Cape Town - Although car theft numbers have been falling in recent years, vehicle theft is big business in South Africa where it is said that one car is stolen every 9 minutes.
According to Carinfo.co.za, a website that offers information about the car industry, including reviews and free online car insurance quotes, South Africa’s car theft statistics are some of the highest in the world.
It states that a 2010 list of the most stolen cars indicates that the top five most stolen cars in South Africa are:
The Toyota Hiace;
The Nissan 1400;
The Toyota Hilux;
The Toyota Venture;
The Toyota Corolla.
The most often stolen cars are:
Older models, between 7 and 21 years old;
Mini buses and sedans;
Either entry level or luxury cars.
While the list may be from five years back, industry experts suggest that it is still reflective of the current situation.
Toyota - a victim of its own success?
Toyota is seen as a reliable brand and therefore most likely also the most popular cars to steal. Added to this, vehicle parts are also interchangeable between models.
What happens to the cars?
According to DataDot Tecnology SA, which specialises in spraying on cars tiny polyester particles with unique information to help recover stolen cars, vehicles are stolen or hijacked for three main reasons:
It is resold locally
It is exported
It is used for spare parts
It further states that there are an estimated 1.6 million stolen vehicles on South Africa's roads, adding that the average recovery rate for stolen cars was 35%, according to 2014 reports cited on DataDot.co.za.
Stolen cars taken across South Africa’s borders can be attributed to two main reasons:
1) These vehicles are seen as reliable and dependable, so are good choices for African roads.
2) These vehicles are popular models and there is high demand for car parts for them.
* Don't agree? Send us your list - we'll compile our own list based on user feedback.