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The Top 3 Most Stolen Cars in Australia

Posted on: October 19, 2015 by Platinum Direct

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It would be the act of a pessimist to not buy a car just because it is more likely to be stolen, but in an uncertain world, it’s definitely something to take into consideration when deciding where to park your car at night.

Although you’d think that opportunistic thieves and joyriders would not be picky when it comes to jacking cars, there are organized criminal gangs that target certain makes and models of cars.

Specific cars are deliberately targeted for many reasons – poor security features, or known security exploits, a high demand for used models, or because they can be easily scrapped and sold for parts on the black market.

Although car theft has plummeted over the last decade – from 142,000 in 2001 to 52,000 over the past year, theft is still commonplace. It is estimated a car is stolen in Australia every 6 minutes.

Let’s take a look at most stolen cars of the last financial year, so we can work out which of our friend’s cars are mostly likely to get pinched in the next 6 minutes:

Holden Commodore – 2932 stolen

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When you combine all model types, the Holden Commodore is the most stolen car. The VT Commodore is most prized, with 726 stolen over the last year, closely followed by the VE (full breakdown below).

72% of all Commodores stolen are recovered by the police, implying that the majority of Commodore thefts are amateur jobs done by opportunists or joyriders, as opposed to by organized gangs.

It seems that its just a numbers game – as Holden Commodores have been such a staple on Australian roads over the last 20 years, thieves are particularly familiar with Commodores and chose to stick with what they known rather than risking it on an outsider.

On top of that, as there are so many Commodores in circulation, demand for spare parts is particularly high. Commodores also enjoy a long life on the used car market, so be wary when buying 2nd hand Holdens from dubious sources.

According to the director of the NMVTRC, Ray Carroll, the Commodores attraction lies in its ‘hoonability’ – “every young bloke who wears a baseball cap on his head backwards wants to own a Commodore. They’re popular with hoons who know they can thrash them better than a Hyundai Excel.”

  • Holden Commodore VT 1997 to 2000 – 726
  • Holden Commodore VE 2006 to 2013 – 717
  • Holden Commodore VX 2000 to 2002 – 561
  • Holden Commodore VY 2002 to 2004 – 515
  • Holden Commodore VZ 2004 to 2006 – 413
  • Holden Commodore VS 1995 to 1997 – 300

Toyota HiLux – 1167 stolen

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It’s no surprise that one of Australia’s most popular cars is one that people are eager to keep in circulation. Although it probably doesn’t help that people keep leaving the doors wide open…

40% of Hilux’s stolen are never seen again – suggesting a large amount being targeted by organised crime who can quickly either get the car out of the country or salvage it in a nearby garage. Although it is good to know that 6 in every 10 are recovered by the police – if not necessarily in a working condition.

While overall car theft is going down, Hilux theft has actually increased by 10% over the last year. It is estimated that $23.8 million worth of Hilux’s have been stolen in the last 12 months alone.

It turns out the utes downfall is its success, with its popularity and great reputation worldwide driving up demand. In an unusually damning turn of events, it was reported that a large majority of the vehicles used by infamous terrorist group ISIS are Toyota Hilux utes, some of which are stolen from the streets of Sydney and shipped off to Syria via Turkey. Although Australia’s car theft body responded by saying most stolen Toyotas leave the country as spare parts.

The utes reliability, off-road capabilities and storage space seem to have universal appeal.

  • Toyota Hilux 2005 to 2011 – 732
  • Toyota Hilux 1998 to 2004 – 435
  • Toyota Hilux 1989 to 1997 – 327

Ford Falcon – 1235 stolen

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This homegrown hero sits at number 3 on Australia’s Most Wanted when you add up all years and model types. Although Falcon sales are down in recent years and Ford factories are shutting down nationwide, old Falcons are a thieves’ favourite.

A joyrider’s favourite, the Falcon’s respectable grunt seems to be a favourite for teens looking for cheap kicks. Many of the newer Falcon models are used as police cars, so it makes sense that joyriders would want to be on an equal footing with their pursuers.

For a recent example, an incredibly rare 1969 starlight blue XW Ford Falcon estimated to be worth over $100,000 was recently stolen at gunpoint near Camden, NSW.

  • Ford Falcon BA 2002 to 2005 – 541
  • Ford Falcon AU 1998 to 2002 – 413
  • Ford Falcon FG 2008 to 2014 – 281

Here’s the full list of the top 20 stolen cars by year model 2014-2015:

  • Toyota Hilux 2005 to 2011 – 732
  • Holden Commodore VT 1997 to 2000 – 726
  • Holden Commodore VE 2006 to 2013 – 717
  • Nissan Pulsar 1995 to 2000 – 715
  • Holden Commodore VX 2000 to 2002 – 561
  • Ford Falcon BA 2002 to 2005 – 541
  • Holden Commodore VY 2002 to 2004 – 515
  • Hyundai Excel 1994 to 2000 – 453
  • Toyota Hilux 1998 to 2004 – 435
  • Holden Commodore VZ 2004 to 2006 – 413
  • Ford Falcon AU 1998 to 2002 – 413
  • Toyota Hiace 1990 to 2004 – 374
  • Nissan Patrol 1997 to current – 332
  • Toyota Hilux 1989 to 1997 – 327
  • Toyota LandCruiser 80 Series 1990 to 1998 – 316
  • Holden Commodore VS 1995 to 1997 – 300
  • Nissan Navara D40 2005 to 2015 – 293
  • Nissan Pulsar 1991 to 1995 – 284
  • Ford Falcon FG 2008 to 2014 – 281
  • Holden Astra 1999 to 2005 – 260
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