The number of car theft insurance claims in North Queensland has risen slightly in the past year.
In the 2021-2022 financial year (FY22), RACQ recived 148 insurance claims in the Townsville region, compared to 142 in the previous financial year (FY21).
RACQ is warning motorists not to be complacent about their vehicle security.
Spokesperson Ashleigh Paterson says the company received 1,827 claims for stolen vehicles across Queensland last financial year.
“It’s really concerning that car theft is a growing problem and causing issues for thousands of motorists,” Ms Paterson says.
“We’ve seen a 20 per cent increase in car theft claims between FY21 and FY22, and that upward trend has continued in recent months with rates now above pre-Covid levels.
“Our data shows Toowoomba and Cairns have experienced the biggest jump in car theft claims, up by almost 90 per cent and the Wide Bay region has seen a significant rise of 67 per cent.
“Concerningly, our data also reinforced those areas with larger populations or elevated crime rates tend to continuously experience a high number of vehicles being stolen each year, rather than large spikes.”
Ms Paterson says there are some simple things drivers can do to secure their vehicle, and it starts with treating car keys like cash.
“As vehicle security improves, the easiest way to steal a car is to use the keys, so drivers need to be extra mindful about where they store their keys,” she says.
“Don’t leave your keys laying around in an easily accessible locations such as a table near the door or a key hook, and don’t tag your keys with identifiers like your name or address.
“Wherever possible, try to park in a garage or gated driveway, or when you’re not at home in a secure car park. If that’s not available, choose somewhere well-lit and well-populated to reduce the temptation for opportunistic thieves.
“Make sure, whenever you leave your vehicle, your windows are up, doors are locked and don’t leave valuables visible in the car.”