Car Stolen Every 21 Minutes Last Year

Published: 12 June 2020


Car thieves are at their most active at 3pm, a new study based on official New Zealand police statistics shows.

The study, by the NZ office of global comparison website, Finder, also found that car thefts on weekends are 16% higher than on weekdays.

Finder says thieves stole or broke into 24,416 vehicles in New Zealand in 2019, a rise of 2655 from 2018. A vehicle was stolen or broken into every 21 minutes.

The centre with the most car thefts last year was Upper Hutt where one in every 98 cars was stolen or broken into.

Next came Palmerston North, Wellington, Napier and Auckland.

The safest place was the inland Canterbury district of Waimate where the theft/car ratio was one in 2084.

Kevin McHugh, Finder’s publisher in New Zealand, says car insurance can cover vehicle theft or vandalism. “What you’re covered for and the amount your insurer will pay depends on the type of policy or level cover you take out.

“Some car insurance policies won’t cover you if your car is stolen. If you’re living in a crime-prone suburb, review your policy and opt for something a little more comprehensive.

“Your insurance premiums are based on the level of risk you present to insurers. If you park in off-street parking and install an alarm, not only will you protect your car but you’ll also lower the amount you pay on insurance,” McHugh says.

“You can save money on your car insurance by parking your vehicle in a safe area, like a garage or underground car park, and keeping your mileage low.”