12 Common Car Models/Types Most Likely To Be Stolen In Kenya
Car Theft in Kenya
I was at a car wash and a woman and man were chatting seated next to me. The woman was narrating how her car has almost been stolen a record five times. She reiterated that she was just lucky. I thought to myself, “Five times? Now that’s a tad too many times. Is she sure it’s not an inside job.”
She continued narrating how if her car model were to be stolen in the morning, it will be on the road to Mai Mahiu, headed to a remote part of Kenya to carry farm produce. Shockingly, she said that the car will already have a buyer by evening, “Ikishashika mai mahiu, na vile hio barabara iko smooth kama ulimi wa saitan, huwezi iona – meaning, once the car is directed to Mai Mahiu, the road is as smooth as the devil’s tongue, and you will never see your car again as it will be driven away fast.” (She said it in her mother tongue – I am just translating to swahili.)
For a minute, I laughed at her expression and use of words but the thought actually became terrifying. As if that was not bad enough, the man she was with added that, “Eeeh…kwanza kwa church ndio mbaya – meaning that cars are easily stolen when one is in church.” I thought, “in church too? Damn!”
Here is the model she was talking about:
Image source: amexautospares
Everyone can relate to stolen side mirrors. It takes a while to sink in though. Some thieves are so smooth, that they can steal the inside mirror and leave the holder intact. When you get to your car, you literally start checking under the vehicle to see if it fell, only to realize umecheswo mcheso! You have heard stories of how you go shopping for a side mirror, and find your mirror being sold in a shop in the city; identity and all.
Got me thinking. There are car models in Kenya which are more vulnerable than others. My friend once made a joke and said, “Toyota, hata kama inaitwa Toyota Mathogothanio, itaibiwa.” In Kenya, Toyotas are quite vulnerable. I tend to think that’s why their spare parts are always available.
When you think about it, Volkswagen models, BMWs, Volvos, Suzukis and some of the latest Hondas are not as vulnerable.
According to a report by the Association of Kenya Insurers (AKI), your car is most likely to be stolen if it is a Toyota, costing under 1 million shillings, and white in color. High end Toyotas are not as vulnerable. Imagine looking for a white Toyota on a major highway? Needle in a haystack right?
The report also noted that silver colored vehicles are next (vulnerability), followed by black, blue, and then grey.
The least targeted were noted to be green, red, purple, orange, gold, and maroon; not necessarily in that order.
Station wagons were also noted to be an attraction for car theft syndicates, followed by saloon cars, lorries, pickups, then vans.
Also, the next most vulnerable models are Isuzu, Nissan, Mitsubishi, and Mercedes Benz in that order.
Here are the car models most likely to be stolen in Kenya:
1. Toyota Corolla DX
Image source: amexautospares
2. Toyota Fielder
Image source: kenyatoyotaclub.blogspot.co.ke
3. Toyota Probox
Image source: paxwheels.com
4. Toyota Wish
Image source: cloudlakes.com
5. Nissan Wingroad
Image source: beforward.jp
6. Nissan Advan
Image source: commons.wikimedia.org
7. Toyota Premio (old and new shape)
Image source: kenyablogspotclub.blogspot
8. Toyota Premio
Image source: carmudi.com
9. Toyota Corolla
Image source: pinterest
10. Toyota Nze
Image source: car-hire.co.ke
11. Nissan B14
Image source: amexautospares.com
12. Nissan B15
Image source: youtube.com
How To Prevent Car Theft
- Install an alarm system; they are not a guarantee but insurance companies like it when you do that because it shows you tried to protect your car
- Avoid leaving your car keys to the car wash guy – some car wash attendants duplicate the keys while you are away
- Do not park in deserted places – if you have to, make eye contact with the owner of the shop you park in front of. In extreme cases, ask them to check it for you na uwache ya chai.
- Do not park on dingy streets
- Buy wheel locks (what people like to call locknuts). They are a form of locking wheel bolts or nuts that require a special wheel spanner to open. They have a different pattern from the normal wheel nuts (Prevents wheels from being stolen).
- After parking, always watch the surroundings to see if there is anyone suspicious watching; make eye contact if you can. If an innate sense warns you that you are being watched, look for another parking spot. It doesn’t cost anything, now does it? Park close to security guards
- Install a car tracker if your car does not have one, and if you can afford to
- Park in designated mall parking spaces as opposed to outside where no one is watching
- Do not stop for anyone if it is late at night, especially if you have to walk out of the vehicle; always mind your business. For example, some car thieves trace you from Mombasa and corroborate with others in Mlolongo to feign an accident to lure you out. Also, remember the suckers who were lying down on highways at night or pretending to be stranded ghosts.
- Avoid discussing matters about your car in open spaces such as car washes, bars, etc. If strangers ask if your car has a tracker, especially unfamiliar mechanics, think twice before answering. Always answer in the affirmative, say it has a tracker.
In case your vehicle is stolen, use the emergency numbers 999, 911, or 112.
The above are not guaranteed ways to prevent theft but they make the car thief’s work harder; which can give enough time to be noticed by passersby; if you are lucky.