Disclaimer: This survey was conducted by Google Surveys on behalf of Budget Direct in March 2020. All figures are from this research unless stated otherwise. The survey was conducted online with a total sample size of 1,000 weighted and representative of all Australian adults (aged 18+).

Quick stats

  • Most Australians unconcerned about car theft in their neighbourhood
  • Garages single most common overnight parking spot
  • Bowls and hooks most popular places to put car keys at home

In March 2020 Budget Direct asked 1000 Australian adults about their attitudes and behaviours when it comes to car security.

Here’s what they told us:

Are you concerned about vehicle theft in your neighbourhood?

About two-thirds of Australians are unconcerned about vehicle theft in their neighbourhood. 

This is perhaps partly explained by a lack of first-hand experience: In 2018, nearly 54,000 of Australia’s 19.2 million registered vehicles were stolen — less than 3%. 

See our latest car theft statistics

By state

ACT residents are the least concerned about car theft in their neighbourhood, while those in the Northern Territory are the most concerned.

(Note: the ACT, Tasmania and Northern Territory results are based on relatively small sample sizes, which may have skewed the results.)

Where do you park your vehicle at night?

Nearly half of Australians park their vehicle in a garage or carport at night, roughly a quarter on a driveway.

Some thieves use tow trucks to steal cars; street-parkers can make their vehicle harder to tow by turning its wheels toward the curb. Read more about how to protect yourself from car theft.

By age

The older the driver, the more likely they are to park their car in a garage overnight.

This is perhaps due to the higher rate of home ownership among older people, especially detached homes with garages.

As for the other parking places – driveway, carport, street — the variations between the different age groups are generally smaller.

Where do you put your car keys when you get home?

More than half of Australians leave their car keys in a bowl or on a hook upon returning home.

About a third put them in less visible places, namely bags and drawers.

Without the key, late-model cars fitted with immobilisers are difficult, if not impossible, to steal.

Hence the reason most cars (37%) are stolen after the thieves break into the home and take the key.

By gender

Of those drivers who put their car keys in a bag when they get home, nearly two-thirds are women.

Of those drivers who put their car keys in a bowl or on a hook, more than half are men. 

Men are also more inclined than women to put their keys in drawers or leave them in the ignition.

(Note: These results cover only the 788 respondents who revealed their gender. Males comprised 56% of this reduced sample, which skewed the results slightly.)

Would you consider getting a car alarm installed in the next 12 months?

Nearly two-thirds of Australians would not consider getting a car alarm installed in the next 12 months.

Only about a tenth of Australians would consider getting one installed.

Why wouldn’t you consider getting a car alarm installed in the next 12 months?

The chief reasons Australians would not consider getting a car alarm installed are a lack of worry about theft or the fact they already have one installed.

Owners of late-model vehicles fitted with immobilisers are perhaps less inclined to consider alarms, as these vehicles are less susceptible to theft.

Some of those who say alarms are too noisy are perhaps alluding to the prevalence of false alarms. These can cause bystanders to ignore triggered car alarms, reducing their effectiveness.

Contact details

For any questions or additional details on the survey and its data, please contact [email protected].

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