Revealed: Why Toyota cars are most vulnerable to theft
Your vehicle is most likely to be stolen if it is white, a Toyota, a station wagon and parked somewhere, latest data from the insurance industry shows.
The Association of Kenya Insurers (AKI) data covering last year also indicates that vehicles whose value is below Sh1 million are also likely to fall prey to theft more frequently than those priced above Sh1 million.
Out of the 406 cars reported stolen to the insurers, 71 per cent were a make of the Toyota brand, while 51 per cent were white in colour.
Silver, black, blue and grey vehicles, in that order, also made it to the list of cars frequently stolen.
Green, red, gold, pearl, purple, orange and maroon vehicles were the least targeted.
HARD TO TRACE
AKI Executive Director Tom Gichuhi said white cars fall an easy prey since they make the majority in Kenya, making them hard to trace in case of reported loss.
“Toyota make, which is owned by a majority of Kenyans, is exposed due to the easy sale of its spare parts and given that many models share the parts,” Mr Gichuhi said in an interview.
Industry sources however indicated that high-end Toyotas are not as vulnerable as the cheaper makes of the popular Japanese brand.
White cars are preferred by many due to their relatively lower prices, ease of repainting and their slow interior heating under hot weather conditions.
Police Spokesperson George Kinoti told the Sunday Nation that white cars are susceptible to theft because they are common and easy to hide.
“Statistically, almost 80 per cent of the vehicles on any Kenyan road are white and criminals know this very well so they can easily manoeuvre with a white car among others.
“It is like stealing a donkey and mixing it with others, which make it hard to identify because they look the same.
“If it was red or blue, they know they can be spotted easily,” Mr Kinoti said.
He however indicated that most of the stolen vehicles are eventually found.
OTHER VULNERABLE BRANDS
The trend of vehicles reported stolen to the insurers also shows that Isuzu, Nissan, Mitsubishi and Mercedes Benz are popular with thieves in that order.
Volvo, Honda, BMW, Ford, and Hyundai ranked least susceptible to thefts in Kenya.
The list does not have some high-end vehicles like Range Rover or Porsche.
Station wagons were most preferred body types by thieves, according to the 2016 AKI statistics, accounting for 46 per cent of stolen cars.
Saloon cars came second as lorries, pickups and vans closed the top five most stolen body types.
Perhaps due to their complexity and size, buses and trailers are least likely to be stolen.
That 66 per cent of the cars were stolen while parked underlines the risk vehicle owners, especially in urban areas, go through.
The report also indicates that most parts were stolen from parked vehicles.
ADD EXTRA FEATURES
Mr Kinoti advised motorists to add extra features on white cars for identity including number plates on various detachable parts like the widescreen and the side mirrors to increase chances of identification in case the car is being traced.
A car tracking device, prompt reporting of stolen vehicles through police hotlines and social media, according to him, can be of great help in tracking a stolen car.
Data from the police annual crime situation reports shows that some 1,111 vehicles were reported stolen in 2015, a reduction from the 1,239 reported a year earlier.
The highest prevalence always occurs in Nairobi.