Research Reveals New Zealand’s Car Theft Hotspots

Extracted from, by Nile Bijoux

New research has found that a car is broken into every 21 minutes in New Zealand and the number of cars stolen is increasing year-on-year.

Global comparison website Finder, which recently launched in New Zealand, analysed the latest NZ Police data and found that, across New Zealand, 24,416 motor vehicles were stolen or broken into in 2019, up from 21,761 the previous year.

Additionally, Finder found that a car was either stolen or vandalised every 21 minutes in 2019.

The website aggregated the areas with the highest amount of thefts, with the worst offender being Lower Hutt where one in every 98 registered cars was stolen or broken into last year. It was followed by Palmerston North, Wellington, Napier and Auckland.

The safest area for your car is Waimate District, where only one in every 2,084 cars was stolen or broken into.

According to the research, car break-ins typically happen on weekends, with the most common time being a rather surprising 3pm.

While car insurance (or owning a vehicle in general) might rank highly as a source of financial stress, Kevin McHugh, publisher of Finder in New Zealand, said it’s important to regularly review your car insurance policy.

“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 lower the amount you pay on insurance.”

“In areas where there’s a higher rate of theft owners should be more mindful to protect their cars.”

“Kiwis can save money on their insurance by keeping parking their car in a safe area, keeping their mileage low and comparing different policies to make sure they’re getting the best deal.”

Back in February, Stuff took a look at the five most stolen vehicles in the country.

They were (at the time of writing) the Toyota Hilux, Holden Commodore, Subaru Legacy, Ford Courier and Subaru Impreza. If you own one of these, it might be time to have another look at your insurance policy.