The key to reducing your risk of car theft

RACQ has urged vehicle owners to get serious about protecting their car keys as the Club’s new research found 70 percent of Queenslanders admitted to storing their keys in easy to steal places including inside the vehicle.

The warning came after RACQ insurance claims data revealed the Gold Coast, Logan, Brisbane and Townsville regions were hot spots for car theft.

RACQ spokesperson Kirsty Clinton said the Club had received more than 3,600 insurance claims for stolen cars in the past three years.

“Unfortunately, car theft is a growing problem but there are some simple things drivers can do to secure their vehicle and it all starts with your keys,” Ms Clinton said.

“As vehicle security improves, the easiest way to steal a car is to use the keys. So, you need to treat your keys like cash. If you wouldn’t leave a few thousand dollars on a table beside the front door or on the front seat of your car, don’t leave your keys there.

“Also, don’t tag your keys with identifiers like your name and especially not your address.

“Our research shows one in five drivers throw their keys on the table and another 22 percent hang them on a visible hook marked keys. This really isn’t good enough.”

Ms Clinton said drivers should also remember the basics for properly securing their vehicle when out and about.

“Wherever possible, try to park in a secure car park. If that’s not available, choose somewhere well-lit and well-populated to reduce the temptation for opportunistic thieves,” she said.

“Make sure, whenever you leave your vehicle, your windows are up, doors are locked and don’t leave valuables visible in the car.”

RACQ insurance claims data for car thefts from 1 March 2018 – 28 February 2021:

REGION

Mar 2018 - Feb 2019

Mar 2019 – Feb 2020

Mar 2020 – Feb 2021

TOTAL

Gold Coast

170

190

187

547

Logan - Beaudesert

102

135

114

351

Brisbane - South

96

99

116

311

Townsville

91

106

107

304

Brisbane Inner City

63

87

96

246

Ipswich

77

89

71

237

Brisbane - North

43

85

63

191

Cairns

56

67

58

181

Moreton Bay - North

44

76

53

173

Sunshine Coast

47

62

54

163

Moreton Bay - South

54

54

40

148

Wide Bay

66

51

21

138

Toowoomba

49

37

45

131

Fitzroy (Rockhampton)

33

40

55

128

Brisbane - East

36

45

25

106

Mackay

36

42

25

103

Brisbane - West

27

28

35

90

Darling Downs - Maranoa

20

14

17

51

Queensland - Outback

7

11

12

30