The Road Ahead : October 2014
ROADAHEAD.COM.AU 76 THE ROAD AHEAD OCT/NOV 2014 MEMBER ESSENTIALS | INSURANCE RACQ INSURANCE IS urging vehicle owners to check the identity of anyone responding to privately advertised vehicles for sale, following a number of recent thefts where cunning car thieves posed as potential buyers. In two recent cases, the thieves targeted high-performance vehicles -- a late model BMW 335i and a Ford Performance Vehicles (FPV) F6 turbo -- and stole the cars after taking them for test drives. RACQ Executive Manager Insurance Communications Mike Sopinski said this was an alarming trend in car thefts. "In both cases the vehicles had been advertised for sale online, with the thieves visiting the owners at their homes to test drive the cars," Mr Sopinski said. "The brazen manner in which they were stolen is nothing short of astonishing, especially when you THE INFORMATION PROVIDED IN THIS ARTICLE IS GENERAL IN NATURE ONLY AND DOES NOT CONSTITUTE PERSONAL ADVICE ON LEGAL OR INSURANCE ISSUES. BEFORE ACTING ON ANY INFORMATION IN THIS ARTICLE YOU SHOULD CONSIDER THE APPROPRIATENESS OF THE INFORMATION HAVING REGARD TO YOUR OBJECTIVES, SITUATION AND NEEDS. high-performance vehicles were stolen 2.5 times more frequently than standard-performance vehicles. The profit-motivated theft rate of high-performance vehicles was 4.1 times higher than for standard- performance vehicles. Mr Sopinski said private sellers should consider taking the following steps to protect themselves: The brazen manner in which they were stolen is nothing short of astonishing... 'test' drive trickery VEHICLE OWNERS WARNED TO BE AWARE OF THIEVES POSING AS POTENTIAL BUYERS. consider thieves are able to 'shop to order' through this method. "It's also alarming that both these high-performance cars are capable of speeds in excess of 250km/h." Mr Sopinski said that in the case of the BMW 335i, the owner was left by the roadside after getting out to swap seats, while the FPV F6 was taken at the end of the test drive and from the front of the owner's home. "Overall improvements in car security have forced thieves to re-think their approach to vehicle theft, and these two cases are examples of how thieves are attempting to overcome modern car security measures," he said. According to the National Motor Vehicle Theft Reduction Council (NMVTRC), in 2013 more than 11,238 vehicles were stolen in Queensland, down from a peak of 12,637 in 2012. NMVTRC data also showed that PROTECT YOURSELF 1. ALWAYS CHECK THE DRIVER'S LICENCE OF ANY POTENTIAL BUYER TO MAKE SURE THEY ARE WHO THEY SAY THEY ARE. 2. TAKE A COPY OR PHOTO OF THE POTENTIAL BUYER'S DRIVER'S LICENCE TO RECORD THE DETAILS. 3. HAVE A FRIEND OR FAMILY MEMBER WITH YOU WHEN THE VEHICLE IS BEING INSPECTED, AND TO ACCOMPANY YOU ON A TEST DRIVE. 4. DO NOT LEAVE THE VEHICLE UNATTENDED AT ANY TIME. 5. IF AT ANY STAGE OF THE INSPECTION OR TEST DRIVE YOU FEEL UNCOMFORTABLE, IMMEDIATELY END THE MEETING.