Whilst you can’t (with certainty) prevent car theft, there are several steps you can take to avoid becoming a hijack victim — one of which is choosing a low risk vehicle.
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Every 23 minutes, a motorist is hijacked somewhere in South Africa - that’s a horrifying 63 cars hijacked every day. Hijacking and car theft are, unfortunately, a reality which has to be factored into our daily lives. We’re faced with decisions like whether or not to get insurance, install a tracker or park our car on the verge at our best friend’s braai.
When we first published this blog, we used data from a 2017 report published by Ctrack, a global supplier of vehicle tracking, insurance telematics and fleet management solutions. This report was based on their 2016 hijacking and crime statistics. Suzuki is one of the least hijacked brands in South Africa and wasn’t mentioned at all on Ctrack’s list because of that. The top 3 most hijacked car brands listed in Ctrack’s 2017 report were VW, Toyota, and Ford, in that order.Suzuki is still, to this day, one of the least hijacked brands, and this is reflected in the fact that we’re not listed in any top hijacked vehicles lists, as of 2023.
 The top four most hijacked passenger and sport/utility vehicle brands are (in order):
The following chart, shows the most hijacked car brands in South Africa, based on both Statista and Fidelity ADT’s report data:
Image source: Statista
 The top six most hijacked vehicles are (in order):
- VW Polo
- Toyota Hilux
- Toyota Etios
- Ford Ranger
- Toyota Fortuner
- Nissan NP200
For past reference, the following charts, showing the most hijacked cars in South Africa, are based on Ctrack’s 2017 report data:
Image source: BusinessTech
Image source: BusinessTech
 The top ten most hijacked sport / utility vehicle brands, according to Ctrack’s 2017 report, were (in order):
- Land Rover
Whilst you can’t (with certainty) prevent crime, there are several steps you can take to avoid becoming a victim.
Keep these things in mind to avoid becoming a hijack victim
- Park in a secure area, with good lighting and preferably a guard on duty.
- Have your keys ready, but out of sight, and only unlock your car when you’re close to it. Many Suzukis come with keyless entry which saves you from scrabbling around in your handbag in the dark.
- Keep your valuables out of sight, preferably in the boot.
- Drive with your windows closed and doors locked.
- Stay vigilant. Be aware of your surroundings and watch your mirrors for any suspicious vehicles or pedestrians. Avoid distractions, like checking your phone at the robot, as this leaves you vulnerable.
- Don’t remain stationary if you don’t need to. Slow down when approaching a red robot at night, so it’s green by the time you reach the intersection.
- Keep a safe following distance (approximately one car length) and when stopped at a robot, allow yourself space to maneuver in case you need to make a quick getaway.
- If you feel like you’re being followed, drive straight to your nearest police station or a busy, well lit public area.
- Change your route regularly to avoid criminals being able to identify your routine.
- Let people know in advance what time you’ll be arriving so that someone can open and close the gate for you.
Keep your own driveway well lit and cut back any overgrown shrubs which could obstruct vision of your surroundings.
During an interview with Fourways Review, Jean Berdou (Chairperson of the Douglasdale Police Forum) gave advice to motorists who find themselves in a hijack situation.
The following steps could help save your life in a hijack situation
- Remain calm and non-confrontational.
- Be compliant and do as the hijackers say.
- Hand over your car keys without hesitation.
- Appeal to their humanity and ask them to let you go.
- Although it’s difficult, try to absorb as much detail as possible (e.g. the age, facial features and physical build of the hijackers).
- Get as far away from the hijackers as possible before calling for help.
- Report the incident to your local police station and vehicle tracking company.
- Seek trauma counselling to help you recover from the ordeal.
 Stay Alert: Hijacking hotspots in South Africa
In December 2022, CarTrack announced the top 10 hijacking hotspots in South Africa. Most are concentrated in the Gauteng, KZN, and Cape Town regions:
Image source: CarTrack
- Boksburg North
- Pretoria Central
- Durban Central
Cars.co.za warns motorists to be vigilant and alert in the following hijacking hotspots throughout South Africa.
