South Africa has an epidemic of stolen cars, and you could be at risk. With well over 55,000 cars stolen per year (that’s one every nine minutes!), South Africa’s car theft statistics are some of the highest in the world. Perhaps you’re wondering which are the most stolen cars in South Africa? Well, that’s what we’re here to talk about today, though the answers might be more complicated than you expect…
Stolen Cars Cost Us All Money
Before we get into the details, let’s take a second to think about just how much money stolen cars cost the South African economy and you. Yes, a stolen car ends up costing you cash, since you’re going to have to replace your vehicle. In some cases, your insurance will cover the full cost of your car, but in others it won’t, that really depends on your policy. Not only that though, but car insurance premiums are effected by stolen cars.
How? Well, a stolen car on your record is going to make your personal insurance premiums higher. But with stolen cars being so frequent and insurance companies losing money, that means higher premiums for all of us in the long run. Not just that, but since in many cases you’ll be required to insure a specific make and model of car, if that model is known to be frequently stolen, then premiums for that car will naturally be higher. Car theft is big business, and it costs us all Rands.
So Which are the Most Stolen Cars?
The problem with telling you which vehicle models are the most stolen cars is that for the most part very little research is done on the subject. In fact, no official government body actually records this information in an organized way – at least not according to what we could find. So, instead of the police recording all this information, analyzing it and publishing it to the public, no one really knows what the exact stats are – or at least they’re not sharing this information publicly. A pretty accurate analysis can be done if you know the amount of cars stolen and that certain kinds of vehicles are at risk. The few agencies that do “semi-track” this information, are also more often than not not willing to share this information publicly because they do not want to upset the big car manufactures. We contacted 2 insurance companies who politely declined telling us which types of cars theft claims were filed over the last few years. However, there is a list of the most stolen cars that was made way back in 2010, and that’s not as bad as you might think.
Sure, 2010 is a while ago, but according to insurance industry experts the models of car most stolen have changed very little. Why? For several reasons. Firstly, because some models are just more popular in South Africa and across Africa as a whole (around 30% of stolen cars are taken across South Africa’s borders). These vehicles are seen as reliable and dependable, so are good choices for African roads. Secondly, because these vehicles are popular models there is high demand for car parts for them, resulting in more of the same cars being stolen to supply those parts.
Statistics from as recently as April 2015 show that at least two models of stolen car are identical to those from the 2010 list… So whilst the list we’re giving you might seem a little outdated, chances are that it’s still quite reflective of the current situation. And, of course, we’ll update you if more recent statistics become available.
Get to the Models Already!
Alright, alright, so we’re going to give you the top five most stolen cars in South Africa, at least according to the most up to date info we could find. In order of most to least stolen, these five are:
- The Toyota Hiace;
- The Nissan 1400;
- The Toyota Hilux;
- The Toyota Venture;
- The Toyota Corolla.
There is also more recent information that Toyota Fortuners are high on the theft list currently as well, which is worth mentioning since this is a very popular model with buyers at the moment.
Wait, All Stolen Cars are Toyotas?!
You probably noticed that nearly every car in the top five is a Toyota, but you do need to keep a couple of things in mind. Firstly, Toyota is a reliable and therefore popular brand in South Africa, so obviously there are more available to steal. Secondly, many parts are interchangeable between models, meaning parts from one Toyota model will work in another Toyota model, which effects which brands are being stolen to be cut down for parts…
What Does All This Mean?
It might be helpful to know which brands are the most stolen cars in South Africa so that you can keep this info in mind when you’re car shopping. However, since these brands are popular, especially on the second hand market (which is why many are stolen!), it might be tough to avoid buying them. Maybe more general information about stolen cars might be helpful, and there are some general guidelines. The most often stolen cars are:
- Older models, between 7 and 21 years old;
- Mini buses and sedans;
- Either entry level or luxury cars (rather than mid market models).
Additionally, location also has an effect. Gauteng has the highest level of stolen cars reported, reporting 27,470 car thefts in the period between April 2013 and March 2014. This is followed by the Western Cape with 9,511, and then KwaZulu Natal with 8723.
The Lesson: Protect Yourself!
Stolen cars are a big deal in South Africa, though the number of car thefts has been falling in recent years. Whether you have one of the top five most stolen models, or a vehicle that fits the general profile of cars most frequently stolen, you’ll need to think extra hard about car safety (check out How to Prevent Your Car from Being Stolen for more info on that). Remember: we’re all at risk from car theft, and whilst you can never be 100% secure, by making good decisions you can decrease your risk of getting your car stolen.
Main Subject: Stolen Cars
Other Interesting Posts
How to Pay Traffic Fines
Have you received a notice that you have traffic fines to pay? Do you plan ...read more
How to Sell a Car
If you browse the classifieds, you might be surprised at how many “car for sale” ...read more