cut out switch, handbrake lock, or car tracking system.
  • Don’t get out of your car and leave the engine running or keys in it, even for a few seconds.
  • Make sure you always lock your car, especially whenever your car is parked and unattended.
  • Don’t leave valuables on display.
  • Avoid leaving windows or the sunroof open when you're not in the car.

Similar articles