Mike Stevens | Jul 20, 2010

The sky is blue, grass is green and, according to insurer RACV, older cars are more likely to be stolen than newer models with more advanced security features.

New insurance claims data released by RACV this week shows that cars insured for less than $8000 accounted for 60 percent of car theft claims lodged with the insurer in the past year.

RACV Insurance General Manager Paul Northey said that cars more than nine-years-old are the most popular, with 709 such cars stolen. Mr Northey said that the figures are a reflection of the high proportion of older cars on Victorian roads.

“Our data shows that 68 percent of car theft claims made by our members are in relation to older vehicles, while vehicles less than three-years-old account for less than seven percent of claims,” he said.

Unsurprisingly, the Holden Commodore and Ford Falcon top the list of older cars stolen, with 192 and 133 claims respectively. The Toyota Camry placed a distant third, with 56 claims.

“Drivers should also be aware of the areas where cars are more likely to be stolen, such as railway stations, shopping centres and outside your house. When parking in these areas you should take extra care to ensure your car’s doors are locked and the windows are closed,” Mr Northey said.

The claims data revealed that traditional favourite areas for thieves continue to top the incident list, with Hoppers Crossing, Dandenong, Frankston, Richmond and Preston ranking equal first with 13 claims each in the past year.

St. Kilda followed with 11 claims, along with Footscray and Broadmeadows (10 each), Cranbourne and Glen Waverley (9).

“Increasing the security level of older cars can be as simple as fitting an engine immobiliser. Immobilisers can be fitted for as little as $200 and have been proven to be an effective deterrent to those looking for a joyride,” Mr Northey said.

Theft of items from within vehicles was more prevalent in cars valued between $20,000 and $45,000 and suburbs with the highest number of thefts from cars were Richmond (17), St Kilda (13), Melbourne (12) and South Yarra (10).

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