Rockingham residents warned to protect their vehicles and check before buying a used car

Aaron KirbySound Telegraph
More than 600 cars are being reported stolen in WA each year.
Camera IconMore than 600 cars are being reported stolen in WA each year. Credit: Tama66/Pixabay

Rockingham residents are being warned to protect their vehicles and double-check the history of a used car before buying after the area experienced 265 car thefts in 2020-21 and 353 the year before that.

More than 600 cars are reported stolen in WA each year and experts at CheckTheCar.com.au said those purchasing without doing an official written-off and stolen vehicle check risk losing thousands.

The warning comes as the Holden Commodore VE (MY06_13), Toyota Hilux (MY15+) and Toyota Hilux (MY12_15) were listed among the vehicles most at risk of car theft, according to the latest statistics from the National Motor Vehicle Theft Reduction Council.

More than 105 Holden Commodores were stolen from WA streets in the past financial year.

The Holden Commodore VE (MY06_13), Toyota Hilux (MY15+) and Toyota Hilux (MY12_15) were listed among the countries’ most at-risk vehicles for car theft.
Camera IconThe Holden Commodore VE (MY06_13), Toyota Hilux (MY15+) and Toyota Hilux (MY12_15) were listed among the countries’ most at-risk vehicles for car theft. Credit: Supplied

Other models of Toyota Landcruiser Ute 70 SERIES (MY07+) and Toyota Hilux (MY05_11) were also in the top five most at-risk vehicles in WA.

In the last year alone (12 months to October), WA recorded 5635 car theft cases (unlawful use of a motor vehicle), down slightly from 1120 the year prior.

Rafe Berding, head of CheckTheCar.com.au and part of technology company Dye & Durham, said buyers were at risk of car repossession if a car was stolen or finance was still owing on the vehicle.

“Buying a car should be an easy thing to do; however, those looking for a vehicle should be very wary,” he said.

“We know car rebirthing and cloning happens to thousands of stolen vehicles each year, so drivers need to take steps to ensure they aren’t purchasing something that isn’t theirs.

“Drivers can also avoid long-term mechanical issues from written-off vehicles and more by doing a little research before purchasing.”

Mr Berding said prospective owners could easily check the official status of a vehicle by simply entering a plate registration or vehicle identification number (VIN).

“Finance owing checks aren’t the first thing people consider, but it could save you a lot of heartbreak and money,” he said.

“We regularly hear horror stories where a buyer has had their car towed, all because it still technically belonged to the bank and the previous owner failed to pay their bills.”

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