Is your car at risk of theft?

Alice Piper

Posted November 29, 2021

Most common reasons for car theft

Easy to find keys  

By placing your keys in view, you’re also making them easy to find. 
“Keeping keys in a bowl on the bench, or a hook in the kitchen, are obvious places for thieves to look for keys,” says Lazar.  

“It means they can sneak in through an unlocked door or open window and just drive away.” 

Leaving valuables in the car  

Leaving valuable items like iPads and tablets, mobile phones or trade tools in plain sight from outside the car increases the temptation to steal, according to Lazar.  

“Thieves can be ruthless. They’ll take what they can easily get their hands on inside your car, and if the opportunity presents, they’ll take the car too.”  

black car with smashed rear left window

Thieves often look for valuable items in easily accessible locations, like car seats. Image: Getty


Putting your address on your keyring 

By putting details like your home location on your keys, you’re not only providing a thief with your address, but also an easy way to enter your home – meaning it’s not just your car that can be stolen, but your belongings too. 

“Many people put their home address on keyrings in case they lose their keys, so they can be returned,” says Lazar. 

“But times have changed, and this is more of a security risk than people may think.”

Poor car security

Older cars are much easier to steal due to a lack of engine immobilisers, proper door locks, security alarms and vehicle trackers. 

“The absence of modern security features makes older cars very easy and appealing to steal,” she says. 

According to, top theft targets for the year-ending June 2021 were the Holden Commodore VE MY06-13, Toyota Hilux MY05-11, Ford Ranger PX MY11+, Holden Captiva CG MY06-19, Holden Commodore VY MY02-04 and Nissan Navara D40. 

Minimise car theft tips

Follow these tips to help minimise your chances of car theft. 

How to protect your car from theft 

Remove keys from your car  

When you’ve taken your keys with you, make sure they’re in a place that’s out of sight, like a drawer or cupboard. 

“Always lock your car and take your keys with you,” Lazar explains. “And never leave a spare key hidden somewhere in, or near, the car.”  

Lock your doors 

It may sound obvious, but many people make it easy for thieves by leaving their entry doors unlocked.  

“It’s a good habit to get into, no matter if you live in a metropolitan or regional area,” Lazar says.  

“Leaving doors unlocked, whether you’re home or not, can provide thieves with an easy opportunity to act.” 

Install an alarm system 

If your car doesn’t have a working alarm system, it’s worth getting one installed according to Lazar.  

“The loud noise emanating from an alarm system is usually enough to deter a thief from continuing the theft.” 

An RACV accredited mechanic can have a look at your car and install an alarm system for you.  

Invest in home security equipment 

Installing home security equipment, such as alarm systems and security cameras in your driveway, is not only a major visual and sound deterrent for thieves but can be extremely useful in an investigation. 

“Alarm systems and security cameras are perhaps the best deterrents there are,” says Lazar. 

“These systems can capture footage of the theft in action, which is a huge benefit should a police investigation be undertaken."

An RACV accredited professional can assess your home and determine the best locations to install alarm systems and security cameras.

RACV Car Insurance can protect you against loss in the event of a car accident.
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The information provided is general advice only. Before making any decisions please consider your own circumstances and the Product Disclosure Statement and Target Market Determinations. For copies, visit As distributor, RACV Insurance Services Pty Ltd AFS Licence No. 230039 receives commission for each policy sold or renewed. Product(s) issued by Insurance Manufacturers of Australia ABN 93 004 208 084 AFS Licence No. 227678.

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