Toyota Hiluxes and Volkswagen Polos are the most hijacked cars in South Africa, according to Fidelity SecureDrive’s data of hijacking incidents in the past year.
Also on the list are the Toyota Quantum and Nissan NP200, with white or silver-grey being the most preferred colours.
Between April 2021 and May 2022, KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng recorded the highest number of hijackings, with the festive season and March to June being the highest risk times recorded.
Thursdays and Fridays between 6am and 9am, and also between 6pm and midnight were the preferred days andtimes for the hijackings.
With most hijackings taking place close to home, SecureDrive’s head of marketing and communications Charnel Hattingh says vigilance is key.
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She advised drivers to wait on the road and not in their driveways if they suspect they are being followed home, especially late at night.
“Wait for any cars to pass you and wait until the car is a far distance away before entering your property. If you have a panic button or a mobile security app, have it on hand just in case. Ask your company if they offer a safe arrival service, so that an armed response officer meets you at home to ensure you enter your property safely.
“If you need to stop in your driveway to manually open the gate, remember to always leave the key in the ignition and the motor running unless you have a child in the car. Only then should you take the key with you as you open the gate. The key is a valuable negotiating tool – they want your car and you want your child,” warned Hattingh in a statement.
What to do if you’re a victim of a hijacking, according to Hattingh:
- Do not antagonise the hijackers. “You need to show them you are not a threat.”
- Lift up your arms to show you have no weapon and will surrender. Use your left arm to undo your seat belt and put your car in neutral. Do not turn off your car, and get out slowly.
- Try and angle your body sideways so you are not facing a firearm head-on. Also remember to protect your head with your arms and avoid direct eye contact with the hijackers but try to take in what they are wearing, the sound of their voices, and any other unique identifying features that could help police later.
Try to remain calm