The riskiest places to park your car in NSW

car break in robber grabbing handbag with glass shattered

Did you know that the conditions we park our cars under can affect our insurance premiums?

Whether or not a car is garaged, undercover or out in the open can have an impact on how likely it is that something unfortunate will happen to it, and insurers take this into account when analysing this risk and calculating our car insurance payments.

The other big factor that can affect the safety of your vehicle is the area where you live – and the crime rates in that location.

Car break-ins in NSW

So how can you find out how your area rates for car crime?

The NSW Government’s Crime Tool website features an interactive map of the state, providing a snapshot of crime rates in different regions.

When it comes to car break-ins, the worst-affected areas are spread around, with a high concentration of break-in crime taking place in Central Western NSW.

City centres

It’s unsurprising that a higher concentration of theft occurs in city centres. The higher density of people and vehicles makes for prime conditions, and the statistics in Sydney and Newcastle lend credence to the theory.

The rate of car break-ins in Newcastle is high at 1200.5 per 100,000 population, while Sydney’s CBD has 837.5 per 100,000 population.

Outer suburbs

Regions such as Blacktown and Campbelltown on the outskirts of Sydney, and Cessnock and Maitland just outside of Newcastle are also trouble areas when it comes to auto crime.

Cessnock and Mailtand have a rate of 953.1 and 1109.5 per 100,000 respectively, both almost double the state average of 536.6 in 100,000.

Blacktown and Campbelltown have slightly lower rates than inner-Sydney, with Blacktown sitting at 716.9 and Campbelltown at 686.6 (per 100,000).

Regional problem areas

While the cities in NSW account for a large amount of theft, there is a widespread vehicle break-in problem in our regional centres, particularly the state’s central west.

From Parkes to Warren and even the Bogan Shire (yes, it’s a real place), theft from car break-ins is among the worst anywhere in the state.

Other areas experiencing worrying rates of car break-ins and theft include Northern NSW towns such as Lismore and Moree, as well as Riverina towns such as Wagga Wagga and the Murray Basin.

Protecting your property and vehicle

It’s all well and good to know where the car crime hotspots in our state are, but what how can we protect ourselves and our vehicles from property crime?

As always, prevention is better than a cure, so reducing the risk of a break-in is paramount.

  • Don’t leave anything valuable inside, or on show in your vehicle when parked, and if possible, remove the car stereo face.

  • Always lock your car.

  • Remove loose coins from the centre console.

  • Park under street lamps or in lighted areas where possible.

  • If possible, park in lock-up garage or fenced carport to dissuade thieves.

  • Use a car alarm.

Finally, it’s important to make sure your vehicle and its contents are properly insured so that you are protected in a worst-case scenario.

Car insurance can’t stop your car being broken into or stolen but it can stop the experience being devastating financially.

Read more stories about protecting the things you love on The Hub.

This article was contributed by NRMA Insurance, which is part of the Insurance Australia Group. The NRMA (National Roads and Motorists’ Association Limited) is a separate and independent company from NRMA Insurance.