10 Most Stolen Cars in Malaysia
In our car-dependent society, buying a car is considered a rite of passage of sorts. It takes a lot of planning as they often cost more than an average income-earner’s yearly salary. And on top of that, you also need to think of car servicing, repairs, road tax and of course, car insurance.
But in our country with its fair share of car theft, it’s so important to carefully consider your future car’s model and reputation.
The cost of your car insurance is calculated on many factors - one of which is how likely your car is to be stolen.
Just last year, an alarming number of 5,625 private cars were recorded for vehicle theft insurance claims in Malaysia.
Here are the top ten cars that are high on the average Malaysian car theft’s list.
As you can see, even some of the most affordable cars are targets of theft.
For example, the Proton Wira, which went out of production in 2009 is still considered a good steal for car thieves due to its valuable parts that can be resold easily. And since parts have ceased production since 2018, the only way to obtain car parts for the Wira are now through other “creative means”.
Higher up on the budget spectrum, the Toyota Vellfire, a target of luxury car theft syndicates, is popular with car thieves due to its keyless entry system which can be hacked using frequency technology.
Syndicate ringleaders decide on the car of choice to be stolen and thieves and middlemen are paid accordingly with fixed prices as a reward for stealing these cars.
The Toyota Vellfire reportedly gives thieves between RM 5,000 to RM 7,000 per vehicle. Thieves steal the cars and then drop them off at a pickup point for middlemen to collect.
So how do I protect my car?
There's plenty you can do to keep your precious car safe.
First off, prevent your car from being stolen in the first place by taking these extra precautions:
- Never leave valuable belongings on your seat or anywhere visible in your car
- Don't leave your keys in the ignition or your engine running when you leave the vehicle
- Park strategically in well-lit spaces with security guards, cameras or places within your line of sight
- Turn your wheels to the curb – this buys you time as the thief takes more time to manoeuvre your car out of the parked spot
- Install a car engine immobiliser – Did you know that fitting a car engine immobiliser or alarm system not only deters car theft but can reduce the amount of your car insurance premiums?
- Use a gear lock to prevent thieves from targeting your car, as they'll see it as another hassle that eats into their getaway time
Is this enough to make sure my car is safe?
Unfortunately, all the prevention in the world isn't a 100% guarantee against car theft, and leaving it to chance and banking that it won't happen to you is a pretty big gamble.
So if prevention isn't always possible, what else can you do to protect yourself?
While there’s not much you can do to safeguard your car completely against theft, it is completely within your control to minimise or even eliminate your financial loss if it does happen.
The best step to protect yourself — should you be the unlucky soul who walks to the parking lot, only to have a mini-heart attack at the sight of an empty spot where your car was sitting — is to purchase a comprehensive car insurance plan.
A comprehensive car insurance plan covers your bases should you have the misfortune of having your car stolen. That way, you at least have the assurance that you'll be compensated for the value of your car or close to it if your car isn't recovered.
What add-ons do I need for better protection from car theft?
It's important to note that not all types of car insurance cover car theft. Hence, it's always advisable to choose a comprehensive car insurance plan from a reputable provider.
On top of that, it's important to be aware that certain elements are not covered by most car insurance plans. These elements can be plugged in as add-ons by certain providers, so it's good to keep them in mind when comparing and choosing the right plan for you.
What's not covered by car insurance:
Modifications made to your car after purchase — These could include a built-in audio system, a sporting exhaust or other additional and enhanced accessories
Personal belongings left in your car — Valuable items such as laptops, wallets, watches or any other item left in your car during the theft will not be covered
Your car loan — Most car insurance plans do not cover the pending amount you owe for your car loan. The sum insured may be slightly higher than the amount you've paid thus far on your loan, but keep in mind that you may still need to settle the remainder of your loan on your own.
The best you can do is to ensure that you find a provider which pays out the sum agreed, instead of a market value which will depreciate over the years.
How much will I be insured?
The amount you will be paid out if your car is stolen will depend on which type of sum insured you opt for — an agreed value or a market value.
Here's the difference:
This value is a pre-determined amount agreed upon purchase by both insurer and yourself. Most insurers advise this option for the sum insured as you don't run the risk of being under-insured due to the depreciation of your vehicle.
For example, if your Perodua Myvi is worth half of what it was 5 years ago, you will still be paid the sum agreed on when you purchased your car insurance plan, no matter the market value of your vehicle at the time of the accident
This value is dependent on how much your vehicle is now worth in the market factoring in considerations like wear and tear and depreciation due to inflation. While this usually means you will pay cheaper premiums, in the long term, you run the risk of not getting your money's worth on from your insurance plan because what you paid initially may be much higher than the sum insured in the event of a theft, resulting in a loss
|Agreed Value||Market Value|
|Amount of sum insured||Based on pre-determined sum at the time of policy purchase||Based on resale value of car at the time of accident|
|Premiums||Higher due to higher sum insured||Lower due to lower sum insured|
|Certainty||Higher certainty due to fixed sum insured amount||Lower certainty as sum insured is based on the market|
|Flexibility||Greater flexibility||No flexibility|
To get a better idea of how much coverage you'll need for your car, try using a car insurance calculator for a rough estimate of your car's market value.
My car was stolen, what do I do now?
The first thing to do when your car is stolen is to make a police report within 24 hours of the incident as a report is absolutely necessary to make a claim from your car insurance provider.
You'll need to detail the incident with the following information which you'll also need to share with your insurance provider:
- Vehicle registration number
- Car model and make
- Time of theft or discovery of theft
- Place of theft
After submitting an insurance claim, your insurance provider will appoint an insurance investigator who will need your full cooperation in order to investigate the case and find out what really happened to your car. Be patient with this process and try to provide as much information as you can.
How long does it take to process a car theft claim?
Typically a car insurance claim for car theft takes a bit longer than a claim for a road accident. The reason for this being the investigation to locate your car takes a few months on average.
Hence, the usual amount of time taken is 6 months for the insurer to pay out the sum insured.
What if my car is recovered before payout?
Keep in mind, the likelihood of your car being recovered is always slim, as most cars aren’t stolen for personal use but to be sold off for scraps and parts.
If you're one of the lucky ones, and should your car be recovered by the police before your insurer pays the sum insured, you'll still be considered the owner of the vehicle.
This means you'll still be able to claim the amount needed for any damages to your car in need of repair. Unfortunately, this also means you'll forfeit your no claims discount (NCD).
On the other hand, if your insurer has already paid out the sum insured before the car is recovered, the insurer then becomes the official owner of the vehicle.
Based on the year's most stolen cars, it's clear car thefts aren't picky in terms of vehicle price points. No matter the price or model of your car, it's always a good idea to get insured and have your bases covered for worst-case scenarios like theft.