Theft Matters: Hot wheels for consumers or thieves?

  • Are you purchasing a used car?
  • Would you like it to be a top selling car?
  • Would you like it to have a low theft risk?  

The NMVTRC’s CARS team has recently conducted ananalysis of 2018 theft rates of passenger/light commercial vehicles (PLCs) that had the top sales figures in selected years.

The analysis highlights the theft rates of the most popular vehicles on the market to assist motorists who are looking to  purchase   a used car. These national sales figures are based on 2008, 2013 and 2015 calendar years to demonstrate different vehicle age groups.

The above graph shows that in 2015 the Mazda 3 was a very popular choice for consumers but, pleasingly, was not as attractive to thieves. With 9.1 thefts per 10,000 registrations, it is less than the theft rate for other similar small passenger vehicles (13.4) and for all PLCs in 2015(14.4) (as indicated by the purple box).

Therefore, the Mazda 3 has a low theft risk for a top selling vehicle.

The analysis also identified the Toyota Hilux as the top selling light commercial utility vehicle for 2015. However,the make/model has a theft rate much higher than the total PLC and market segment theft rate, making it a very popular choice among thieves. It is recommended that motorists consider the high theft risk of the Hilux as a factor when purchasing a light commercial ute.

While there are many factors to consider when purchasing a vehicle including safety, price, fuel efficiency, functionality and aesthetics, this analysis highlights the importance of including a vehicle’s theft risk and security features in the decision-making process.

To read the full report visit, and for more information on the theft risk of other vehicles, use the CARS theft risk rating tool at

Even vehicles with the highest level of security are still at risk of being stolen if motorists are not vigilant about securing their vehicle’s keys. To learn more about how to secure your keys and your vehicle head to:

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