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Australia's most stolen cars

The 2005-2011 Toyota HiLux has topped the list of Australia’s most stolen cars.

Toyota HiLux tops the list of Australia’s most stolen cars.

The Toyota HiLux has topped Australia’s most wanted list among car criminals -- and 40 per cent of those stolen are never found.

While car theft across Australia is the lowest since records were kept in the 1970s -- and has been cut by two thirds from a peak of 142,000 in 2001 to 52,000 in the past 12 months -- the rate of HiLux thefts is rising.

The number of HiLuxes stolen in the past 12 months is 10 per cent higher than it was the previous year -- but the number of professional HiLux thefts is increasing at a greater rate, up 28 per cent.

Four out of every 10 stolen HiLux utes vanish, never to be seen again. The total cost of stolen HiLux utes is estimated to be $23.8 million in the past 12 months alone, according to Australia’s peak car theft authority.

“They’re red hot,” says Ray Carroll, the head of the National Motor Vehicle Theft Reduction Council.

“They’ve just got the eye of the crooks at the moment. They’re big sellers and there’s huge demand for parts in the repair industry.”

Four out of every 10 stolen HiLux utes vanish, never to be seen again. 

The authority, which collates data nationally from police and the insurance industry, says the HiLux utes that are never found are either broken down for parts or shipped overseas.

“The majority are broken up for parts; we have seen some instances where a HiLux has been cut in half and put into a container,” says Carroll.

“Most of the HiLux parts end up in the Middle East and sometimes Asia, both regions where the HiLux is also a popular vehicle.”

While Holden and Ford are in their next two years shutting the factories that make the iconic Commodore and Falcon, the two Australian-made cars are still a favourite among thieves.

When all year models are combined, more Holden Commodores are stolen than Toyota HiLux utes (1494 versus 2671).

The Ford Falcon is Australia’s third most commonly stolen car when all year models are combined but 72 per cent of Commodores are recovered, making them less of a professional theft target in percentage terms than the HiLux. 

Top 20 stolen cars by year model in the 2014-2015 financial year

Toyota Hilux 2005 to 2011 ... 732
Holden Commodore VT 1997 to 2000 ... 726
Holden Commodore VE 2006 to 2013 ... 717
Nissan Pulsar 1995 to 2000 ... 715
Holden Commodore VX 2000 to 2002 ... 561
Ford Falcon BA 2002 to 2005 ... 541
Holden Commodore VY 2002 to 2004 ... 515
Hyundai Excel 1994 to 2000 ... 453
Toyota Hilux 1998 to 2004 ... 435
Holden Commodore VZ 2004 to 2006 ... 413
Ford Falcon AU 1998 to 2002 ... 413
Toyota Hiace 1990 to 2004 ... 374
Nissan Patrol 1997 to current ... 332
Toyota Hilux 1989 to 1997 ... 327
Toyota LandCruiser 80 Series 1990 to 1998 ... 316
Holden Commodore VS 1995 to 1997 ... 300
Nissan Navara D40 2005 to 2015 ... 293
Nissan Pulsar 1991 to 1995 ... 284
Ford Falcon FG 2008 to 2014 ... 281
Holden Astra 1999 to 2005 ... 260