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Vehicle theft: more common than you think

Vehicle theft more common than you think

April 14, 2011

Did you know a vehicle is stolen every eight minutes somewhere in Australia? And between January and September 2010, 33,482 cars were stolen across the country. That’s the frightening statistic in a recent report from car insurer Budget Direct.

You may also be surprised by the most common time of day when cars are stolen – not in the dark of night but around midday.

These facts are not designed to make you padlock your car every time you want to leave it parked on the street or in a car park. But when you spend a significant amount of money on your prized set of wheels, you might want to consider comprehensive car insurance or third-party fire and theft insurance.

And if you take the time to do an insurance quote comparison, you may be surprised at how affordable the extra safety can be.

Budget Direct’s report also showed that more cars were stolen on Thursdays, with NSW, Queensland and Victoria experiencing about one-fifth of car thefts on Thursdays.

"These results prove that motorists would be naive to think that thieves aren’t operating everyday of the week," says Richelle Ward, spokeswoman for Budget Direct.

The Holden Commodore is still the most targeted vehicle by thieves, followed by the Hyundai Excel X3, Nissan Skyline, Subaru Liberty and Ford Falcon EA.

Three-quarters of all car thefts are by youths either for joy-riding, transport or to commit another crime. And the busiest time of year for car theft is September to October.

"It’s better to be safe than sorry when it comes to your car, which is why so many drivers opt for comprehensive car insurance with automatic third-party fire and theft policies," says Damian Smith, CEO of financial comparison website RateCity.

While third-party fire and theft generally covers you for loss or damage to your car if it’s successfully stolen, if you find your car damaged from an attempted break-in or items stolen from inside your car, you might be left high and dry without comprehensive car insurance.

Some car insurance providers also offer the option to have a hire car after theft. This might be a significant factor for you if you rely heavily on your car. So when making an insurance quote comparison, make sure you read the fine print – especially the product disclosure statement – to see what’s included and what’s excluded from different providers.

"Remember to secure your vehicle even if you plan to only leave it for a few minutes. Shopping centres, car parks and even petrol stations are popular places for theft because it’s a time when motorists don’t expect it," Ward says.

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