Johannesburg Hijacking Hotspots
- Pretoria Road, CR Swart
- Elgin Road and Pretoria Road, Johannesburg
- Linksfield Road, N3
- Booysens Road, M1
- Nelson Mandela Bridge
- Wolmarans Road, Johannesburg
- Saratoga Road, Johannesburg
- Abel road, Johannesburg
- Houghton Drive, M1
- Jan Smuts Avenue, Johannesburg
- Krause Street, Pageview
- Heidelberg Road, Johannesburg
- Kyalami Drive, Johannesburg
- Beyers Naude road and N1
- Sunninghill, N1, Rivonia
- Midrand, Clayville
- Grayston, Rivonia, 11th Street.
- Empire Road, Johannesburg
- Jan Smuts Avenue, William Nicol Drive, Hyde Park
- Witkoppen Road
- Bramley, Johannesburg
- Yeoville, Johannesburg
- Norwood, Johannesburg
- Sandringham, Johannesburg
- 11th avenue and 7th Avenue, Johannesburg
- Hillbrow Precinct, Upper Houghton, Killarney
- Saxonwold, Parkwood
- Christiaan de Wet and Wilgerood road
- Louis Botha Avenue, M11, Hillbrow, Alexandra
- Riviera Road and M1
- 11th Avenue, Fairland
- 1st Avenue and Pretoria Main road, Johannesburg
- New road and N1, Midrand
- William Nichol, N1 highway
- Nelson Mandela Drive, Johannesburg
- Outside Eskom’s MegaWatt Park. (Maxwell Drive, Sunninghill)
- Midrand Road and Cedar Road
Cape Town Hijacking Hotspots
- Military Road and Prince George Drive, Cape Town
- St Stephens Road, Cape Town
- Alice Street and Voortrekker Road, Cape Town
- Station Road, Cape Town
- Klipfontein Road, Cape Town
- Prestwich Road, Ebenhezer, Cape Town
- Vanguard Drive, Cape Town
- R300, N1 Cape Town
Tshwane Hijacking Hotspots
- Es’kia Mphahlele Drive
- Paul Kruger Street
- Burnett Street
- Delfi Avenue and Garsfontein Road
- Stormvoel Road Traffic Lights
- Watermeyer Street Traffic Lights
- Nelson Mandela Drive
- Simon Vermooten Road and Lynnwood Road
- Lynwood Drive and Solomon Mahlangu Drive
- Justice Mahomed Street (Walker Street)
- Duncan Street
- Lynnwood Road and University Road
- Rigel and N1 Off-Ramp
- Pretoria Street and Simon Vermooten Road
- Simon Vermooten Road and Furrow Road
- Lynwood Road and N1 Off-Ramp
- Solomon Mahlangu Drive (Hans Strydom) and N4 Off-Ramp
- Solomon Mahlangu and R21
- Atterbury Road and N1 Off-Ramp
- Pretorius Street Traffic Lights
- Francis Baard Street and Festival Street
- Francis Baard Street and Hilda Street
- Francis Baard Street and Grosvenor Street
Durban Hijacking hotspots
- AN Centre, 16 Chestnut Crescent, Mariannhill
- Justice Street, Chatsworth
- Police Station Road, Isipingo
- Deodar Avenue, Umbilo
- CNR Julius Nyerere Street and Anton Lembede Street, Greyville
- Dr Pixley Kaseme Street
- Botanic Gardens Road, Musgrave
- Alpine Road
- Marbleray Drive, New Dawn Park
- Park Hill, Durban North
Purchasing a high risk vehicle can increase your chances of becoming a hijack victim. We recommend you keep the following tips in mind to help you stay safe on the road.
Suzuki aims to help keep South African motorists safe and informed. For more tips on safety and expert, insider advice you can subscribe to the Suzuki blog.
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