“The car in front of you is always a Toyota.” This popular slogan coined in the 1990s by the Toyota Company, lives up to its name. Undoubtedly, Toyota is one of the most popular motor brands in Kenya; this popularity has also made the brand attractive for thieves, with Toyotas constituting at least 70% of the cars involved in theft syndicate.
The latest data from the insurance industry indicates that your vehicle is most likely to be stolen if it is white, a Toyota, a station wagon and parked somewhere. Most of the cars stolen, are valued at under a million shillings due to their easy resale value, affordability and tendency to not raise eyebrows. Plus, the spare parts of Toyotas can be easily shared amongst many other vehicle models. Cars that are valued at over a million shillings don’t usually fall prey to vehicle thieves.
White, silver, black, blue and grey car colours make up the list of cars that are frequently stolen (in that order). White cars are an easier target as their popularity means that they often get lost in the crowd. Green, red, gold, pearl, purple, orange and maroon vehicles are the least targeted.
White cars are also preferred due to remodelling costs such as painting, which may be considerably lower and also easier. Most cars are repainted with a different colour and VIN details swapped and sold in a regional car theft syndicate which is valued at millions of dollars.
Motorists are advised to add extra identity features on cars, such as etching the VIN number on windows, side mirrors and other detachable parts of the car, as doing this will make it harder to sell spares.
Tracking your vehicle will also go a long way in averting highly organized car theft syndicates as they highly increase the response time.