By Clair Morton
Last updated on: December 5, 2017 at 7:37 am
What’s in a colour? It’s a consideration for most people looking to buy a car, but it turns out there’s a lot more to it than just aesthetics – the colour of a vehicle may also determine its likelihood of being stolen.
Research by the National Motor Vehicle Theft Reduction Committee’s CARS project has examined the correlation between a car’s colour and its attractiveness to thieves, using data from 2015/16.
It’s probably no surprise white cars are the most stolen in Australia, considering how many there are on the road, but if you think that makes your green vehicle safer, think again.
When you take into account how many green cars are registered on our roads versus white cars, they zoom to the top of list, with the highest theft rate of 3.58 per 1000 registered vehicles.
Black comes in second with 2.96 thefts per 1000 vehicles.
Here’s where it gets interesting: it seems even car thieves follow trends, because as the popularity of owning black cars increased by 29% from 2011/12 to 2015/16, the rate of thefts also increased.
The colour disparity becomes even clearer when looking at three top theft targets: the Nissan Pulsar, Holden Commodore VE and Holden Commodore VT.
Pulsar: Green is the most popular colour for profit-motivated thefts of this make and model, but for ‘short-term’ thefts (opportunistic crimes used for joyriding, transport or to commit other crimes) red cars are used more often.
Commodore VE: Black is favoured by thieves for this car – taking the top spot for both types of theft.
Commodore VT: If your green VT has been stolen, it’s most likely to be the victim of a short term theft. If your black VT goes missing, the culprit/s are more likely looking to make a profit.
So what colour car should you buy if you’re worried about thieves?
Pink and orange cars didn’t make any figures in the university’s research, while there were just 187 purple or mauve vehicles stolen in 2015/16.
If you don’t mind standing out on the road, it seems bright, bold colours are the way to go.